Jocko Sims talks the third season of ‘The Last Ship’

Jocko Sims has worked on some of TV and film’s biggest productions. From “Masters of Sex” to “Dawn of Planet of the Apes,” he’s a busy man. The third season of his hit TNT show, “The Last Ship” is airing now and we caught up with him to talk TV, film, radio and more.

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Let’s talk “The Last Ship.” How has this show stretched and challenged you as an actor?

I’ve never played a character like this. Lt. Burk is the toughest character I’ve played. Staying focused and remembering lines can be difficult enough sometimes as an actor, but running around saving the world and looking like a pro with your rifle and your tactical moves and language isn’t easy. I’m in season three, and I’ve got a great grasp of it – and I love it.

What has made this season different from last season?

Season One was trying to figure out what was going on, Season Two was spreading the cure, but Season Three poses new problems. Just when you think you’ve got the cure figured out, it looks as though it might’ve either mutated, or the people you are relying on to help you spread it around, look like they could have ulterior motives. These are new challenges, in a new unfamiliar territory: Asia.

What has your work on “The Last Ship” taught you about yourself?

Playing this character has stretched me as an actor. It has taught me to believe in myself more. Even in my 30s, I am still learning, and will continue to learn as an actor.

You’ve been in some huge movies as well as your extensive TV work. Dawn of Planet of the Apes, Jarhead and Dreamgirls to name a few. How does that work differ from your work on TV?

It’s quite different, depending on how you view it. For one, getting to know your character over a limited amount of time is how it is with a film. It’s usually no more than five months. Whereas in a TV show, you’re building a character and creating an arc for a much longer period of time, sometimes for up to 6 to 8 years. There’s a lot of opportunity for growth and creativity. It’s a little bit closer to life.

What drew you to pursue a career in acting?

When I graduated from high school, I wanted to be a doctor. But as soon as I got to college, I realized I didn’t want to be in school for the next 12 years. I’ve always been creative, but never thought that I would make a living that way though. In college, I took my first acting course, and I fell in love with it then.

It’s a tough career to pursue. What do you do to stay inspired and driven to stay on the grind?

My family motivates me, and my fans. I love inspiring people. My biggest inspirations are the haters and non-believers!

On your radio show, Apollo Night LA, you showcase unsigned musicians. How did this opportunity come into your life and what is your favorite part of the show?

The radio show was started by my mother. It was her idea from the beginning, and at first it wasn’t something that I wanted to do. Now I love it! We’ve had many celebs and comedians on. It’s a lot of fun every week.

What’s coming up for you?

Right now I am getting more into writing, directing and producing. I’ve created a comedy series that I’m writing right now and that I’m really excited about. I also want to direct films in the future. So watch out!

Follow Jocko on Twitter, Instagram and FacebookTHE LAST SHIP is currently airing new episodes on TNT Sunday nights at 9/8c.

Interview by Ryan Brinson
Photos by Diana Ragland
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