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USA's Treadstone is bringing the Bourne franchise to television, and expanding the story of the franchise after and even before the movies. The story follows various sleeper agents who have been re-activated under mysterious circumstances, and will dive into the very beginnings of how the Treadstone Project got started. It's a tremendous undertaking for the franchise, which may be why star Jeremy Irvine underwent some pretty horrible role prep before even knowing he had the gig.
Irvine spoke exclusively to CinemaBlend about his experience preparing for Treadstone, which involved spending time with British S.A.S forces. The actor talked about the grueling training he endured with the special forces unit, even though he didn't know he was going to be one of the series' stars.
They do something called resistance to interrogation. So they sort of keep you awake for a couple of days and then you go on a run, [they] deprive you of food and make sure you're really sapped, and then you get fake captured. Bag over the head, plastic cuffs. You get taken for interrogation, which is about 24 hours. They do some pretty horrible stuff to you. They put noise canceling headphones over your head...so you get sensory deprivation. Then they played babies screaming in your ears for, you know, hours, man.
To say that's intense still feels like putting it lightly, and while actors and actresses have gone through some crazy things for roles, Jeremy Irvine's role prep is some of the craziest I've heard in a while. For the record, the experience was part of an event Irvine did for charity where he participated in a mock 10-day selection experience for the S.A.S. Irvine had been doing auditions for Treadstone at the time, but again, didn't know he'd get a part.
So, how was it being subjected to those intense interrogation tactics? Jeremy Irvine confirmed it was just as bad as it sounds, but did say it helped him in his role prep to play J. Randolph Bentley.
It's amazing how quickly you lose your mind. But it was surprisingly similar to what my character goes through for this series.
Similar, we're guessing, because Jeremy Irvine wasn't hypnotized into being an unfeeling super agent capable of killing without a second thought. Of course that's the situation with the sleeper agents in Treadstone, who will all experience a similar form of amnesia which Jason Bourne went through in trying to figure out the things that happened to them. In the USA drama, Irvine plays a CIA agent dispatched to eliminate a target, but ends up in the middle of an international conspiracy.
Treadstone airs on USA Network Tuesdays at 10:00 p.m. ET. Stick with CinemaBlend for more updates on the series and for a look at what's happening in the world of television and movies.