Interview with Kyle Schmid and Edwin Hodge of "SIX" on History - Primetime TV Show Articles From The TV MegaSite

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By Suzanne

Kyle Schmid Edwin Hodge

Interview with Kyle Schmid & Edwin Hodge of "SIX" on History 1/10/17

Operator: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by, and welcome to the SIX conference call with Kyle Schmid and Edwin Hodge.  I would now like to turn the conference over to Kristen Hynes from History Publicity. Please proceed with your conference.

Kristen Hynes: Hello, everyone, and thank you for joining us for today’s press conference call for History’s new scripted drama series, SIX, with stars Kyle Schmid, who plays Alex Calder and Edwin Hodge, who plays Robert Chase.  As a reminder, SIX makes its series debut next Wednesday, January the 18th at 10:00 pm/9:00 Central on History. I’m going to now turn the call over to Kyle and Edwin, who are excited to take your questions.

 Edwin Hodge: Good morning everybody.

Kyle Schmid: Good morning.  We’re all very proud of this show, so we hope that you guys have had a chance to see it and, you know, we’re here for whatever you guys want to ask us.

Operator: Our first question comes from the line of (Rebecca Murray) with Showbiz Junkie. Please proceed with your question.

(Rebecca Murray): Good morning, both of you, and thank you so much for doing the call.

Edwin Hodge: Good morning.

Kyle Schmid: Good morning.

(Rebecca Murray): I wanted to know, first off, did you guys meet with real Seals? And if not, you know, what did you actually do to get ready to play the roles; not just physically, but mentally, to get into that character?

Edwin Hodge: You want to take it first, Kyle?

Kyle Schmid: You just take the lead on this one, buddy.

Edwin Hodge: All right. Yes, we did. We did work with Veterans Seals. Our head lead consulted with (Mitchell Hall) — (infamous, in his words). Highly decorated, highly skilled. We did a four-day intensive SEALFIT boot camp, where we got a taste of what it’s like to go through Hell Week, which is a six-month process for actual candidates who are trying to become Seals in reality.

So, in doing so, the physical aspect of it all, the (Mitchell) aspect of it all, the emotional aspect of it all as well, plays a lot into building our relationship on screen and off screen.

They worked us to the bone. They probably took us to the lowest levels we’ve ever experienced in our lives, only to move those of us back up and convince us with a new way of thinking, and knowing that we can surpass a lot of brick walls that we feel that we’ve either put up for ourselves or other people put up for us.

So, it was definitely grueling, but was probably the best and most humbling process that we could have gone through to prepare for this show.

Kyle Schmid: Absolutely. It’s true.

Edwin Hodge: You want to take it back on that, Kyle?

Kyle Schmid: Yes. I think we all learned a lot about ourselves and became very aware of our many little faults and, you know, were able to kind of move forward and become stronger.

And I think it really goes to show in our performances how much we can trust one another when, you know, we’ve laughed and we’ve cried with each other. There weren’t any egos coming into play.

We were just a bunch of human beings trying to get by with that material and for forty Seals, because they deserve it. We’re just trying to give them the respect they deserve with our performances and the material.

(Rebecca Murray): Well, great. Thank you, guys. I really appreciate the answer, and I enjoyed the first four episodes.

Kyle Schmid: Oh, thank you, we appreciate it.

Operator: Our next question comes from the line of (Hunter Ingram) with Star News. Please proceed with your question.

(Hunter Ingram): Hey guys, thank you so much for taking the time today.

Edwin Hodge: No, thank you.

Kyle Schmid: Thanks so much.

(Hunter Ingram): So, I’m the film reporter here in Wilmington, where you guys shot this show.

Edwin Hodge: Ah, nice.

(Hunter Ingram): So, I am curious. You know, a big part of this show is seeing the home lives and the everyday lives of the Seals, and do you think it’s kind of benefited the show in your performances that you did shoot it here in a relatively small town? You know, kind of off the grid from a larger city?

Edwin Hodge: Yes, honestly, I do. You know, being somewhat isolated from our friends and family put us in a position that we had to be in and we had conversations every day with each other and got to hang out.

Kyle and I became golf buddies, so every other week, weekends, we were out there trying to figure our (stakes) out. It did definitely aid in us building the relationship in presenting and understanding what it is to be, you know, brothers. Or to be fathers. To be sons.

Also with the female performers on the show, to be mothers. I think it takes a very honest person to get acclimated at first to those who are going to sit back and hopefully enjoy the show. Be those people in the military, or associated with the military, or everyday people who are just interested in what the daily lives of men and women in service are.

It is a heavy sacrifice for these men and women to go out and put their lives on the line for you and I. They do what we do, in part, to keep us safe and protect us from the outside forces that are coming in here.

So, when we can actually humanize those people; give them a voice; give them a face; give them emotions, it makes it easier to better understand why they do what they do. The sacrifices in which they take their children’s lives, the children suffer and miss them so much. And they go there to be a man and a woman in service.

And I am humbled to be a part of this show, but I really do think that the producers and the writers – everybody involved with it – did an amazing job with just keeping the show honest. Which is what we wanted to do. I think that was our ultimate goal.

That was the goal when we all sat down our first day of reading and wanted people to understand these people, be able to relate to these people, and I just looked at them as like robots in a sense, you know? People who carried guns and go out there — like, these are your uncles, your brothers, your mother, your wives, your cousins, like, this is family. So, I’m really happy with what we’ve done.

Kyle Schmid: I agree.

Edwin Hodge: Yes.

(Hunter Ingram): All right. Well, thank you guys. I hope you guys enjoyed, you know, being here in Wilmington. I think this was a different show for our area.

Edwin Hodge: I mean, it was. And the topography of Wilmington allowed us to really kind of make the environment authentic. The beaches in Wilmington are absolutely gorgeous. We were able to make the backlots of the studio and turn them into Nigeria. Set Design did an amazing job with everything from our weapons training to the trucks and the trees that they brought in.

It was a very inclusive project for everyone, and I think everyone will be proud of their work and what they see on the scenes.

Kyle Schmid: Yes. And I think that goes for all of us who were part of this show that that worked from when we came to see it. You know, I think a lot of us are still close with a lot of the crew and everybody else that worked on it from North Carolina. There are still people that I speak to on a regular basis that I met on the show.

Edwin Hodge: Yes, exactly.

Kyle Schmid: It was an incredible experience. And they say that North Carolina is the most military-friendly state in America.

But we definitely saw people step up their standards with our long days and grueling hours and weather and everything else, and not complain, and just put the next foot forward, and just enjoy watching this whole show develop into what it became.

And you’re working with families and friends and people that, quite honestly, have your back rain or shine. We developed a family out there. And that just goes to show you how lucky we were with the show.

You know, you really feel like pieces just kind of fall into place. Shout out to everybody in Wilmington. Thank you for everything that you guys gave us with the show and we miss you and love you.

(Hunter Ingram): Thank you guys.

Kyle Schmid: Okay.

(Hunter Ingram): I appreciate it.

Operator: Our next question comes from the line of (Courtney Voudrais) with (OSER GREY DOT HEALTH).

(Courtney Voudrais): Hi. Can you hear me okay?

Edwin Hodge: Yes, I can.  

(Courtney Voudrais): Wonderful. So, in your research, either in, you know, what goes into the training for the Seals or what their job entails, was there anything that you found either shocking or surprising about, you know, what they’re expected to do?

Edwin Hodge: You go ahead, Kyle. You take this one first.

Kyle Schmid: I think our initial SEALFIT training was the most shocking for me. You know, we had all met the day of getting out there and had no idea what to expect.

And, you know, we watched these movies – these kind of glamorized movies – that Hollywood makes, and I think the most important thing to Bill and David Broyles was to keep some of the reality of these characters, as Edwin said, the humility and the humanism, the humanity to these characters. But I feel like a lot of the post-emotional stress that they are expected to handle with so little help from the government after they retire, or after they’ve finished these major missions, I think that’s what shocked me the most. You know, you think that to go out there and do what these guys are expected to do, which is pretty much that grey area.

And then to come home and have to deal with family and friends and this normal life, quote/unquote, you know, that still strikes me as very unfair, and I think it’s important for the government and people in America to realize that these guys sacrifice so much, and come home asking for nothing in return.

And I think it’s important to acknowledge the fact that they have sacrificed so much, and I think it’s up to us to support them a lot more than we do. Have to shut my emotions up.

Edwin Hodge: Okay, how do I follow that answer? Edwin is absolutely 100% correct. I’m the product of two Marines, so I’ve had to grow up kind of experiencing what it’s like to live with a vet. I have seen (her) struggles dealing with, you know, the VA, and trying to get medical care, and so forth. So, it does have a — or I do have a — personal touch (fully constituted) on this subject.

We didn’t know what we were getting ourselves into. I don’t think we really, truly understood the meaning of sacrifice until we got into this project. It’s a lot. Mentally, it’s a lot.

Once you’ve taken a life, how do you know how to deal with that? They just live there, they can try to digest it and so forth, but a lot of the times, they can’t deal with that situation until they get home.

There’s no way. They’re still on the mission. They’ve still got to save lives. They still got to evac, they still got to focus on the go ahead. They don’t deal with most of this stuff until they come home. And guess what? The wives have to deal with it. Their children have to deal with it. Their parents have to deal with it.

And there is no assistance, because they truly, they don’t know, they’re not allowed to share this information with their family, so how are you truly as a family going to help your mother or your father?

And if there is some government assistance to do the same, we leave them in shadows. They are voiceless. They are faceless. So, I think it is truly important to understand that they take on a great deal of responsibility that we would never even want. We have to help them when they come back. We just have to do it. That’s our responsibility.

They’re out there risking their lives; we can give some type of assistance. Monetary, financial, emotional, physical. You know, they’re trying to do a great job, which we they manage to fill in these wounded warriors, like the world just helping you just get back. But we have to do more. We just do.

(Courtney Voudrais): Well, thank you both. I really appreciate.

Kyle Schmid: Yes, thank you.

Operator: Ladies and gentlemen, as a reminder, if you’d like to register a question, please press the 1 followed by the 4 on your telephone. Our next question comes from the line of (Karen Moll) at (5-5) Vision. Please proceed with your question.

(Karen Moll): Hi. Thanks for joining us today. I dialed in a little bit late, so please, if my question is a duplicate, please feel free to just let me know.

Edwin Hodge: Okay.

(Karen Moll): So, I know that television is many months, and even years, in development, and this program, you guys were delayed getting on the air during a time that our sort of national political conversation really evolved.

I’ve not seen the screener, and I was wondering if you guys could talk about the villain of the series. I understand they’ve chosen a Muslim-American villain, which is an interesting choice, in light of the conversations going on. And I was wondering if you guys could provide some context and nuance into that character.

Edwin Hodge: Oh, wow.

(Karen Moll): I know you don’t play that character, so it may not be totally…

Edwin Hodge: No, no, it’s fine. I mean, the villain is played by the lovely Dominic Adams. I’d say as far as the context and the subject of the show, as (unintelligible), I think it is the best. And you know, with this up rise of terrorism, be it Islamic, be it civil, whatever you want to call it, it is a story that I’m sure a lot of people would like to hear.

For me, it might give people a better understanding of why one would feel they need to take up an ideology in response to feeling like they are (in the system); maybe they’re being the outsider.

You know, hatred is fueled by the most simple ideas. And they just evolve. And people want to categorize Muslims as all bad. We can’t do that. I mean, we can’t do that with any culture or with any sex, or gender. We just can’t do that.

And so for us to tackle, a Muslim-American subject and this idea of a traitor and one trying against their own country, or what they should believe or so forth, it resonates strongly with the world that we’re living in and what we’re going through today, and this goes back to 9/11 and (further).

With the show, we’re trying to make use of the facts. We’re not trying to — fully make you understand. But we want you to be informed and formulate a articulate opinion about what you’re seeing, why you’re seeing it, and how others perceive it.

You know, we are spoon-fed information that caters to us, specifically, and therefore there is a lot of ignorance that is presented in the world. And we take this man, and then we understand the reasons why he did what he did, then maybe we might be able to understand a lot of what we are, and why we do what we do.

It’s a hard subject for people to deal with, you know. Once the image of a criminal is present in that light, be it a darker skin, olive, with hair and a beard, you know, we look at him and, naturally, we’re like, oh, we fear it, but we have to eliminate that.

We have to replace that misjudgment with articulate thinking and due process. It’s just very interesting. I just hope people – when they do see his story – that they don’t really vilify him. I wouldn’t want them to vilify him. I honestly want them to understand the character.

And then Episode 8 at the end, if they want to vilify him, do that. But take that journey with him, you know? Take a journey with the Seals. Take a journey with the wives on the show. Take this journey so that you can just understand that this is what anybody ever wants in this world. They just want to be understood. And that’s just the take that I see.

(Karen Moll): That’s great. Thank you. Can I follow up with a way easier question?

Edwin Hodge: Yes, go ahead.

(Karen Moll): I want to ask you guys, History is a town, like you’ve been more into scripted television, and what’s it like having a home at History?

Edwin Hodge: Go ahead, Kyle.

Kyle Schmid: I’m sorry, would you mind asking the question again?

(Karen Moll): I wanted to ask you about working with History Channel, all of which as, you know, is moving more into scripted series. I think it’s – many viewers don’t associate it with great scripted television, although they do have that. What’s it like working with that network, versus a network with a different mission?

Kyle Schmid: Well, as somebody who pretty much watches History and Discovery channel, and that’s about it, I was kind of excited. I’m a big fan of Vikings, and I think that the producers, and the group of people they’ve brought together to make this show in particular, are very brave.

And we’re making the kind of TV that will compete with some of the best scripted television on cable. And we have better writers that have not only been nominated for Oscars, but have actually fought in Viet Nam and in Afghanistan and have a voice.

So, History is making a move to put their name up there with all the big boys, if they aren’t already, in my opinion. But you know, I think that they’ve picked an incredible show to do that with, and a very brave show to do that with, for all the reasons that Edwin just outlined about our show. So, I’m very proud to be part of History.

Edwin Hodge: Yes, true love. I’ll piggyback off that. I think it’s great, because people will now be able to get a more genuine and authentic approach to watching television, I think. Networks are great but a lot of it is performance. The (story was afoot), but with History, they are dedicated to the truth, and I think that will be present with a lot of this scripted programming.

As Kyle said, Vikings is a huge hit. I really didn’t watch a lot of History channel, to be honest with you. I kind of flunked History in school. So, you know, when I heard that it was going to be on the History channel, I was somewhat wavering, but when I heard about all of the people that were going to be involved with this project and I personally felt like there was just going to be something very, very special about this show.

And History, in part, has done amazing by the actors, by the producers, writers; they’ve really given us a leash long enough for us to really expand and be creative and be genuine and forthright with our decisions.

You know, it was great, because while we were shooting, we kept getting all these emails, and I remember Kyle and I having a discussion like look, take the emails with a grain of salt. We’re happy they’re happy, but, like, don’t read anything into it. We’ll just leave it alone.

You know, but it was nice to know that the network was really behind the show and that they were loving. The extra 110% that everybody was giving to make it successful was incredible.

(Karen Moll): Cool. Thank you very much.

Edwin Hodge: Thank you.

Operator: Our next question comes from the line of (Gabrielle Pinter) with Hollywood Daily Star. Please proceed with your question.

(Gabrielle Pinter): Hi, Kyle and Edwin. Thank you for doing this.

Edwin Hodge: Thank you.

(Gabrielle Pinter): My question is how did you emotionally prepare for the role? I know you talked about how the Seals are – have to deal with their own emotions, but in doing the role, how did you deal with what they were going through — or your characters, rather?

Kyle Schmid: Edwin would approach his character from one, and I would approach mine from another, so Eddie, do you want to go first and I’ll follow you up?

Edwin Hodge: Yes, sure. As far as the emotional preparation, there was none. We were kind of thrown into this pit of fire. And we had to learn how to deal with our emotions. When you are put in an extreme situation where your body is completely fatigued, your mind is completely fatigued, you feel like even though you have people there, you’re still kind of on this island by yourself.

You know, it just starts to get to you in a way where you actually have to start thinking of new ways to make yourself feel better about the situation. You know in (Wilmington), they told us to turn off our phones for four days. We weren’t going to really have contact with our family members and so forth.

And I found myself, on the second night, I had to call my brother. I had to break down. I just needed somebody that I knew to tell me that everything was going to be okay, and that I can make it through. And literally, that’s all my brother said. He was like, “You got this. Or whatever it is, man, you got this.”

And sometimes it’s on you, you know? And the same thing with our cast mates. Every time I kept saying, man I can’t do this; I can’t deal with it. I don’t know if I can do this, they were there. I got you, Bro. We got you. And I said I couldn’t do this a thousand times. A thousand times

Kyle Schmid: And then you’d blink, and it would be Edwin running up a mountain.

Edwin Hodge: I mean, it was crazy, but just you have to learn how to deal with yourself in that moment. And it was one of the greatest educational points that I took from SEALFIT.

They tested us in ways that you could not even imagine — myself, I’m not the greatest swimmer but somehow they had me walking on the bottom of the pool. And I’m tired and still doing that before my own eyes.

I was just in a bag of mixed emotions. I was scared – I didn’t know what was happening. And the coach, he repeated his instructions in a cadence that calmed me down. And as I performed in the rhythm of that cadence, I learned to focus, and center myself, and regain a bit of that fear that I was exuding.

So, that is what the men and women have to deal with. They deal with themselves more than they’re dealing with everybody else. They’ll tell you, they’ll lose a brother in battle — or a sister in battle — and their first thing is doing, in a moment, you don’t stay prepared for it.

And then they get home and they have to deal with it. As much as the families are dealing with it, it’s an internal struggle that nobody will ever, ever understand. You just, you won’t. Getting prepared emotionally, we weren’t. We had to learn it. We had to – like I said – understand ourselves before we can figure out emotions we were going through. It was crazy.

(Gabrielle Pinter): Okay.

Kyle Schmid: Yes, I think feelings are – some parts compartmentalized our emotions and our physical pain so that we were able to perform regardless of what the environment was throwing at us.

And that said, like Edwin was saying, we weren’t prepared for things that the scripts were throwing at us. The things that were thrown at us on set.

I mean, we finished work sometimes, and we’d have to go for a beer before we could go home, very much like Seals do when they come back. And we would go to rent something, or been through something, and either we’d go and try to laugh about it, or we’d go and we’d cry on one another’s shoulders, because we don’t know how else to cope with it – we weren’t prepared for what had just been thrown at us and sometimes it felt like we never would be.

So, at the same time, we’re developing our characters and trying to create these individual people but it was just very, very difficult, and I’m very thankful for the cast that surrounded us, because we were brothers.

We had each other’s backs no matter what, and it didn’t matter when we showed any sign of weakness because there would be somebody there right beside you to be strong, and when they weren’t strong, you were strong.

Edwin Hodge: You were strong.

Kyle Schmid: So we made it as a team.

Right after SEALFIT, when we — I guess you’d say graduated, we received our coin – our coin of accomplishment. We – all the men, we hugged each other, and we just started bawling. You know, to know that that was the end result.

We had to strengthen ourselves, we had to strengthen each other, and in doing so, we enjoyed this light-hearted soft moment, and that’s what it is. For Seals, and that’s what it should be for us as we continue to do our jobs daily.

(Gabrielle Pinter): Thank you both so much. That was a great answer. A great answer.

Kyle Schmid: Thank you.

Edwin Hodge: Yes, thank you.

Operator: Our next question comes from the line of (Anne Easton) with Please proceed with your question.

(Anne Easton): Hello. Thanks for doing the call today. Appreciate it.

Kyle Schmid: Hi, (Anne).

Edwin Hodge: Us as well.

(Anne Easton): You know, there’s so much TV out there right now. I’m sure you guys could have your choice of roles to play. What made you pick this? This is pretty intense. So, I just want to know if you were looking for a challenge, or what drew you to this?

Edwin Hodge: Kyle?

Kyle Schmid: Well, I came into this project in the end of October of last year and read the original pilot script, which was basically a feature movie. And I had never read anything like that for television, ever, in a million years.

And then you look at the credentials of the people that are making the project. And you have Bill Broyles and David and Lesli Linka Glatter, and Alfredo, and Bruce McKenna, and everybody else involved.

And all of the arrows were kind of pointing to yes, this is going to be something incredible. And then you had cast that started to sign on and you just kind of began to get more and more excited.

And what I think the producers did really well was cast a bunch of alpha males who were physically capable of doing these incredible tasks. And instead of expecting them to simply just act, they put us through this form of SEALFIT training that we’ve spoken about so much. And that training allowed us to organically bond and become this family, this group of brothers.

And so instead of running around with a gun and trying to play police officer on another network show, which is what a lot of actors would die to do, this is an opportunity to actually push ourselves both mentally and physically and kind of see what we were actually capable of as human beings as an entirety.

They broke us, mentally and physically. That was their job at SEALFIT. And we learned so, so much about ourselves and scared ourselves, and pushed ourselves.

And we all came to a conclusion after all that that this was, regardless of what the show did, whether or not it was successful, that this was a moment in our lives that we would never forget that would change us ultimately for the rest of our lives.

And so we’re all extremely thankful for the opportunities, but also for the fact that we have learned so much about ourselves and now have this brotherhood that will be there for the rest of our lives. So, I think following our gut emotions and gut feelings to take the part were all right, in my opinion.

Edwin Hodge: Yes. I’m the product of two marines and for me this show was an opportunity to get a basic understanding of what they went through. Who they were before I was born because I know who they are today.

But again, like Kyle, it was an opportunity to test ourselves. It was an opportunity to push ourselves to a limit that most men would die to have this opportunity.

I remember the very first phone call that Barry and I had. We were on the line with Mitchell Hall, our consultant, and he was telling us everything that we were going through, what we had to go through in SEALFIT training. And I just remember 30 seconds later receiving a text from Barry, saying “what the hell did we get ourselves into?” My response was, “Brother, I don’t know.”

And I think that that fear, that excitement, the anticipation of what we were about to do, I think that is what ultimately led me to making this decision, because, yes, you could play a cop; yes, you could play a doctor or a lawyer on screen.

But there would never — unless you’re doing a feature film — in my opinion, there really hasn’t been a show that will test you mentally, physically and emotionally like this show has done for us. So for that reason, that is ultimately why I chose this role.

(Anne Easton): Awesome. Thanks so much.

Edwin Hodge: And you.

Operator: We are showing no further questions at this time. I will turn the conference back over to you.

Kristen Hynes: Thank you, everyone, for joining today’s conference call. We greatly appreciate your time. Again, SIX premiers next Wednesday, January 18 at 10:00 pm/9:00 Central on HISTORY immediately following Vikings. For additional press materials on SIX, please reach out to either myself or Kirby Dixon from History PR. Thank you again, and have a wonderful rest of your week.

Operator: Ladies and gentlemen, this does conclude the conference call for today. We thank you for your participation and ask that you please disconnect your lines. Have a good day, everyone.


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