With the second season of History's SIX coming out next month, we had to catch up with it's star, Barry Sloane about his road to success that began in Liverpool England, finding out more about this Navy SEAL show which includes Olivia Munn this season and how he enjoys his life in L.A.
ATHLEISURE MAG: We were a huge fan of ABC’s Revenge so it’s exciting to interview you.
BARRY SLOANE: Thank you it was such a fun show! I still stay in touch with a lot of the cast. It’s like a family that stays close with you. It’s great that you can be across the planet but you’re still connected.
AM: When did you realize that you wanted to be an actor and what was your inspiration or road to get there?
BS: I grew up in Liverpool. It’s a very working class, kind of a blue collar kind of town and because of the British class system and the way that life is structured in the UK, it’s hard to get out of certain areas and so the arts, in Liverpool in the Northwest of England, has always been something that we’re very proud within the youth society there. It happens a lot in certain parts of London now as well. To kind of break that system and to achieve, the arts is always there. Especially in Liverpool, there was soccer, there was football and there was music - I did all three. I threw my hand into every ring. And I was in a band from when I was about 13 and until 24, I played in soccer teams from the age of 7 until I was about 19 and I was in drama class, school plays from the same age until now! There was always something and I was always very creative.
I remember the day that I made it. My band that I was in at the time, we had a showcase for a record label which we had right outside of London in Oxford in England. We were playing our music and our songs for the showcase and I got a call from my acting agency and I had booked a regular role on a British TV show. It was like I had to decide then and there. We didn’t have the answers them from the label, and I was like, “Ok I’m going to go there,” and I had to tell the guys from the band that I was leaving the band and I was joining the TV show. They said that I was making a huge mistake and that they were going to be the next Oasis. And of course, they weren’t. But I think I made the right choice as I’m doing ok so far!
AM: Clearly! The first time we were aware of you was in Revenge and then in ABC’s The Whispers which we were a fan of that as well!
BS: Thank you, thank you very much!
AM: So tell us about History Channel’s SIX. Tell us about the show in general as we know you are coming back for the second season next month and who do you play on the show?
BS: I play a character Joe Graves, Joe “Bear” Graves. They all have pseudonyms or names that they use on operations. He is the appointed leader of Seal Team 6. The former leader of that team, played by Walton Goggins (Sons of Anarchy, Vice Principals) was working as a contractor in Nigeria and was taken hostage along with a group of school girls and our team is now taxed with trying to bring their brother home who served with them for the last 10 years of their career and he’s very much a father figure to my character, Joseph. Joseph is a very intriguing character – he holds a lot of weight of responsibility on his shoulders he’s a married man, he’s a man of God and he and his wife, recently lost a child. So there’s a lot of burden upon him. When we pick up his story (there are only 8 episodes in season 1) – what’s interesting is beyond these general war stories that we see, it's showing that they are contractors. They go in on a Friday, spend two days killing a bunch of guys and then they’re back doing their school run Monday morning. How do you differentiate from most? Keep in mind that although there is another SEAL show on another network, we don’t have the budget to just blow things up so we spend more of our money on script and characters which is why I am very proud of the show. I think it’ll hold strong to anything that has been out since.
AM: The cast seems very close as we’ve seen that you guys have done Tough Mudders together and the fact that you can take that off screen is definitely unique.
BS: Absolutely, it’s well documented that the kind of training that they put us through prior to shooting in Season 1 was unlike anything that we had done before and it bonded us in a way that we are pretty much in contact with one another, every day. Even if we don't speak on the phone, we're on the text message continuously. It just bonded us that we had a shared trauma and when we went through the training the first time, it was something that we all felt together and it was an experience that we were able to draw on. The Tough Mudder was something inevitable that we had done before. I feel like I can do anything as long as those guys are beside me – we do it all together and it’s very easy as we have it locked down.
AM: So Olivia Munn is now joining this cast, how is that and are there things that you can talk about in terms of Season 2 for those that have been watching the first season?
BS: It’s been great to have Olivia join the show. She’s brought in a completely different character then what we had last year. What’s interesting about her role is if you’ve seen Jessica Chastain’s role in Zero Dark Thirty, the interrogator of the CIA - the brain, Olivia has a similar role to that and she spends a lot of her time in the first part of the season with a character called Michael who anyone who has seen the show will know very very well. He manages to escape from being shot at the very beginning of the pilot and then ends up being saved again at the end of the series. And then, we start off with those two being locked in a room for a degree of the time and it’s fascinating to watch. Viewers will be able to pick up the story pretty much from where we left off at the end of Season 1. We’re not jumping ahead 5 years into the future, we’re picking it up right where we left off.
So that’s going to be great and we’re going to jump right back in there and the theme is revenge and vengeance. You know, I’ve done revenge before so I can do that. Everybody else is going to have their own form of, “what do we do" when a member of the US Armed Forces is shot on home soil by a terrorist - where do we go?
AM: You were saying that you had to do SEAL training – what other workouts did you have to do to prepare for being in this show as well what your general fitness is outside of it?
BS: For the show specifically, we tend to prep prior to filming because when you’re in it, it’s just a maintaining job. Last year, I gave myself a 12 week plan for building so that I could be in time for shooting and training. Of course, I got 5 weeks into a building schedule and then was told that we were taking up the story from the very second that the last season ended and I was like, that’s not going to work! I was like, “oh shit” I had to get back down to where I was. So this season there was a lot of body work and I was already kind of where I left off so it was all about maintaining. We have some pull up bars and we’re in the gear which is about an extra 60-70lbs.
My daily stuff includes my home gym, which is all practical body stuff like calisthenics and just easy stuff. If it’s specific for a role, then I will get with a trainer and will bulk up job dependent. I like to stay around 200 naturally and if I have to go up or down it will be based on the role.
AM: Do you have projects outside of SIX that we should keep an eye out for in TV or film?
BS: You can still check out last season of Longmire on Netflix at the moment - that's still going. SIX is coming next that I am working on now that I can't speak about. We're actually looking to shoot Season 3 in a few months time.
AM: So you’re based in L.A. and we know you have your own home gym, do you have a fitness place you like to go to in L.A., where do you go for date night with your wife and do you have a favorite place that you like to go shopping?
BS: We lived in Santa Monica for about 6 years and we just bought a place in a different area which has been great! We’ve basically been trying to find new restaurants, new bars, and to see what we can find. We are very much so – beach people! We do a lot of beach walks, bike rides with the kids – easy beach days. Now, we have to get in the car and try to find some nice parks. We love it here and we love the lifestyle in L.A. as my wife is from the same town as me in Liverpool. So we grew up in the same place and this is a lot easier of a lifestyle then what we both had! We enjoy every minute of it and the kids know no difference. As it should be.
And now I’ve got season tickets for L.A. FC so I’ll be going to that. I kind of felt like I couldn’t support L.A. Galaxy because I’m an implant here. But then I thought, well this is a brand new team, they have just started out and I’m older than them – so I can support them! Now I am a new supporter of L.A. FC - so there you go.
AM: So how else do you take time for yourself as you’re a huge soccer fan – do you do anything else?
BS: Yeah we do, meditation – my wife and I do it regularly. She is a Reiki master she does spiritual healing. She has a great company called MeadoFace. We work together on that. Something that was interesting to me was when we did our first boot camp training with the Navy Seals, a good degree of it was meditation. We'd meditate in the morning, we’d use box breathing to focus and make the goals. They use the mental strength as it is infinitely more stronger than their bodies. To get through what they have to especially in the training levels, it’s all about focus. It’s about setting yourself micro goals and you can push through that self-imposed barrier. You keep drawing in the training levels, it's all about focus. It's about setting yourself micro goals and you can push through that self-imposed barrier. You keep drawing lines in the sand and that was something that we were given every day of our lives. It’s about how things happen and what you do when it happens and obviously with having one fit in it already with what my wife does already – it was a place that I could shift into quite easily.
AM: Do you have any charities that you support your time to?
BS: Last year, I was apart of Movember and this year I wasn’t able to do it because I was filming and I couldn’t do as much work for them as I couldn’t grow a mustache. Another organization is 22Kill. Statistically, 22 Veterans die each day from suicide which is a tragedy so they encourage as many people as possible on social media to do 22 pushups for 22 days to post it and tag them in to help raise awareness for that charity. We have linked with a lot of military charities since doing this job. It was tough at first because I didn’t know how they were going to take to us until they saw the show and how we represented them. I think they saw that we came at it with a respectful approach and told the story and represented them well – so a lot more have reached out. A lot of them I link to in my social media which is a great way to see what I am up to. I’m very fortunate and I love to get behind charities like this that are doing such great work.
PHOTOS COURTESY | HISTORY