SEAL Team: Judd Lormand discusses LCdr Blackburn in Season 2

SEAL TEAM -- Photo: Erik Voake/CBS -- Acquired via CBS Press Express
SEAL TEAM -- Photo: Erik Voake/CBS -- Acquired via CBS Press Express /

Judd Lormand plays LCdr Blackburn in SEAL Team Season 2. Get ready to see more of him since he’s been promoted to series regular this season. He shares more about his character in this exclusive interview.

During the summer, SEAL Team fans were excited to hear that Judd Lormand had been promoted to series regular. It felt like he should have been this whole time since he was in every episode of the first season, but it was only in the second season the writers have been able to integrate him more.

In an exclusive interview with Hidden Remote, Judd discussed the promotion and what it means for the fans who want more from Lieutenant Commander (LCdr) Blackburn. Will we see more backstory? Is he heading out into the field more? Who will he be to his guys in the aftermath of Alannah’s accident?

I also got the chance to discuss the authenticism in the show, which is all thanks to the dedicated team of former Navy SEALs and other veterans who have helped with the writing and direction. There’s far more that goes into the writing than guessing what happens in the middle of a mission with constantly changing goalposts.

Find out all that and more in this exclusive interview.

Hidden Remote: I’ll start with a belated congratulations on the series regular promotion.

Judd Lormand: Oh, thank you very much. I appreciate that.

HR: I was jumping for joy at the news. Blackburn was one of those characters I needed to see more of in the first season. I needed to learn more.

Lormand: Awesome! Love it.

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HR: There are so many shows who focus on the bad types of officers that it’s refreshing to see one who cares so much and will do the best for his men.

Lormand: Oh, thank you so much! It’s awesome because I get to talk to more officers now in the military. Whenever someone mentions that it makes me feel grateful. I really appreciate that.

HR: What’s it like to be this officer out there who has to deal with all the annoying ones who only care about politics? You’re stuck in the middle to manage the team, the mission, and the politics at the same time.

Lormand: Yeah, it’s one of the things I like about Blackburn. He has to be a thinker all the time. He has to think way, way in advance because, you’re right, he’s playing a juggling act. It’s like a chess game where all the parts are moving. Handling the brass who are on one agenda, but also the agenda of getting your guys out in a hurry as safely as possible.

I love it because as an actor, it’s one of those roles I think it’s a challenge. You get to say things without even saying them. It’s really fun to think as an actor, so I’m super glad you took that home and viewers can see what he’s going through and all the things he has to juggle. Hopefully, that comes across because it is a challenge for these guys.

HR: I think he’s got one of the hardest jobs.

Lormand: Yeah, right? I didn’t even realize that when I first started on the show. I didn’t quite understand the dynamic and on the things on the plate of a LCdr, and as we got more into it and I started seeing all the things he has to juggle like the CIA intel, what the people from another country want to do vs. what the best thing for the team is. It’s very special.

He has to keep a level head the whole time. He can’t let his emotions get the best of him during these challenging situations and has to remain the calm strategist during these situations. And I love that.

SEAL TEAM — Photo: Cliff Lipson/CBS — Acquired via CBS Press Express
SEAL TEAM — Photo: Cliff Lipson/CBS — Acquired via CBS Press Express /

HR: Are we going to see more of Blackburn now that you’re a series regular? Like more of a backstory?

Lormand: You know, the goal for me last season as a guest star was to get the material, do the best [I could] as an actor. But really, I wanted to show the audience Blackburn focuses on the job. He’s all about the job.

I think what we’ll see in [SEAL Team] Season 2 as we get to the middle is who the guy is behind the job. Maybe even why he focuses so hard on the job. I’m excited to see it play out.

HR: That would be brill because we know nothing about him.

Lormand: He’s a blank slate right now.

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HR: How much fun has it been to expand this character?

Lormand: Oh, it’s great. I don’t think I’ve ever had a day that wasn’t fun, that wasn’t a good day. Obviously, you have challenging days where you have lots of dialogue or it’s a physically demanding day where you work long hours, but I’ve never had a bad day on set. Now that I’m starting to see the character grow even more, it just makes it even better. And I didn’t think it could get better.

HR: There’s more potential to bring Blackburn in now that Davis is going for officer training. Will we get to see more between the two, because I think he could be an awesome mentor for her.

Lormand: I know, I do too. I think, Blackburn overall, we’ve learned nothing about his personal life but we know by his position and focus on the job that he’s probably been through a lot of what the guys and Davis have gone through.

I think Blackburn is the Obi-Wan, the rock of the group. When they need it, he can offer up a bit of insight and I think you’ll definitely start to see that play out with Davis for sure.

HR: And then we’ve got the fractured team. Poor Ray is off looking for a new team. Jason has to deal with Alannah’s accident and what looks like her death. With all this going on, where does Blackburn fit in? How can he help?

Lormand: It’s interesting. From a tactical standpoint, Blackburn can help them get their mind back on the job, get their game faces on. As far as the home stuff goes, with Jason’s wife being in an accident, it’s interesting because I think that’s something Blackburn can even help with. You’re going to see a totally different struggle.

When it comes to these soldiers and what they do, there’s always a chance of losing someone on the battlefield, of losing one of your brothers. A lot of these guys know how to handle that, of how to keep their game faces on. That’s something Blackburn can help with, obviously.

However, nobody expects something to go wrong at home in an accident. It’s going to be very interesting, I think, for the viewers over the weeks to come to see how it affects not just Jason, but the entire dynamic of the team. As you said, Ray’s not even on the team right now, so they’re not at full Bravo strength. The band isn’t back together yet.

How this plays out in the next few weeks, I think viewers will see how the team of Bravo works out this season will be different to last season.

SEAL Team — “The Worst of Conditions” — Photo: Monty Brinton/CBS — Acquired via CBS Press Express
SEAL Team — “The Worst of Conditions” — Photo: Monty Brinton/CBS — Acquired via CBS Press Express /

HR: And that’s the thing, they’re a brotherhood. They’re family.

Lormand: That’s exactly right.

HR: Spouses of the soldiers, of the guys, become family. It’s got to affect everyone else.

Lormand: Yeah, that’s exactly right. Are they going to be focused enough to jump back in the field? Is [Jason] going to need time off? When he gets back, how’s he going to be?

That there is a new set of challenges for Jason and Bravo Team itself. What’s interesting is we’re getting thrown this in Episode 2 or 3 but we started Episode 1 with Bravo Team on the rocks. Yeah, you obviously watch the show with is awesome, I love that, and I think you’re really going to like where this season is going.

HR: I’ve been a loyal viewer from the pilot episode.

Lormand: I can tell! I’m so happy right now. That’s so great!

HR: We got a glimpse of Blackburn in the field with the guys at the end of the last season. He’s usually at the base, running the show. Will we get any more of him in the field with the guys?

Lormand: Without giving any definitive spoilers away, I can say that there’s a high probability that when the mission calls for it, yes, he would be there. I don’t want to give anything away but, yes, you can expect to see Blackburn do more than man the comms.

HR: What’s been your favorite part of filming? I know there’s so much!

Lormand: There’s so many things, but I’ll say top two things for me are the cast and crew of the show are without a doubt the best cast and crew I’ve ever worked with. I’m not just saying that because I’m there as a series regular now. I’ve said that from the second episode in. It’s like the best crew and cast I’ve ever worked with.

It’s a close group of people, we’ve laughed and cried together, we’ve had fun together. It’s a great group and everyone is on the same page. Our focus is on telling these stories as accurately as possible.

The other great thing for me is when you’re in an airport and someone from the military sees you and says “you guys are doing a great job of keeping it real.” Those guys, who had done this job before, tell us we’re doing a great job, it sometimes brings tears to my eyes. It’s the best feeling in the world.

HR: You work with former Navy SEALs, am I right?

Lormand: Yeah, we have former Navy SEALs, we have Delta Force guys, Special Ops guys. We have a former Navy SEAL in our writer’s room at all times and on set with us at all times. There’s a legitimate effort to keep this thing as authentic as possible.

It’s another cool aspect as an actor. You get to learn something else about how all this stuff works. It’s amazing and those guys who help us are unreal.

HR: I do think the authenticism has definitely helped the show do as well as it did. There were a couple of points that are sometimes questionable, but I’m assuming that’s to do with camera angles and the storytelling.

Lormand: Yeah, there are times we have to make the tradeoff to get something filmed. But I can say whenever that does happen, there was a struggle. No one just let it go. There was a struggle about it, but it was for the sake of filming purposes.

SEAL Team — “The Worst of Conditions” — Photo: Monty Brinton/CBS — Acquired via CBS Press Express
SEAL Team — “The Worst of Conditions” — Photo: Monty Brinton/CBS — Acquired via CBS Press Express /

HR: How much input do you get in your character. Obviously, the writers do their thing, but you’ve got to know this character. Do you get much input?

Lormand: There are some actors out there who are the type who want to know what’s around the corner for their character so they can anticipate where their character is going. I think I’m the type that likes to read the script as it comes. There are times I’ll talk to the writers about things, but I let the writers write. I think they’re so good at what they do.

They ask for input, like what Blackburn would do in his off time. That’s great, and I’ll give my two cents, but in terms of the story, the writers are great. I let them do what they’re good at.

HR: And not knowing makes it more authentic. You find out as the character would find out.

Lormand: Agreed. One thing that’s interesting is a lot of the time when we get the scripts for the episodes when we do the briefing scenes, a lot of the times I’ll read over the scenes to know what my lines are but I’ll purposely ignore a lot of the information given in the scene so when I’m on set it’s not just Blackburn thinking about it, it’s Judd thinking about it as well.

I’m the type that doesn’t like to see what’s coming around the corner. I don’t want to know what the others will say.

And I’m excited for the viewers to see more of Blackburn. In the first episodes, we saw him manning the comms and the brass. Later, we saw him as a strategist and on the ground with his men. There’s more from him.

HR: If you could describe Blackburn in three to five words, what would they be?

Lormand: Pure focus. He’s a strategist. And his number one priority is the safety of men and doing the job correctly. Episode to episode, mission to mission, those two things are the broad bullets that describe him but it’s challenging to do those couple points given every mission changes from minute to minute. New intel comes in, new orders come in.

HR: I have the utmost respect for those guys! I don’t envy them.

Lormand: Yeah, I’m like you. I’ve learned so much about what it means to be a LCdr and my respect just grew. They’ve got a hard, hard job.

Next. AJ Buckley shares what to expect from Sonny in SEAL Team Season 2. dark

What do you love about LCdr Blackburn? What would you like to see more of in SEAL Team Season 2? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

SEAL Team continues Wednesdays at 9/8c on CBS.