SEAL Team is back tonight with a double episode for their fourth season premiere at 9:00PM ET/PT, only on CBS and streaming on CBS All Access. David Boreanaz stars as Jason Hayes in SEAL Team and in tonight’s episodes we will see him face a new kind of enemy as he battles nature itself.
CBS‘ Matt Weiss spoke to Boreanaz about the new season, the show’s work with veterans and bringing new content to fans at last.
MW: David, SEAL Team, season four starts tonight and with the way things have gone this year, first off, I just want to know how good does it feel to be back to actually have new episodes coming out?
DB: It’s great. We’re excited, but I think we’re really excited over the fact that our show is not going to deal with any kind of COVID issues or COVID environments. We’re going to tell great stories and pick up where they were left off last season. Just to be back at work we feel so fortunate, blessed to be working in this environment. We got through the guidelines and we apply them and here we are up and running. We’re excited about this premiere.
MW: Two back-to-back episodes to kick off the season. Where are we going to pick up here in season four?
DB: We’re going to find that Bravo team is heading off to the Afghan mountains hunting the son of a terrorist that Jason Hayes took out 13 years prior. It has a little bit of an emotional feel for Jason Hayes. On the top of the mountain there Jason gets separated with Cerberus and it almost becomes like a sense of survival and it has a revenant feel to it from for both of these characters.
I will say someone doesn’t make it and we take that into episode two which we find out in the beginning that Jason’s pinned against the mountain with Cerberus and all hell ensues. There’s a rescue mission that goes astray. At the end of that episode we find out that somebody steps down and we lose some members.
MW: A lot going on here.
DB: It is a lot.
MW: You actually directed this episode as well so you put a lot on your plate to direct an episode with all that going on. What was that like for you?
DB: It was great. It was tough, we were shooting this episode back in March then we got shut down. To be able to sit with this episode for six months during this kind of craziness was tough because we hadn’t completed it. As a director you go in an episode like this and it was so big. The conditions were harsh that we shot four days in the snow. The last day we had a snowstorm that kicked in and the wind was whipping.
I was carrying Dita (Cerberus) around basically from scene to scene. I didn’t cut because I know working with the dog you have to do certain things just for safety purposes. It was just a long trek and to direct an episode like this was just very fortunate. It was also a lot of fun, we got over a lot of hurdles. It definitely shows in the screen how beautiful this mountain scape is. Shooting in the snow which shows you that you don’t see this type of stuff on network television.
MW: You mentioned Cerberus, working with the dog is a little different than working with a human to say the least. Everyone loves Cerberus and I’m sure you do too, but what are some of the challenges that come along with that?
DB: The conditions were very cold, and it started snowing at the end of the fourth day there, which was our big day, while I was carrying her around. The make-up of the character being thrown off the side of a mountain, his cuts and his bruises, being able to corral the dog and hold Cerberus close enough in order to get through the scenes was really a bond and trusting exercise.
We worked a few weeks leading up myself, Justin, and Dita just getting the trust factor and carrying her around and having that connection was very important. We worked very hard leading into the shoot and then it shows.
MW: I know a big point of emphasis for the show is working with real veterans. Can you talk about the commitment the show has to being authentic and also to giving jobs to people who have had military experience?
DB: Yeah, we pride ourselves on the fact that we have actual veterans on our show in front of the camera, behind the camera. Mark Owen, executive producer, who’s done 13 deployments, he was an actual SEAL. He was involved with going after bin Laden, did the Captain Phillips raid, amongst many others. That presence alone and the boys that are also with us from DEVGRU, just to see these guys who have sustained injuries and you see them every day working; it’s just a remarkable experience to be able to tell a little bit of their stories and go to some places that are really dark.
I think you shed light into those corners, we’ve really gotten a great response from that community. It’s great to be able to work with these veterans on the show and to see them every day and give them that voice.
MW: You mentioned earlier that this season won’t be tackling COVID stuff. A lot of shows will this season and there’s a place for that, but I think there’s also a place for shows that don’t so you can have a true escape from it. What can fans expect from this season and how important is it for you to be able to give people that perspective of normalcy?
DB: I think it’s very important. I don’t know about you, but it’s just so overwhelming with what you can and can’t do and the social restrictions; it just didn’t apply in our storylines so we opted out of bringing that into our environment. It’s a refreshing take. It’s great you don’t have to binge watch old shows.
Come see SEAL Team and you’ll see a refreshing, great, explorative, fun, adventurous, action packed, character-driven show that maintains itself telling true stories of individuals who suffer more so when they come back instead of on the battlefield. That in itself for us is why we love telling these stories. We want the viewers to enjoy that without having to deal with wearing a mask or being a part of this whole craziness going on. Just escape for an hour and have fun.
MW: I’m happy to watch the new episodes, get some of that normalcy and love all the work you guys do with the veterans. Big fan, thank you and all the best.
DB: Thanks a lot. I appreciate it!
SEAL Team airs Wednesday nights at 9:00PM ET/PT, only on CBS and streaming on CBS All Access. Check your local listings for more information.