‘SEAL Team’ Star Reveals Struggles of Getting Roles Like Show After Starring in ‘Supernatural’

by Allison Hambrick

SEAL Team actor AJ Buckley recently revealed his struggles with establishing himself as an action star after roles in Supernatural and CSI: New York.

“Both characters I was playing these nerdy guys,” Buckley said in an interview with Mandy News. “In one, I was this ghost hunter and the other I was a lab rat. When I got off the show, I was perceived as this nerdy guy.”

This didn’t satisfy Buckley. He grew up in the era of Die Hard, and John McClane was his role model. Being a support character was never his aspiration.

“That’s the character I’ve always wanted to play – the sort of everyman that can do the impossible,” Buckley explained. “There was a time that had come along shortly after CSI  had ended and my dad had just passed away so I had put on a lot of weight and I wasn’t as focused. A really big opportunity came up for a big franchise film and I auditioned – I got down to the wire. They had said, ‘look he’s the best actor for the part but physically we’re not going to have enough time to get him ready.’ That crushed me inside.”

So, Buckley resolved to become action-hero material, which lead him to SEAL Team.

AJ Buckley Talks Getting Into SEAL Team Shape

“Over the course of three years, I went from out of shape to the best shape of my life and 10% body fat – from then on my perspective and my work ethic changed,” the actor said. “The doors to the roles that I had always wanted to play started opening and people would go ‘oh you’ve changed.'”

It was around this time that he received a phone call that would lead to his role on SEAL Team.

“The writer Ben Cavell, who I’d worked with on Justified sent me a message saying that he’d written this role with me in mind,” Buckley explained. “The last time he saw me, I was out of shape. So when I went into the audition, the casting director who actually knew me from CSI was like ‘what’s happened to you?!’ I said I’ve been working out and they followed to say that I looked great. A week later I found out that I got this role of a lifetime.”

As for his change of luck, Buckley is a firm believer that there are no shortcuts and you should “create your own path.”

“You have to put the work in,” he said. “There’s no easy way, you have to commit and go after it and most importantly believe. There’s going to be hard days but the hard days make you stronger.”