Daniel Lissing Talks the Boiling Turmoil Between James and Grace on LAST RESORT

The new ABC drama series LAST RESORT does not shy away from launching nuclear missiles, which it amply demonstrated in its pilot episode. To ramp up the uncertainty about who has control of those remaining missiles, last week’s episode revealed a traitor in the USS Colorado’s midst when Captain Marcus Chaplin (Andre Braugher) discovered someone had stolen his launch key.  So this week’s new episode entitled “Nuke It Out” brings back the reality of how unstable the volatile situation is when the military crew becomes their own worst enemy.  It is a race to determine: who stole the launch key and what for?  Who exactly now controls the remaining nukes aboard the Colorado? And what lengths will each of them go to keep the situation from becoming explosive?

“Last Resort”

In an exclusive interview, co-star Daniel Lissing, who plays U.S. Navy SEAL James King, talked about the bristling tension between James and Grace (Daisy Betts) and what is going through James’ mind now that he finds himself caught up in the global events sparked by the SEALS’ covert mission in Pakistan.

What can you tell us about the upcoming episode “Nuke It Out”?
DANIEL:  It’s really a great episode. This is Michael Offer’s 3rd directing effort with LAST RESORT.  I thought it was a really tidy script — very exciting and it was a hell of a lot of fun.  It’s sort of got everything:  bombs may be going off, drugs being sold and maybe being taken, maybe not, and romance there’s to be had.  It’s a little bit of everything.  The writers are so talented in connecting all the dots.  I think it’s going to be an audience favorite, for sure.

One of the things we are curious about is: where is James’ head at?  He doesn’t seem to want to be on the island, but he also doesn’t seem to have any place to go.  So what is he thinking?
DANIEL:  Especially at this stage, he’s really conflicted.  He blames himself for a lot of the stuff that’s happened, from his mission in Pakistan to the craziness that ensues in the pilot episode.  He’s got a lot of weight on his shoulders.  He blames himself for a lot of the stuff and a lot of the deaths.  He’s kind of sitting on the fence now — does he join forces with the Colorado, does he go back home and join a corrupt government, does he just ditch and get off the grid, or does he stay on the island with Tani (Dichen Lachman) and live the island life?  Really we’re at a point where he’s got to come to a decision, which he does.

“Last Resort”

Do you think he really wants to align with Marcus (Andre Braugher), or does he feel torn with his loyalty to his fellow SEALS?
DANIEL:  I think for him it is one and the same.  They are in the same boat, so to speak, and he keeps losing his guys too.  There’s only a couple SEALS left out of the six that came on the sub; there’s only three left.  So this has not been a good mission for the SEALS.  I think he needs a little bit more information as to what these guys are doing and what’s going on back home before he comes to his decision.

One of the interactions we have most enjoyed is watching James and Grace as they bristle around each other; like they don’t trust each other, but they also work so well together.   What makes them such a good team when they are forced to work together?
DANIEL:  [Laughs] That’s the thing, I think it’s their hatred for each other. Certainly with Grace and James, there’s something going on.  There’s tension there and what that tension is will actually reveal itself in the episode coming up.  But they work really, really well together.  Daisy and I work well together, in reality, so it’s fun to play a couple of people who are completely at odds personally.  But when it comes to getting a job done that we make a phenomenal team.  So it’s really a sort of interesting dynamic there.  I will say that in this episode that there’s a bomb — a terrorist attack with a bomb strapped to a female crewmember — and Grace and James set about  working together again to try and diffuse it. So the bomb may or may not go off.  It’s a pretty tense situation.  It’s actually a situation that brings out whatever their relationship.  It brings it to a head.

“Last Resort”

James seems to gravitate towards Grace, even though they have so much friction.  Is it possible they have a past history?
DANIEL:  They don’t have a past history.  They met for the first time on the sub. I think that there’s an attraction there.  But she’s so stubborn, hardheaded and straight-laced and because he’s so on the fence with everything — he likes to give the illusion that he doesn’t care and can’t be bothered and whatever — but he always ends up helping out.  He goes for the thrill and for the buzz.  It’s a really interesting dynamic.  The show has such fantastic female characters — like Tani (Dichen’s character), which from James’ point-of-view gives this alternative lifestyle, the island life, which offers a fresh start; whereas, Daisy’s character Grace is the Navy-girl, she’s America, she’s patriotism, she has all the values, she represents all those things that he’s held so dear for so long, and now he’s questioning that.

What else can you share about the show?
DANIEL:  It’s been a hell of a lot of fun so far!

To see how explosive this week’s episode gets, be sure to tune in for an all new episode of LAST RESORT on Thursday, November 15th at 8:00 p.m. on ABC.  For more information about LAST RESORT, go to: http://beta.abc.go.com/shows/last-resort

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