"I conserve electricity, I conserve water, I recycle and I eat more vegetables than I do meat," Andre Braugher enumerates his green practices, adding that a recycling program is in place on the Hawaii set of his ABC Thursday night drama "Last Resort." Braugher stars as sub caption Marcus Chaplin, who, having disobeyed a questionable order to fire nuclear weapons on Pakistan, finds himself in de facto exile, in a standoff with the U.S. government, and accused of treason.
It's easy to see why Braugher was drawn to the part, starting with the provocative pilot script and people involved, including creator Shawn Ryan. "This is a show with a very ambitious premise and it could easily devolve into something kind of silly," he says, but he had confidence in Ryan, and appreciated the chance to "explore a world that you usually don't in procedurals" like "Homicide" and "SVU," "or the other cop shows that I've been on." Taking on "the challenge of growing with this character" was very appealing. "It's exciting to really live in this guy's skin and go through the changes that he goes through."
His preparation has included working out with a trainer and running a couple times a week, but he's done much more "in terms of the scholarship necessary to get into the piece. I've done a lot of reading and a lot of talking to Naval officers. And it's that part that seems most challenging."
The role is squarely in Braugher's wheelhouse. "I've often been cast as a hardnosed, hyper-confident kind of guy [motivated by] how to help the people that I love live with the decisions that are necessary for our survival. The premise is ambitious to say the least and our job every week really is to fill in that ambitious premise with some very down to earth, honest, raw, detailed kind of acting and storytelling. What we're dedicated to is making sure that it's honest and it's raw, it's down to earth, and it's compelling."
Braugher likes the fact that Chaplin is always thinking ahead in "this enormous game of chicken. It's the strategic part of Chaplin that's fascinating to me. We've got to put the fear of God into them, so they understand. Otherwise our position really isn't tenable. We're looking to get into the heart of this mystery so that we can clear our names and return home. We're patriots and we're not designed to be traitors or pirates on the high seas," he says, but he's not in a rush to get there.
"I'm hoping we take a good long time to get to the heart of this conspiracy and that it takes as many twists and turns necessary to get there, because once we do get to the heart of this conspiracy it's game over," he points out. "I anticipate surfacing in the Chesapeake and taking a drive down the Beltway to D.C., where I can surrender myself honorably for my court martial. But that's far off in the future."