Strike Back star Warren Brown tells why it’s ‘the most difficult job’

A scene from Strike Back season 6, episode 1. Photo Credit: Hal Shinnie/Courtesy of Cinemax.
A scene from Strike Back season 6, episode 1. Photo Credit: Hal Shinnie/Courtesy of Cinemax. /

Strike Back’s Warren Brown tells Hidden Remote what it means to come back for Season 6 and why this is the most challenging role of his career.

Warren Brown is a tremendous actor and no stranger to tough jobs, but Strike Back has taken him to a whole other level. The actor, who plays Thomas “Mac” McAllister in the Cinemax series, spoke to Hidden Remote about returning for Strike Back Season 6.

He also discussed what it meant for fans of the show to embrace its new cast, and why he would consider this the ‘most difficult job’ that he’s ever done. Find out what Warren had to tell us in our interview below, then don’t miss a new Strike Back episode tonight on Cinemax at 10 p.m.

Hidden Remote: You and your castmates put a tremendous effort into wanting to do well by Strike Back and its fans when you came aboard last season. So what was it like to get season 6 and know that the audience embraced you?

Warren Brown: It’s amazing. When there’s a handover of the guard, I know what it’s like, and a small part of the audience were a bit apprehensive at first just because [Philip Winchester and Sullivan Stapleton] did such an amazing job. I really did see that shift towards the second half of our series, of the fans getting really behind it. To get the opportunity to come back now, the fans know what they’re getting. It was awesome to get to come back.

HR: With everything that Mac went through last season, did you approach playing him any differently this season? Now that you’ve gotten to know the character more?

WB: Certainly last year a lot of it was personal because they killed his team and almost killed him. It was very much a personal vendetta. This year, although the job is still super-serious and these guys are soldiers and have to do their job, it’s not a personal vendetta.

Which meant for me this year, I felt he’s a little bit lighter. Still maintaining to get the job done [but] there’s a bit more fun to be had—with the banter between the gang and how that evolved so naturally as we all hung out, worked together over these two seasons. I felt there was a lot more fun to be had at times.

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HR: Something that’s interesting about this incarnation of Strike Back is how art has been imitating life. Characters died last season, and now you’re welcoming new actors in playing new roles. How has that aspect been for you?

WB: The nature of this show is nobody’s safe. I remember [director] MJ [Bassett] saying to us right in the beginning, there’s a bullet with everybody’s name on it. So many people died last year, which is part of the story.

It’s tragic and we lost some great folks last year, but it means we get to hang out with some fantastic new members of our team and world this year, which is amazing. The guests we get are incredible and they bring a new energy each time we start a new block. A welcome, fresh energy and it’s a lot of fun.

HR: Second seasons always involve getting deeper into characters. Was there anything about Mac that you particularly wanted to explore in Strike Back Season 6?

WB: I think we just leave that in the hands of our showrunner and the script writers. You never know what direction they’re going to take the show in, and it’s often being written while we’re doing it, so stuff starts appearing that you’ve been saying—because obviously you all come together, so there is so much hanging out with the whole of the cast and the crew.

We’re together a lot when we’re filming, and Jack [Lothian] starts to write organically, and a lot of the stuff comes out. I think that as the seasons go on and I’ve done a season, now he’s got our voices in his head when he writes these characters, I think the writing is a bit easier because he writes for us.

HR: You’ve played soldiers and cops in other series, but Strike Back is infamous for how much of a challenge it is. How does it compare to the rest of Warren Brown’s resume?

WB: This is the most difficult job I’ve ever done. I’ve played a soldier before, but nothing like in the Strike Back world. Until you actually come and do it, nobody takes on just how hard it is. It’s amazing, on such a big scale and it’s relentless. There’s no easy day; every day is a huge, huge day. Stunts all day. Action all day. Explosions all day.

Gunfights, fistfights, it is relentless—so you’ve got to keep up and put the work in. I’ve really thrived working in that environment. We’re up first thing in the morning, in the gym and then on set, and then the evening is back in the gym, then food and bed for six and a half months.

HR: Is there anything you want Strike Back fans to know about the new season?

WB: I’m just super-excited. I was so chuffed and proud of our first season, and I thought it was great. I think this season is a lot better. It’s going to be so much more fun, so much more explosive, so much more dangerous—so I’m just super-excited for it to take off, really.

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Strike Back airs Fridays at 10 p.m. on Cinemax. For more on Strike Back and other Cinemax shows, follow the Cinemax category at Hidden Remote.