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Action Man

First appeared in The Sunday Telegraph TV Guide, by Michael Idato. Please note that this is a couple of years old.

 

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In the space of just five years, David James Elliott has become television's quintessential man of action.

But the uniformed soldier of justice, who (almost) always gets his man in the action series JAG, admits it's hard work maintaining his image.

"It's a challenge staying in shape," he says.  "We're working 12 to 14-hour days so there is never enough time for a real workout."

Elliott says his diet is simple: lean protein, rice and vegetables -- no pasta or white bread.

JAG returns to television screens his week.  The show has consistently rated will in Australia, despite only limited success in its native United States.

JAG has come a long way since its debut.  Elliott's character, Lieutenant Harmon Rabb, is now teamed with Major Sarah "Mac" MacKenzie (played by Catherine Bell).

The addition of Major MacKenzie will allow the two lead characters to compete more evenly and also develop some romantic chemistry, in the past, Elliott's co-star has always been a junior ranked officer.

"I've tried to give the character of Harm a little more of an edge this season," Elliott says.

"I've focused more on how the loss f his father (a war hero who went missing in action in Vietnam) has affected him psychologically and how that manifests in his life."

Doing JAG meant a significant change of pace for Elliott and a big shift in his career focus.  He started out as a serious dramatic actor, then dabbled in comedy and ended up in action.

In Melrose Place, he played a sex addict who recovered with alcoholic Alison (Courtney Thorne-Smith).   Elliott also won a few hearts as Carl the furniture mover on Seinfeld.

"It's funny, really -- I'd been making a good living doing dramas and that's where I saw my future," he says.

"But then I did Seinfeld and suddenly it was as if the industry had discovered I was in town,"

"I wouldn't have believed appearing in one show could have made such a difference."

 


First appeared 24th January, 2000