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SIMPLY JESSICA: Chris Sheffield talks about military role on NBC’s ‘Aquarius’

Chris Sheffield stared at his 95-year-old grandfather in his Texas home. He was in awe of the resemblance that he shared with his grandfather. He was proud of the man who fought in World War II.

The 27-year-old actor who plays a soldier in the Vietnam War on NBC’s “Aquarius” has been training to portray a soldier since his humble beginnings as a southern gentleman in Texas.

He admits that his southern upbringing, mixed with rules such as sit up straight, look at me when I’m talking to you, may be the tangible traits that casting agents see in him when he is auditioning for roles.

“I love to play military men,” Sheffield said. “To play a serviceman in any capacity is an honor. Military men are humble, courageous, brave and they sacrifice so much for our country.”

When Sheffield got the phone call that he was picked to play Walt Hodiak, on NBC’s “Aquarius,” he was thrilled that he would play David Duchovny’s son on the show. The show is set in 1967.

“Walt was a soldier in the Vietnam War,” Sheffield said. “Walt is looking for some sort of approval from his father. Walt is a good person who believes what he is doing is right. “

“Aquarius” is a drama about an undercover police officer who tracks Charles Manson and the Manson family before the murder spree.

“David is the nicest guy,” Sheffield said. “He is an incredible actor. He has that it quality where you can’t take your eyes off him on screen. We had some interesting conversations.”

Sheffield was familiar with Charles Manson’s resume but he didn’t know the details of Manson’s murder sprees.

“I knew the idea of Charles Manson and how terrible he was.” Sheffield said. “I had no knowledge of the details of his murders.”

To prepare for the role, Sheffield embarked on a research project.

“I bought a couple of books and immersed myself into his life.”

What Sheffield loves about the show is how it portrays Manson.

“The show does not glorify him at all,” Sheffield said. “It shows how he became who he was in a truthful way without glorifying him.”

The television show’s honesty is hard on Sheffield’s mother.

“The show is not easy to watch,” Sheffield said. “My mom says it is a little edgy but she enjoys seeing me in it.”

Sheffield can also be seen on the TNT drama, “The Last Ship,” as communications officer Mason. He also played Ben in “The Maze Runner.”

You can reach me at jess.gosnell@gmail.com. Be yourself!  I’m Simply Jessica JcAden.