Max Thieriot of the SEAL team on Clay’s ‘biggest doubt’, his relationship with Stella and the achievement | Entertainment
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for SEAL Team Season 4 Episode 12, “Rearview Mirror.”]
The SEAL team Star Max Thieriot (who plays Clay Spenser) steps behind the camera for the second time in CBS drama, for emotional episode and action scenes.
For the director, the challenge “was to find a way to put all this stuff together in one episode and make all of these things have the weight they need to carry,” he admits to TV Insider. “It probably would have been closer to the value of two episodes, but given that we had to tighten everything up, a lot more information had to be on one show.”
In “Rearview Mirror,” Bravo is suddenly deployed for two months to another team. Before leaving, Bravo 1 Jason Hayes (David Boreanaz) tracks down a former teammate who wrote him a touching letter during his trial. But Theo Papadakis (Kurt Yaeger) shocks him when he reveals he was blasting oxy before losing a leg, while on Bravo. Jason didn’t notice, Theo said, because he just cared to do what he needed to get the job done.
With that in mind, Jason goes to check on Ray (Neil Brown Jr.), who is obviously struggling (in private) since being rescued from his torturer. (He even crashes with Clay before deployment.) Ray pretends to be asleep.
With everything going on – including the action scenes taking longer than viewers realize – “a lot of scene transitions haven’t ended up happening because of the weather,” Thieriot shares. But he likes to be challenged.
The star and director tell us more about the making of the episode and where Clay’s head is right now in Season 4.
Clay is really a sounding board for others in this episode and tries to be a sounding board for Ray. What is it that suits his head right now?
Max Thieriot: It’s like they took it from real life, I’m the sounding board on set. [Laughs] Clay in a way has been the public perspective on a lot of everyone’s issues. This season Clay has kind of matured and tried to make the team more own even as Bravo 6. It’s being that ultimate teammate and being able to help your team on and off the pitch. ground. This is something that Jason obviously struggles to do and doesn’t realize he didn’t and Clay did and doesn’t realize he did.
Inevitably what happens is that he deals with everyone’s issues, they also weigh on him because he brings these things home with him and in turn it affects his relationship because he’s starting to think that all of these people he’s worked with are more perfect than they are. This calls into question his ability to do it all himself.
Why Clay and Stella [Alona Tal] have a real chance of making it work this time?
Even though a lot of these guys go through that same kind of vicious cycle of struggling with PTSD and relationships and all the things that they’re going through, the audience mostly needs to feel some hope that someone can do it. So this time around, they finally accepted each other for their flaws and really love each other regardless. They really took that understanding “for better or for worse” and “if we’re trying to be in a relationship and be in a relationship, then that’s who I am.” They should have a chance this time.
Clay looks at Ray at home for what he wants and Jason as the operator, but neither is on stable ground at the moment. How does this affect Clay?
He constantly hears this echo of “Jason Hayes is the best warrior.” But I think in the back of his mind, Clay was always on the battlefield to question some of the decisions Jason made. He thought Ray had that perfect balance of being able to go and do a great job at work and then come home and be a great husband and father. Now he sees that Ray doesn’t do that. This gives him his biggest doubt.
But I think Clay always admired Jason as an operator, but always believed he would be able to accomplish what Clay can and didn’t set his sights on being Jason Hayes. He sets himself the goal of being Clay Spenser. I think in his mind that’s the best version of Ray and the best version of Jason.
What was your approach to directing emotional scenes like Jason and Theo and Jason’s conversations going to Ray at the end?
These are some of the funniest scenes for me to do because I love the drama of the show. I love the emotional scenes. Being an actor and having the confidence of these other actors that I know so well and with whom I have worked for so many years, I feel that they are ready to take risks with me, to open their hearts and to expose themselves. a little. Sometimes when you have a guest director it’s hard to get that vulnerable because you don’t know if you’re going to take a chance and it’s something you don’t like and they are going to use it anyway. And I feel like when I realize, luckily, I trust those moments.
Especially David – we have a good understanding during these scenes and we just got what we need from each other. He specifically meets the last scene with Jason at Theo’s. I’m super happy with the way this scene went and also the end scene, and also, to be honest, Sonny [AJ Buckley] last scene in the ship [when he video chats with Hannah, played by Rachel Boston, about impending fatherhood]. This is another scene that I was really proud of and excited about.
What was the most difficult part of directing the action sequence?
It’s what’s going on behind the scenes that you don’t understand: “You have a day with the actors here to do all these car scenes and we shoot 10 hours a day. Good luck. “If I had had a week to shoot this action streak, I clearly could have added some more stuff in there, but it’s basically about trying to build a lot of cuts, the streak most compelling dynamic in the shortest time with not a ton. of money. But I’m super proud of the end product. I haven’t had a single shot of a real helicopter. There is magic cinema, I think we have accomplished some interesting things.
The scenes on the ship appeared very close to the screen.
I tend to generally like the static feel and wide angle lenses, but it’s not really The SEAL team. It’s a show that Chris Chulack made to make you feel like you’re there with these people and really almost feels like a documentary, so we shoot a lot with handhelds. We want the audience to feel right there, not like they’re watching people operate, but they’re with the operators breaking down a door and entering the room.
The two things I wanted to accomplish [in the ship scenes] were: to make sure he never felt too stable and was on a stage and felt cramped. The great thing you get across when talking to a lot of people spending time on these ships is how cramped it is and how sucks it is to be on this thing. Just a little bit of always giving yourself that uneasy feeling while you’re in there.
The SEAL team, Wednesdays, 9 / 8c, CBS