Q: ‘‘Shooter’’ has finally arrived after a four-month postponement. How did you feel about the delay?
A: We have a really good show that should stand apart from current events. But I applaud the network’s sensitivity. We talked about changing the title after the show was postponed, but it has somewhat of a built-in audience because of the movie. So this postponement allowed us to refocus the marketing and make it clear that Bob Lee was set up for an assassination that he was not a part of and is in pursuit of the actual shooter. It also gave us time to let people know that a touchstone of our show is to treat veterans with respect, to treat weapons with respect.
Q: What about the role won you over?
A: The first thing Mark Wahlberg (an executive producer) said to me was, ‘‘I love this character, and you’re my first choice.’’ And I found that so flattering. Then I got really into the idea of the action of it. I’m 42, and I can’t do hard-core action much longer.
Q: Is shooting a sniper rifle just like any other?
A: There’s something Zen and meditative about the head space a sniper needs to get into in order to hit a shot a distance of a half-mile or more. The breathing is absolutely essential. You have to gently pull the trigger at the very bottom of your exhale because even your heartbeat can throw off the accuracy of the shot at that distance.
Q: How did you train?
A: I went to (the U.S. Marine Corps’) Camp Pendleton and they took me to the range with three bona fide Marine special-ops snipers. On my second shot, on a 12-inch target, at almost 900 yards, I hit it. And they were dumbfounded. This story can be verified.
Q: After filming the season, you recuperated at the beach in Delaware with your family. Are you a hometown boy made good?
A: I definitely am. Delaware is a state (of less than 1 million people), and outside of Joe Biden, I may be the most famous. (Laughs.) Suffice to say that everyone in Delaware knows my name.