"It's an amazing, educational experience," Judd Lormand on working on 'SEAL Team' and being an actor
In an exclusive interview with Meaww, Judd discusses his role of a dynamic troop officer on the show, his acting career and what the future holds for him.
"Telling stories in the most authentic way possible is the ultimate goal," says actor Judd Lormand, who currently co-stars on the successful CBS drama 'SEAL Team'. This authenticity is apparent in his journey in show business so far, and his role of Lieutenant Commander Eric Blackburn on the show which has been well-received by critics and audiences alike.
The Lafayette native's career spans over 70 films and television shows, 'including SEAL Team', which in its second season has given Lormand a visibility that was long time coming.
His experience working on the show has been "incredible." He says, "I've learned so much about the role and duty of a Lieutenant Commander and how the navy seals operate, it's been such an educational experience."
He continues, "Everyday of work has been fun to me, even the hard days."
Talking about his major challenge while essaying the role, Judd says, "Early on, the vernacular and the lingo that the military uses is not something that you use every day, so it's often tough to get the hang of delivering all these lines naturally. Using foreign acronyms and abbreviations, and you have to say them as if you've been using every day of your life so that was a challenge in the beginning. "
The major theme of 'SEAL Team' is combatting terrorism, something which is very relevant to our modern society.
"I think the show is extremely relevant because most countries across the world are dealing with terrorism in one form or the other. The officers on the show go out on to the field and we realize that things aren't always cut and dry, there are a lot of grey areas which you think 'Wow, what would I do? How would I handle this?', I think it's so important for people to think about these issues and weigh the consequences because it affects so many lives."
The actor also thinks the show is an insightful look into the personal lives of the troops and how war affects them. While working on the show, he got a chance to speak to the spouses of several veterans which made him realize how things impact them. "All over the world, I think people should be thankful to their troops as well as their families at home that support them to do what they do because they're serving in their own way."
What sets apart 'SEAL Team' from everything else on television right now? "Authenticity," says Judd. Having worked on several film and television sets, he thinks that most times the focus lies on getting the shot done right instead of emphasizing on what is real and correct.
"I've played the role of a police officer several times and I've had friends, who were police officers themselves, come up to me and say 'It was great, but we would never catch or apprehend a guy that way.' So, while it looks good on television, shows aren't always authentic. SEAL Team on the other hand, from top to bottom, right from the producers to the costume designers are all striving to create the most authentic product we can."
The camaraderie we see between the officers on screen is alive off-screen as well. The entire cast gets along very well and they even spend time working out together on their days off and call each other home for dinner, according to Lormand.
"From the very first episode we hit it off as a group, they're like my extended family, we really enjoy working with one another. A lot of people have told me that the cast has great chemistry."
Lormand does an excellent job as Lieutenant Blackburn on the show, but how exactly did he find himself drawn to acting?
"It started in middle school. I did a lot of plays, a lot of drama, and I realized its something I've always been so comfortable doing. It was the greatest hobby you can have, I loved every aspect of it," says Lormand, who went to Comeaux High School in Lafayette, Louisiana.
He took a short break from acting when he started college, but decided to jump back in the fray a few years later. "This is what I've always wanted to do, so why not?" He continues, "When I realized that I could act professionally, something I've always wanted to do since childhood, it would be like winning the lottery!" Lormand feels fortunate and blessed to be acting professionally.
Apart from his role on 'SEAL Team', Judd's most memorable role was starring in 'Jack Reacher' alongside Tom Cruise in 2016. "A lot of people recognized me after the film, it was definitely the most notable one, but also it was an experience of a lifetime working on such a big, action-packed film."
Professionally, the star connects better with drama and is better suited to playing roles in that genre, "Helping bring a drama script to life is such a fun challenge," he says, but personally, he considers himself a "comedy guy."
His dream role in the near future is to be a voice actor for a kids comedy movie. Being a father to three kids, Judd hopes to do an animated film so his kids can connect with his work.
Of all the future projects Judd is working on, he's looking forward most to the release of an indie film he shot for last year.
Titled 'Texas Cotton', Judd has great things to say about the film, "I'm really excited about it because it doesn't really fit into a specific genre, which has been a great challenge. I really enjoyed doing it."
Working on a television show full time takes up most of his time, but he hopes to pursue other interesting projects when season 2 of 'SEAL Team' wraps up.