It’s somewhat ironic that the star of a series about a guy with a computer chip in his head didn’t even have email until recently, but even if he’s not exactly computer-savvy, Josh Holloway is having a blast playing a high-tech operative in Intelligence (Mondays, 10pm ET on CBS), his first series since he shot to fame as the wry and wily Sawyer in Lost. The Georgia native sat down with Made Man to talk about his return to the small screen, prosthetic limbs and his uncontrollable candy addiction.
“Human enhancement is happening now.
Putting a chip in people’s heads? They’re doing
it for identification. I took my dog to the vet
and he has a chip.”
What lured you back to TV, and this show in particular?
I just like to work. I need that structure. I wanted to get back to work. And movies shoot everywhere except your home. You can choose to be gone to do your work or be home. The lifestyle did not suit me in movies. I was ready to get back to TV. That’s what made me interested. I read everything, but I tend to like more of a high-concept show, like Lost. One of the reasons I took this project, I really like the questions that it posed about technology and our own humanity. We’re vying for position constantly in today’s world. How do we communicate with each other? Does that change? Do we need a gadget? If you’re a teenager, the answer is yes. You can’t even say hi without texting each other. So these are questions that I ask myself, and we’re asking each other. And this is going to be more and more a moral question with the drones and so forth, and I hope to delve into it.
What’s it like learning the technical dialogue? Is it like a foreign language?
It was, but I’m learning. I have three brothers in the computer world so they’re helping me out. And it’s something I’m interested in because I have a daughter and I’m having another child and I don’t want to lose contact with them. I need to know what “vining” is or a “like.” I’m getting a little more savvy. I’m actually going to take some classes at the Apple Store, at the Genius Bar. I’m a Genius too!
What do your brothers think of this character?
They think it’s pretty funny. They’re like, “Are you sure it’s not a skull fracture? That’s probably the only chip you have in your head.” They’re excited because it’s things they read about. They send me books of different scientists. Human enhancement is happening now. Putting a chip in people’s heads? They’re doing it for identification. I took my dog to the vet and he has a chip. There’s a guy at MIT making prosthetic limbs that are better than our own. I didn’t know about any of that before.
This is either a scene from the new show… or a moment from a really strange birthday party.
You’ve said you didn’t have a personal email when you started this show. Has that changed?
It’s changed, but I’m not the one answering it. I have one, but it’s still my wife who you’re talking to. I’m trying, though. I can do things, your basic things. I can pull up Moviefone. I can find out what restaurant is in the area.
Have you done any training for this series?
A lot of martial arts. I do it all the time when we’re on set because I do fight scenes. I broke two bones in my hand. But it’s fun, it’s like Disneyland for dudes. It’s like James Bond, man!
Have you changed your diet?
Yes. I eat less and move more. It does work. Luckily, there’s no time to party.
Do you avoid the craft service food table on set?
I hit it, but I hit it right—lettuce wraps, avoid the chocolate. I drink too much coffee. My next thing is to switch to tea, that’s my resolution.
What’s your guilty pleasure food?
I cannot stop eating Hershey’s Kisses and M&M’s.
What are you watching on TV?
My favorite show on TV was Breaking Bad, and I like The Walking Dead.
You have a movie coming out in April with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Joe Manganiello, Sabotage. What do you play?
I’m a Special Ops DEA agent. I shaved my head, grew a mustache. There are lots of automatic weapons. It was wild!