Previewing “Nuke It Out” with LAST RESORT’s Daniel Lissing

When we left our friends on the island of Sainte Marina, on ABC’s LAST RESORT, it was revealed that during the toxin-related blackout of “Another Fine Navy Day,” someone got their hands on Marcus Chaplin’s Nuke key. Tonight’s episode, “Nuke It Out,” follows the direct fallout of that situation. As we’ve watched the show progress, we’ve seen the inner turmoil of SEAL Officer James King (played by Aussie actor Daniel Lissing) as he struggles to wrap his head around (and we start to learn more about) what exactly happened in Pakistan and where exactly his loyalties should lie. I talked to Lissing to discuss what comes next, and why, in his opinion, you should be tuning in!

Great to talk to you – I’ve been a huge fan of the show. I watch each episode with bated breath!
Oh thank you, so do I actually! [laughs] I’m watching it as everyone else is watching it on TV, so I appreciate it. It’s great!

One of the big questions that came up in talking to various members of the cast – what drew you to LAST RESORT?  What grabbed you / keeps you interested in the show?
You know, it’s just such an amazing character to play, and when I read the script for the first time, when I read the pilot back in Australia, I was really blown away.  I don’t think I read a pilot in that season that was that strong and had such great characters.  And you know, Shawn Ryan was making this amazing, epic show, I just thought, you get a role like this, and that’s the dream, so I certainly landed on my feet with this one!

What can you tease for us about what we’ll see next – it seems like the little peaks into this character is starting to really break out!
In the next few episodes for my character, I know this one on Thursday night is quite a spectacular episode, I really like this episode.  It was written by Nick Antosca and Ned Vizzini, and in this one, I don’t want to give too much away, but I will say that James and Grace team up to help someone who a bomb is strapped to, one of the crew members.  That’s before we have the opportunity to find out who’s done it.  We just get to work.  And it may or may not go off! [laughs]  There’s a little bit of tension between a few of the local drug dealers, and Prosser is involved.  There is so much going on in this episode, but it’s all sort of linked in with each other, which is really nice.  It’s going to be an exiting one.  My character is developed over the next few episodes.  In fact, you sort of get an opportunity to see what’s gone wrong, and what happened in Pakistan before the pilot started with James and the SEAL team.

With a character like James, where we don’t really know much about the character – how much about him do you know?  Do you form a background, do you get a background?  How much of what is coming next do you know?
I had a basic idea from the start of what happened in Pakistan.  And where I was coming from.  I didn’t know the full details, but I sort of find out when there are certain scripts that you get, and there is a certain way you have to play it, to make an episode or two’s time make sense.  So I sort of find out maybe one or two episodes in advance what’s going to happen, so I’ll shoot this one now, and I’ll know what’s going to happen in a few episodes time.  I don’t want to play the future too much.  You sort of want to be in the moment with these characters and focus on the task at hand, and not give away too much in your performance, whether it be relationships, loyalties, betrayals, whatever.

Why do you think that LAST RESORT that is not just for men, not just for women, why is it a show for everyone?
It’s a great question because I’m just learning about this whole ratings scene now, and all this kind stuff I really don’t understand [laughs], but this is such a universal show, I think.  I’m not sure what the public perception is, from the outside the poeple that aren’t watching the show, but I know when people get into LAST RESORT, they find out it’s not just a military show, or sort of gung ho kind of show, but more of a show about personal relationships, inner conflict, [smiles] a little romance, who is going to make it back home, who’s not going to make it back home.  Who’s going to survive, who’s not going to survive?  It’s about patriotism, it’s about loyalties, betrayals, and these are things that are pretty universally appealing.  It’s about normal people in an extraordinary situation, and what it boils down to at the end of the day are these people and the relationships and how they deal with this crazy, crazy adventure that they’re on.  So that’s pretty, I think anyway, pretty appealing to a large audience.  Just my opinion, though! [laughs]

You heard him!  The show has everything – there is no better time than tonight to tune in!
LAST RESORT airs Thursdays at 8/7c on ABC. For more information, head to the LAST RESORT site on!