"The Brave" star Demetrius Grosse reveals how NBC's new action-packed drama is really an ode to our servicemen and women.
NBC’s new Fall drama, The Brave, follows a group of highly-trained military men and women as they perform covert missions across the globe. It’s a thrilling, action-oriented story full of danger, espionage, and daring rescue missions that, according to star Demetrius Grosse, hopes to honor the military.
Grosse, who’s acted on popular series like Westworld and Justified, plays Ezekiel “Preach” Carter, an important member of the team whose faith is integral to his mission. Last week’s premiere episode introduced us to Preach and the rest of his squad, setting the foundation for the show’s first season.
Guideposts.org got the chance to talk to Grosse about his character, some surprises in store for fans, and how the show plans to avoid vilifying people while still honoring our servicemen and women.
GUIDEPOSTS: What can viewers expect from this cast of characters and the stories you’re telling?
Demetrius Grosse: We're not your typical military show. Out of the gate we delve into the clandestine, top secret missions most citizens would never be privy to. These Omega teams are a real-thing and are comprised of some of the best and brightest operatives from many different factions of the military -- the US Army, Navy, CIA, and Air Force. Our show highlights a very special, human-side to these people we have the privilege to portray.
GUIDEPOSTS: What drew you to the character of Ezekiel “Preach” Carter? What motivates him to be a part of this team?
DG: When I read [the] pilot, I was compelled by the juxtaposition of humor and wisdom that was layered in Preach. He's the kind of guy you'd want to have your back. The partner who keeps things centered without being a kill-joy kind of cat. I found it refreshing that here was a guy who, before being recruited to be a member of the The Brave's 1st-response unit, was a Chief on a Seal Team and somehow his years of experience hadn't weathered his sense of humor and sense of hope in the good of people. I loved that he was a bit of a tech-junkie who the writers described as a "lethal MacGyver." I was kind of hooked-in from that point on. I loved watching that show as a kid.
GUIDEPOSTS: I’m assuming he’s a man of faith – his nickname is Preach. Is that something that drives him?
DG: One of the things that we're cultivating into my character is the spiritual element of who he is and how that plays through within the relationships with the other team members. We've been working to lean Preach more toward the 'spiritually-centered' realm of things rather than the 'religious-centric' area that can be polarizing. He's a guy who survived a lot, been through a lot, and it's clear from early-on that his faith and his family definitely helped him stay poised, level-headed, and grounded.
GUIDEPOSTS: What has the training been like for you and the rest of the cast?
DG: From the start we have had technical consultants from the US Navy, the Department of Defense, and the CIA who are on set with us, teaching us maneuvers and authentic protocol. Our creative team and ex-Seal team member Mikal Vega have stayed very vigilant about respecting the men and women who do these missions in real-life by making sure we represent them authentically. We basically train in every aspect of weapons manipulations [and] Juijitsu to technological logistics. The process itself is a bit of a thrill.
GUIDEPOSTS: What kind of issues will the show be tackling this season? How important is it to honor the sacrifice of these soldiers while not playing into the stereotypes that surround people from certain geographic areas and religions?
DG: No matter where you are in the world, whatever socio-economic demographic or nationality one subscribes to, we truly all desire the same kinds of things: human rights, safety for our families, and an environment where our ideals can thrive. It's very important to us and to our writers not to vilify any particular group of people. History has taught us that there are and have been radical fanatics in almost every culture, every creed over time. Our creative team has been very clever not to play into the stereotypes while simultaneously honoring the servicemen and women who do this in the best possible ways.
GUIDEPOSTS: Why do you think people should tune into the show and what do you hope they take away from it?
DG: It's a good old, classic thrill-ride every Monday night! I hope our fans are entertained and inspired to be brave in their own lives- day to day.