John Adkins (photographer Keith Pratt)
First it was Jack Carr’s best-selling book, then it premiered as Amazon’s #1 drama series of the summer – we’re talking about “The Terminal List”
starring Chris Pratt.
The series tells the story of Lt. Commander James Reece after a secret Navy SEAL mission turns deadly for his entire team. Faced with accusations of culpability, Reece is hell bent on finding out what happened and seeks revenge on those responsible for destroying his life.
Korean-American actor John Adkins
portrays Isaac ‘Crazy’ Kim, a member of the FBI’s elite Hostage Rescue Team (HRT). The team is called in to take down James Reece after he starts his revenge tour.
While the role marks John’s television debut, he is certainly no stranger to the military. After growing up on a military base, Adkins went on to enlist in the Air Force. Stationed for six years at Los Angeles Air Force Base, he also earned his college undergrad degree before getting a Master of Business for Veterans at the University of Southern California.
It was when John joined a class at The Los Angeles Film School on filmmaking that he got his first taste of acting. At 6’5”, he brings tons of natural talent, combined with hands-on military knowledge and athletic skills, including basketball, cross-fit and Muay Thai. And, when he’s not on-set, John puts his time to good use working at the Department of Veterans Affairs hospital in West Los Angeles.
John Adkins recently answered some questions for FanPop:
What can you share about your role as Isaac ‘Crazy’ Kim in the action-packed series “The Terminal List”?
JOHN: ‘Crazy’ is part of an elite FBI task force called HRT (Hostage Rescue Team). HRT is an actual unit called in for high-risk missions involving terrorists and hostage situations on American soil. What I think is the coolest feature of these real-life teams is they recruit exclusively from former Navy SEALs, Green Berets, and other special operations units. So when Chris Pratt’s character, Naval Commander James Reece, starts setting off explosives and carrying out his vendetta right on the street of San Francisco, ‘Crazy’ gets deployed on American soil to help hunt him down. It gets intense quick!
What would you consider Crazy’s ‘best’ quality? And his ‘worst’?
JOHN: HRT recruits from the best of the best, so Crazy’s signature skillset is his devotion to the task at hand and to his HRT teammates. Working within such an elite team means Crazy is prepared to do whatever it takes the ensure his brothers go home to their families at the end of the day. His worst? Well, that he’s “Crazy” of course.
How was it to work alongside so many fellow military veterans? And, do you think that added to the authenticity of the show?
JOHN: Honestly, this was the first role I’ve ever booked outside of commercial work, so I had no idea what to expect and I was extremely nervous – but it didn’t take long to realize that I had landed in the familiar ground of being amongst fellow service members. The comradery so common in military units made for instant chemistry both on and off camera, and the opportunity to work with veterans who had already taken on bigger projects provided an unparalleled experience for me to hone my own skillset to match a production of this scale. Jack Carr, author and former Navy SEAL, wrote the story and worked diligently with Chris Pratt to ensure the casting consisted of actors who were also military veterans. There are some nuances you can’t teach, and we’re proud to have delivered a cinematic experience that is a tribute to our roots.
Any interesting stories from the set you can share with us?
JOHN: Well, I can start by mentioning that "The Terminal List" afforded me not one, but two roles playing specialized military units in the heat of action. In addition to ‘Crazy,’ I also tapped into my background as an Air Force Medic in a scene from the pilot episode. As a QRF (Quick Response Force) Army Ranger Medic assisting in a rescue operation, I rendered emergency first aid to a member of the SEAL team, directing none other than Chris Pratt to apply pressure to a leg wound. It was a surreal experience utilizing the exact same emergency medicine from my training except in the first major role of my career. I’ll never forget the sound of gunfire, helicopters whirling overhead, and the chaos of the battlefield all suddenly interrupted by the commanding voice of Antoine Fuqua as he added a minor detail while Chris Pratt made one of his infamous one-liners against a Malibu sunset. It was a milestone moment I’ll never forget, and certainly one I never would have imagined back when I was in boot camp learning these skills for the first time.
What’s the biggest lesson you learned from working on this project?
JOHN: Every day on set was an opportunity to witness the inner workings of a production of this scale. Being within such close proximity to huge stars like Chris Pratt and Taylor Kitsch, as well as all the veteran talent who brought the story to life, taught me the art of how to function as a working actor in the midst of such a large-scale production.
We as viewers only see the end result of all this hard work that consists of so many details and moments of fine-tuning that ultimately lay the groundwork for the final cut. Which, in this case, I am proud to say is the #1 series on Amazon Prime!
And, now just for fun:
Who’s your favorite actor/actress?
JOHN: Brad Pitt, hands down
What role from the past do you wish you could have played?
JOHN: Data from the 1985 film "The Goonies" played by actor Ke Huy Quan. F**king classic.
Favorite movie or TV show from your childhood.
JOHN: That’s tough…"Star Wars: Episode IV-A New Hope" (I’m a nerd) or "Good Will Hunting".
Tell us one thing that would surprise our readers to learn about you.
JOHN: I grew up in Germany…lived there from age 5 to graduating high school there. Heidelberg, Germany is home!
How can fans keep up with you?
JOHN: Follow me on IG at [b]@TheJohnAdkins link
"The Terminal List" - behind the scenes with the HRT Team (photo:Justin Lubin-Ⓒ Amazon Studios)
John Adkins as Isaac ‘Crazy’ Kim in "The Terminal List"
Cast of "The Terminal List" at the premiere