‘Treadstone’ Star Jeremy Irvine Reveals What Kept Him Out of the Army – Exclusive

Jeremy Irvine plays a Treadstone agent who predates Jason Bourne on USA’s series Treadstone. John Randolph Bentley (Irvine) was a Cold War agent in the ‘70s. On Treadstone, Irvine gets to live out all his secret agent fantasies. He actually wanted to serve his country but wasn’t able to. If he had, maybe he wouldn’t have been in movies like War Horse or Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again either.

(l-r) Martin Umbash and Jeremy Irvine in Treadstone | Jonathan Hession/USA Network

Irvine spoke with Showbiz Cheat Sheet by phone about his role in Treadstone. Discussing the film’s training and action, Irvine revealed his own military dreams and what stopped him from pursuing them. Treadstone airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on USA.

Jeremy Irvine joined the army briefly

Before he was an actor, Jeremy Irvine tried to serve in the army. That didn’t last long.

“Growing up, I was always very keen to go into the military,” Irvine said. “I joined the army straight out of school. Then [I] was told I wouldn’t be employable because I was diabetic so I then went into acting. For me, I’ve done a lot of military roles which has been fun to play good guys and bad guys, run around with toy guns pretending to shoot people.”

Jeremy Irvine still supports the troops

Just before beginning Treadstone, Jeremy Irvine was working with the armed forces. They ended up beginning his Treadstone training early.

“Coincidentally, I had just done a thing for charity,” Irvine said. “In the UK we have the SAS, Special Air Service, which is sort of our equivalent of Navy SEALS in the U.S. So I’d just been away for a few weeks with a load of SAS guys and they put me through a sort of their training. That was quite good in terms of being able to spend time with the guys who would have been in John’s shoes.”

The military was the basis of Jeremy Irvine’s ‘Treadstone’ training

Jeremy Irvine thought back to the SAS soldiers he met when he began Treadstone.

“A lot of these guys had done it all for real,” Irvine said. “So that was really cool spending time with them and getting to have a little glimpse into that world.”

Jeremy Irvine in Treadstone
Jeremy Irvine in Treadstone | Jonathan Hession/USA Network

Treadstone‘s stunt director brought military experience to the show too.

“Buster Reeves, who’s our stunt director, he directs all the action sequences [and] he’s got military background,” Irvine said. “All the stunt team have military background so  we just learned from them.” 

Military combat inspired ‘Treadstone’ fights too

Training for Treadstone began two months before filming ever started and continued during production. Jeremy Irvine described what separates Treadstone combat from other movie and television roles. 

Jeremy Irvine as John Randolph Bentley in Treadstone
Jeremy Irvine as John Randolph Bentley in Treadstone | Jonathan Hession/USA Network

“They didn’t want it to be just like movie action. Every move in there is sort of based off things that are actually taught to Special Forces and things like that .So a lot of it is things like Jujitsu and stuff but a lot of it is real military techniques. A lot of these disarming if someone’s got a handgun or a pistol at your head, how to disarm that in a realistic way. We’re not doing Marvel sort of Hollywood action here. We’re trying to keep it as real as possible.”

Jeremy Irvine, interview with Showbiz Cheat Sheet, 9/27/19