Broken Bones and 60-Hour Weeks Are Welcomed by 'Intelligence's' Josh Holloway
It was beginning to seem like series TV had lost Josh "Sawyer" Holloway forever. Everyone left the "Lost" island in 2010, and his last small-screen gig was a "Community" cameo in 2011, while his film résumé grew steadily ("Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol," "Paranoia," "Battle of the Year," and the upcoming Arnold Schwarzenegger DEA thriller "Sabotage"). Luckily, the idea of playing the first supercomputer in a soldier's body in "Intelligence" lured him back to primetime.
He spoke with Yahoo TV about what had attracted him to the spy series, the physical demands of the role, keeping up with his "little badass" co-star, and what he'd do if his mind had a mainframe.
You were quite in demand during pilot season. What was it about "Intelligence" that won you over?
I grew up on James Bond movies, which are like Disneyland for men, and what guy doesn't want to be Bond at some point in his life? I always wanted to try my hand at action work, and I just barely touched on it with "Mission: Impossible." I just finished a movie ["Sabotage"] where they sent us through SWAT school, so I was feeling tactically trained up and ready to go. But I didn't want to just do something that had been done 100 times. There were offers coming in for remakes and rehashes, but I wanted a new, clean palette. I loved that this married advanced technology with the skill set of a Delta operator. I had also been doing some heavy thinking about our relationship with technology after doing "Paranoia" with Harrison Ford. It's about corporate espionage with cell phones and the Internet. I was recently at a park and realized everybody was looking down. It was like, "Wow. Do we ever touch the earth anymore? Are we ever really connected to it without our gadget? Are we losing the ability to communicate with one another without the aid of technology?" Gabriel has a supercomputer in his head, but we all already have one in our pocket. You are connected to the worldwide grid almost as much as this character is, and that seemed like a fascinating subject to explore while still doing an action-heavy spy show.
Are you much of a gadget guy?
My brothers all made fun of me when I told them about the show because I am not at all a tech guy. "I don't think it's a chip so much as a skull fracture. You may have a bone chip in your head, boy." That kind of talk. I am not very good with technology, and neither is he, so that works for the character. In fact, I thought I was signing on to a sci-fi show, but what I'm learning is that human enhancement is now. There are programs that allow people to control a helicopter through an obstacle course with their mind. That's weird, cool, and scary. So the Clockwork program is just a logical next step in my mind.
Is Gabriel invincible?
No. When I first came in for this role, I asked [them] all that question because I did not want to play this superenhanced superhero guy that never has a problem. It just seemed logical that combining man and machine would cause problems. I mean, how many times do you want to Frisbee your computer across the damn room in a week? A lot. [In upcoming episodes,] Gabriel's been hacked. Viruses, spam, problems with information flow, lost connections — all of that happens to him. The chip can't make him strong or give him special skills. It is mostly about information gathering. I liked that he has limitations and that he is human. And who knows what he is into? Maybe he's addicted to polka dancing or online gambling. He could be constantly watching the game and off in his own world when people are trying to ask him serious questions. Maybe they're saving that for Season 2.