M&F: Was wearing an old-timey military uniform while shooting in the desert as much fun as we imagine?

Johnathon Schaech: We filmed in Durango, Mexico, where a lot of John Wayne’s films were shot—and that’s the only good part about the place. It was hell to get in and out of. Sometimes we’d travel two or three hours to get to a location. It wasn’t all giggles…and the sun would kick your ass.

M&F: Did you have a role in mind when you auditioned?

JS: On the first go-round of auditions I was told I was being considered as a member of the Texas Rangers. But I’m 45 years old with gray in my beard and the Rangers they were looking at were younger. So I put myself on video with various stages of the beard and sent it [to the casting directors]…later I was offered the role of Colonel Sidney ShowSherman—a clean-shaven Kentucky military man. Out of all of the characters who fought in the Texas Revolution, the person I played made shaving a daily part of his discipline.

M&F: So you had to kill the beard?

JS: I didn’t get to keep my beard for Texas Rising and didn’t get to show my abs in the movie The Legend of Hercules. There was even a sequence during which I took on Hercules [Kellan Lutz] in a final battle, and I had to keep my armor on. I suggested ways the armor could come off—like, maybe a bolt of energy hits me and off it goes?

M&F: Being in the middle of nowhere filming Texas Rising, how did you train?

JS: The stuff we found [to work out with] was from 25 years ago, and cables had snapped on some of the equipment. The TRX was my saving grace. I’d do the TRX Texas Rising Workout, which was a full-body circuit that consisted of one set per body part, 20 reps per exercise. I’d do it three times through, stopping only to catch my breath.

M&F: Being in your mid-40s, how has your training shifted?

JS: I use less weight than I used to. But that goes with what Bob Paris said about focusing less on weight and more on how you put blood into a particular muscle that you’re working. That’s what will make your muscles grow.

The Series

Texas Rising details the Texas Revolution and the rise of the Rangers—the lawmen, not the baseball team. Series premieres May 25 on History. Follow Schaech on Twitter @JohnSchaech.