HIT THE HIGH SPOTS. From leading ancient Greek armies to solving modern mysteries, Sullivan Stapleton brings a roughish charm that’s hard to beat
Outfit by Tommy Hilfiger
After ending 2015 on a high note with the final season of popular action-adventure series “Strike Back,” Sullivan Stapleton returns in 2016 in hit crime drama “Blindspot.” While it would indeed seem that the Melbourne-born actor will call television his home for the time being, he is still a force to be reckoned with in big screen productions. Perhaps not this year, but in 2017, movie buffs—who might recognize Stapleton as the lead in “300: Rise of an Empire” or from the Australian independent film “Animal Kingdom”—will see him return to the silver screen with “The Lake.” In the meantime, however, there’s also the second season of “Blindspot” to look forward to. Yes, a new season of the show has been confirmed even before the first was even halfway through—which, of course, speaks volumes of the show’s critical and commercial success, as well as the incredible performance of its leading star.
DA MAN: Hi Sullivan, great to have you onboard. Season one of “Blindspot” has just finished airing. Personally, how do you feel about the show and the response to it so far?
Sullivan Stapleton: It’s great to be onboard. I love the reaction to the show, and it makes me happy to hear that we’re doing so well and that the audience loves it. Let’s hope it stays that way!
DA MAN: You famously did some of your own stunts in “Blindspot,” and you also have the scars to prove it. What prompted you to take on this extra challenge while filming the show?
Sullivan Stapleton: I wouldn’t consider it an extra challenge; I feel as though it’s part of the job. To come from a show like “Strike Back” to this, it would kill me if I didn’t have the option to do my own stunts. It’s all part of the job.
“It would kill me if I didn’t have the option to do my own stunts”
DA MAN: We may be straying into trivia a bit, but one notable aspect of the show was how all the episode titles are anagrams that—when decoded and formed together—reveal clues about the plot. Do you know the story behind this aspect of the show?
Sullivan Stapleton: No, not really. But it’s a great way for the fans to get involved and be challenged while enjoying the show.
DA MAN: Now, “Blindspot” also touches on several, let’s just say, contentious issues—from 3D-printed guns to police brutality. What is your take on the show’s inclusion of these rather recent real-life issues?
Sullivan Stapleton: I think that these issues bring realism to the show. We see these problems on the news every night, so why not include them in the show?
DA MAN: Gritty crime dramas with a generous helping of conspiracy theories are quite numerous. Yet, it would seem that “Blindspot” really manages to stand out. What would you say is the key to the show’s success?
Sullivan Stapleton: The show has something for everyone. There’s drama, action, romance and comedy. We have a great cast and crew that can deliver an amazing show that has great style, look and pace.
DA MAN: We’ve heard about season two being ordered since late last year. How far into production are you at the moment?
Sullivan Stapleton: We’re currently on a break between the first and second season. I look forward to starting season two.
DA MAN: Story-wise, are there any future plot points or hints that you can share with us?
Sullivan Stapleton: No. I can’t wait to find out what’s going to happen. When I find out, I’ll tell you!
DA MAN: All in all, what do you like the most about being on the cast of “Blindspot”?
Sullivan Stapleton: I love working with the entire cast and crew. The support and fun that we have together is awesome. It makes it a joy to go to work every single day.
“We see these problems on the news every night, so why not include them in the show?”
DA MAN: We’ve been hearing updates about your next movie, “The Lake,” as well. Can you give us a brief rundown of the story?
Sullivan Stapleton: It’s a story about a group of Navy Seals who discover an underwater treasure in a Bosnian lake.
DA MAN: “The Lake” was shot, quite appropriately at an actual lake in Croatia, right? What was it like shooting a movie there?
Sullivan Stapleton: It was awesome. The country has so much culture and is very beautiful.
DA MAN: Obviously, a film about recovering underwater treasure would involve a lot of underwater scenes. Were you required to train in and do these scenes yourself?
Sullivan Stapleton: Yes, we were trained by a Special Forces unit. This is what makes my job so much fun. I love doing my own stunts; it’s one of my favorite parts of the job.
DA MAN: When “The Lake” rolls out next year, how do you think will moviegoers and critics respond?
Sullivan Stapleton: I hope everyone enjoys it. We had a great time making it and I hope it plays out well.
Outfit by Tom Ford
DA MAN: Do you have any other projects in the works? Or maybe movies and TV shows that you’re currently looking into?
Sullivan Stapleton: I am currently attached to a film that is going to be filmed in Australia with great friends of mine. The “Blindspot” schedule is tough to work around, but hopefully when I have more time in my schedule, I can work on more projects.
DA MAN: Shifting to your past works, what would say are the five most memorable films that you’ve starred in so far?
Sullivan Stapleton: “Animal Kingdom,” “300: Rise of an Empire,” “Strike Back,” “Blindspot” and “Gangster Squad.”
DA MAN: On a related note, what would you say was the role that really put you on the map?
Sullivan Stapleton: “Animal Kingdom.” Hands down.
DA MAN: By the way, what was it that made you take up acting in the first place?
Sullivan Stapleton: My sister wanted to be part of the acting community, so I jumped on the bandwagon and ended up having a very strong passion for it.
DA MAN: And what was it that made you stay?
Sullivan Stapleton: It’s an amazing job to have. I do what I love, and I have the opportunity to travel the world and work with such talented people.
DA MAN: Do you have any long-term career goals that you still want to achieve?
Sullivan Stapleton: I want to continue to work as an actor, and continue to do enjoy my work and have as much fun as I can.
DA MAN: One final question: After more than two decades in the film industry, what is the most important trait for an actor to have?
Sullivan Stapleton: Honesty. To deliver the most believable performance, that can draw someone completely into that story, is the most important thing.
To see more images from this shoot, get a copy of DA MAN June/July 2016 here. And check out this outtake below!
Photography Mitchell Nguyen McCormack
Styling Alexa Rangroummith Green
Grooming Melissa Dezarte at Exclusive Artists
Location Yotel New York (570 10th ave., New York City, U.S.; +1 646 449 7700; yotel.com)