‘9-1-1-: Lone Star’ Actor Jim Parrack Delved Deep Into PTSD Research
9-1-1: Lone Star continues to explore the brave first responders of Austin, Texas every week on Fox. Jim Parrack plays Judd Ryder, the only survivor of the fire station Owen Strand (Rob Lowe) came to Austin to restaff. Judd is back on the job, with Owen’s reservations.
Parrack spoke with Showbiz Cheat Sheet after Fox’s Television Critics Association panel for 9-1-1: Lone Star. He had some further insight into the PTSD Judd is suffering from and how it might impact him moving forward. 9-1-1: Lone Star airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on Fox.
Jim Parrack began his PTSD research before ‘9-1-1: Lone Star’
Jim Parrack played a soldier in the movie Battle: Los Angeles. The film was about an alien invasion, but he took his military role seriously.
“10 years ago I was involved in a war movie where my character had PTSD,” Parrack said. “That element never really made it into the final cut. I had what I felt was pretty valuable research and experience, really looking into what that would be like for me I guess. It was good because I did some new work obviously but there was also a foundation built there of understanding that what it is essentially is an injury.”
‘9-1-1: Lone Star’ utilizes Jim Parrack’s research into PTSD
9-1-1: Lone Star has more time to explore Judd’s psyche. There’s no alien invasion to worry about, and it is about the real issues facing first responders.
“The same way if you applied a certain amount of force to your arm, your arm would at some point snap, the psyche functions in the same way,” Parrack said. “Obviously there’s not telltale signs of it and there’s no obvious line of thinking about how to approach recovery from it. What most people do I think is they mask it. So with the acting, I create a problem for myself and work hard to cover it up.”
Cooperating won’t be easy for Judd and Owen
Judd’s wife Grace (Sierra McClain) convinced Owen to let him come back to work. Now that plays out every week.
“One is very traditional,” Parrack said. “One is very progressive. Rather than demolishing each other, they say what if we tried cooperating? What if we saw what progress was truly useful and what of tradition maybe isn’t total garbage? What actually still works? And they agree to cooperate. The outcome is you’re constantly contending with those things but solutions would arise that don’t if you just start slinging mud.”
‘9-1-1: Lone Star’ puts Jim Parrack close to the physical trauma too
While Parrack is acting the emotional turmoil of Judd, 9-1-1: Lone Star puts him deep into the physical turmoil. The show’s opening fire scene put him in the thick of the heat.
“They obviously have got dozens of people there just to ensure our safety. It also doesn’t really work without getting close enough that you sense it. It’s like if you look at boxing movies for example and in old ones where the first is clearly 18 inches away from the opponent’s face, you have to accept it but it’s not effective compared to what they’re doing now which I think most of the time is making some contact in a safe way. My first movie involved that. I tried to take that approach for my whole career. Get involved in a real way and let the safety people set the boundaries.”Jim Parrack, interview with Showbiz Cheat Sheet, 1/7/2020