'The Hot Zone': Lenny Platt digs deeper into his character of Captain Kyle, an "amalgamation of a few of the real soldiers" who fought Ebola

'The Hot Zone': Lenny Platt digs deeper into his character of Captain Kyle, an "amalgamation of a few of the real soldiers" who fought Ebola

National Geographic is bringing Richard Preston's book 'The Hot Zone' to the screen with a series of the same name and there are a lot of reasons why it should be on your must-watch list at the end of May. The show - based on the book's documentation of true incidents - will track the outbreak of the Ebola virus in the central African rainforest to its arrival on US soil in 1989.

Emmy winning actor Julianna Margulies stars as protagonist Dr. Nancy Jaax and she is accompanied by several big names in the industry such as Topher Grace, Liam Cunningham, Noah Emmerich and Robert Sean Leonard. But the one character that's absolutely worth watching out for on the show, is that of Captain Kyle - an Army Ranger assigned to the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases.

As intense as Captain Kyle's character sounds, Lenny Platt, who plays the role, would have you believe that there are several fun moments to watch out for when it comes to his plot arc.

"He’s not based on a real guy, but more of an amalgamation of a few of the real soldiers’ stories from the book," Platt teased in an exclusive interview with MEA WorldWide. 

A still from 'The Hot Zone.' Source: Nat Geo


Speaking about the very interesting tale of Captain Kyle and his involvement with the project, Platt explained, "On his first day, he is recruited by Nancy Jaax (Margulies) to assist her with evaluating this potential new outbreak of Ebola and join their elite medical unit called the 91 Tangos."

The fun part however lies in Captain Kyle's arrogance and the toning down of the same because of the dynamics between him and Jaax, as Platt revealed, "He’s a pretty arrogant guy at first, but quickly gets put in check as Nancy brings him down to the Level IV lab (aka the titular hot zone), where the worst of the worst pathogens are stored for research."


The character also comes with certain deeper revelations, as Platt explained his significance to the plot, saying: "As my character is learning about this world, the audience gets to learn the protocols of wearing the suit and the different containment levels and the danger that these Army scientists are putting themselves into to keep us safe."

Platt's real-life experiences also helped him relate to the character - and portray him expertly on screen, as he reveals: "My father is an Army veteran and my younger brother is currently Army active duty, so it was cool to play a soldier and try to do them justice. Also, I got all kinds of free advice on how to carry myself and wear the uniform correctly, so hopefully I got all the details right."

Julianna Margulies as Nancy Jaxx in The Hot Zone. Source: Nat Geo


As for major plot twists in store for Captain Kyle, Platt teased how "there are definitely some fun and scary moments for my character. Without giving too much away, I’ll just say that its a dangerous show and I was on the edge of my seat just reading the script the first time to see what happens to Kyle!"

'The Hot Zone' premieres on Monday, May 27, at 9 pm, only on National Geographic.

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