Q&A with Josh Holloway

The 'Lost' alum has a new series and a new favorite workout.

Ask Josh Holloway to explain his new TV series, Colony, premiering on USA this week, and he mentions of a couple of different genres. “It’s a bit of an espionage thriller with some elements of sci-fi,” says the 46-year-old Lost and Intelligence alum. “Yes, it has the sci-fi backdrop, but it centers around family and the decisions you have to make under that situation,” he says. Holloway plays Will Bowman, the patriarch in the show, trying to protect and save his family in a (possibly) post-apocalyptic Los Angeles that’s recently been colonized by mysterious captors. Since the show was co-created by Carlton Cuse, one of the forces behind Lost, expect lots of tension and mystery. We caught up with Holloway to talk about the series and his new workout obsession.

How much of the show was kept a mystery to you? How early do you get to know certain plot points?
Basically as early as I want. But I don’t like to work that way. Lost kind of trained me in a different way. We’d get the scripts a day and half, maybe two days before filming, so we got really used to firing from the hip and using that uncertainty in our characters. Carlton is brilliant at that. And this is what is so interesting about this show. You gotta discover it as we discover it.

I’m sure being a little left in the dark helps your acting, too. Your character isn’t supposed to know everything that’s happening.
Absolutely! It’s natural, as humans, the more you sit with material—even though you try to not let your brain wrap around it, it will wrap around it. It will continue to try to work those problems out. It’s literally good to not have the information.

I’m guessing Colony has some big action scenes throughout the season?
Yes! There are, but what I love is that this is not an action-based show. The action is there and will ramp up at times, and the show focuses more on the characters at other times. It has a natural breath. I loved doing Intelligence, and the super action-packed thing, but I gotta admit that’s hard to sustain on the body. When you’re doing major action scenes every week, and you’re working 60 hour weeks…I had broken bones, torn ligaments, everything!

How do you prepare for those kinds of scenes?
All kinds of ways. I do martial arts; I’m an outdoorsman. I have two small children, and they’re always running me ragged. Recently, though, I started Jiu-Jitsu. I’m about 70 lessons in.

How did you get into Jiu-Jitsu?
I’ve been wanting to do it for 15 years…ever since the first time I saw Royce Gracie. Once you get past, and I’m still getting past it because I’m a white belt…but you have to get calm. And once you get calm, it becomes a chess match. Only when you’re starting are you a scrambling fool. But after that, you get relaxed. And I like that. I thought I might get injured more, but you don’t, you actually get injured less. People are very respectful in this sport. It’s one of the few arts where you can go 100 percent in your training. And that 100 percent is exhausting! I literally come out of there like a rag, but I love it.

Anything else besides Jiu-Jitsu?
Yeah, I still do some of the CrossFit-type of training. It’s not CrossFit. I’ve tried that, and it’s crazy! But I do a version of that, which involves muscle confusion that uses your own body weight instead of heavy lifting. I did all that in ‘80s, where you’re just like, “Yeah! Let’s pump up!” Everyone had big pecs and tiny toothpick-like skinny legs. And we all slathered ourselves with Tropicana oil. Now we’re actually working out for function, which makes a lot more sense.

What’s the best tip you ever got from a trainer?
When I was living in New York back in the ‘90s, my roommate, his name was John Francis, had a perfect body, and he said to me, “Holloway, just eat less and move more!” That’s the best tip I ever got!