Based on the acclaimed novel by Jack Carr, a Navy SEAL, The Terminal List is Amazon Prime Video's latest big-budget offering streaming now. Chris Pratt plays James Reece, a Lieutenant Commander who gets caught up in a conspiracy when the rest of his team is killed during a disastrous mission.
The process of filming The Terminal List required Pratt to dig deep to show his heartfelt respect to the real life veterans who were brought to the set, as everyone involved with The Terminal List wanted that every episode looks as authentic as possible. Thankfully, Pratt's longtime trainer Jared Shaw, also a former Navy SEAL and one of his closest friends, was up to the task of whipping up the "Jurassic Park Dominion" star for his latest showstopper, which is now streaming on Amazon.
In teaser videos released by Amazon Prime Video, Shaw had said director and executive producer Antoine Fuqua demanded authenticity for "The Terminal List." "As a former operator who's on the SEAL teams, we're doing what we can to make it as real as possible." Pratt agreed, saying, "I hope it's obvious that we have this community is very dear to my heart. We really wanted to honor their sacrifice and what they stand for.” In an exclusive chat with Muscle & Fitness, Shaw explains how he worked with Pratt to make that happen.
Teamwork makes the dream come true
Jared Shaw, originally from El Paso, TXm, who ran track and field in high school, fell in love with the idea of becoming a Navy SEAL when, at age 16, he saw a pamphlet advertising new recruits. "It said, 'So do you think you have what it takes to be a Navy SEAL?'" he recalls. "I read that and I knew in that moment that I'm going to do this." In all, Shaw spent 11 years in the military. He first met Pratt on the set of Zero Dark Thirty, where he was conducting SEAL training for that production. After working together on this film, they became friends and later, when Shaw left the military, he eventually became Pratt's personal trainer of choice.
"I do everything with him," Shaw says. "The restricted calories, the weight loss, whatever it is, and the workout. I do everything with him because it's always better to have someone [with you] when we embrace sucking. We call it sucking hugging. You go in there and do it, and when you have someone who's in that grind and living it, it makes it a little bit easier.
Stay ready, be ready
When they're not in the middle of a project, both Shaw and Pratt are left with about 80% of the training and nutrition they could do to prepare for a shoot. This allows them to stay ready and reduces the work required to get back in shape when the camera rolls again. "You can cheat here and there, but we'll keep at it," says Shaw, who also appreciates the fact that he's engaging in a dialogue with Pratt's famous father-in-law, the one and only Arnold Schwarzenegger. "He put it best, he once told us, 'Hey, always stay away 6 weeks.'
You can be at your best in 6 weeks, so it all made sense to me.”
Intermittent fasting is also a staple. "We eat for eight hours and then fast for 16 hours," says Shaw. For scenes that require Pratt to look ripped on camera, that fasting window can increase to 20 hours. But a 20-hour fast is held back and used very rarely because Shaw says Pratt's body responds well to eating clean and putting its best into exercise.
Amazon Prime Video
Simple is best
The drills Shaw had Pratt perform were not dissimilar to the types of drills the SEALS would actually perform. "When we go abroad we don't have good gyms, sometimes we don't have anything except maybe some dumbbells if we're lucky," he says. To mimic the physique of a Navy SEAL, Pratt performed routines of pull-ups, push-ups, and squats.” This type of short but impactful workout was important because it could be adapted to The Terminal List's demanding filming schedule. Shaw focused on bodyweight exercises and added runs when logistics permitted. "It's very similar to what we have abroad, so he sort of embodied that and it worked out great."
"We call it Frogman Fridays," says Shaw. “We would have him in his kit; the stuff he would wear on the show, you know the body armor and magazines and all that, and he would do the training in it to add some extra weight, really drive it home on a Friday and then rest on that weekend and then come back. We also threw in some burpees, or 8-count bodybuilders (moves performed to a counting beat), which is a big exercise we do in SEAL training. This is not fun."
Honor through authenticity
Running around Jurassic Park with a gun is one thing, but passing what Shaw calls the "sniff test" among real SEALs on set is quite another. "It's sort of twofold. You have to have the physical ability and stamina, but also the ability to move and look like a real life special operator, a SEAL," says Shaw, who also appears in The Terminal List and co-stars as Ernest "Boozer." vickers Ray Mendoza, who was also a Navy SEAL, served as senior technical adviser and spent time with Pratt, Shaw and other cast members to make sure everything looked right and focused on every detail, from the way they walked , down to the way they walked they drove around corners. "[Pratt] it's very fluid, so it looks good,” says Shaw.
While preparing for "The Terminal List" was a really tough challenge, Pratt and Shaw's partnership once again blew them out of the park. "Chris is always such a lighthearted, fun, and good guy," says Shaw. “He maintains that discipline with his crazy hours and schedule. If we have to be at 100%, if there's a shirt-off scene or a physical scene or whatever, if we really have to lock it in, he's committed...You couldn't have a better training partner than Chris."