Interviews

Published on August 10th, 2014 | by Neil Jordan

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Talking The Last Ship with John Pyper-Ferguson.

Greetings & Salutations!

It’s your friendly neighborhood freelance photographer ‘The CameraMan’
In a bit of a departure from my movie screening and photography duties, Skewed & Reviewed
assigned me the opportunity to be part of a round table interview with one of the actors
of the new TNT hit drama ‘The Last Ship’. Austrailian-born Canadian actor John Pyper-Ferguson.
Besides his character on ‘The Last Ship’ Tex, a private security contractor who the crew of
the U.S.S. Nathan James meet at Guantanamo Bay, you may also know him from his role as
antagonist James Kendrick in the final season of ‘Burn Notice’ along with roles on shows
such as ‘Star Trek:TNG’,’Alphas’, ‘Fringe’, ‘Caprica’, ‘Lie To Me’, ‘Bones’, ‘Smallville’,
‘Millennium’,’The X-Files’, ‘Highlander’, and ‘The Adventures Of Brisco County Jr, amongst his
accolades.

Q: What attracted you to the part?

A: The studio sent me 10 pages of scene work and my agent and I looked at each other and
we said, “This role is yours”.

Q: What sort of prep work did you do for the part?

A: There really wasn’t much time. We went in, read the script, viewed images and footage
of mercenaries and SEALs. They brought in former Navy SEALS to advise the actors and train
us how to handle equipment, how to use the weapons, how to move through the feild. They brought
in stunt-doubles on set but a lot of the stuff was not so gigantic that I couldn’t do myself.

Q: What can we look forward to from your character future epsidoes?

A: You don’t really know which way hes’ going because he was left in the water in the last episode .. Hes’ a lonewolf so he can kind of choose what he wants and who he wants to associate with. Hes’ not under the tumb of the Navy but at the same time he must act appropriately. Hes’ not allowed to fraternize with the female crew members of the ship which is kind of convinient since he has the hots for Dr. Scott, the paleomicrobiologist who’se trying to develop the cure.

We know as far as loyalties that he likes, respects the captain but that Tex’s motivations are still in the dark. Hes’a libritarian, a survivalist, and could easily excel in this ‘new world’ with less limitations. At the end of the season, hold your breath, the characters get in a lot of jeaprody so hold your breath … be ready for cliffhangers.

Q: How much backstory did you get into your character before filming? How much say do you have in the development?

A: Well, you know hes’ not trusted entirely so it’s instinctual. He comes from a mysterious background. He lightens up the situation when it’s looking grim. His character is lonely and he does have feelings for Dr. Scott who’se being a little evasive and it’s like they say in Texas, “If she doesn’t put out, hes’ gotta move on”.

Q: What are some of the memorable moments from filming?

A: Well, they were non-filming moments actually … We were filming at the naval base in San Diego and we had a day between shooting and i’m obessive about golf and I ran off to go play Mission Hills where Phil Nicholson grew up playing there and I was there with Charles Parnell who plays Commander Hugh Jeter and I hit an errant shot to the left side and it landed on this rock and I had to hit it forward by the shape of the rock but instead it hit back in my eye leaving this gash in my head and Charles came running over and I asked Charles jokingly, “How bad is it?” and Charles stepped back with this horrified look on his face and that’s when we rushed to the emergency room and I had to get 12 stitches in my head. Just before filming, I had to put down my dog Lance.

He was 13 years old and he was a rescue dog with behavioral issues and I took him on. We traveled around in my truck a lot and whenever he would see me packing up to go somewhere for a gig he had this habit f lying undernieth the truck because he didn’t want to be left behind and he knew that I knew that’s where i’d find him. But he developed liver cancer and sadly he had to be put down.

 

Q: What’s a day like working on this show?

A: Well, for the actors .. it’s not an easy show to film with the mutiple locations and all the action scenes we spend a lot of time on the ships they use for filming the USS Halsey, the USS Dewey, and the USS IOWA. The power of these ships is impressive but also intimadating .. The should be a sign that says ‘Don’t play with the toys’. We had a day where we were filming at Gitmo between scenes and it was weird cause you get used to being ont the closed quaters of the ship and then you’re out on land walking and running. Spending time with some of the other cast members of the show on breaks defintely helps.


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