A scene from the TV series Fighting Season.
A scene from the TV series Fighting Season. Mark Rogers

Soldiers in fight for their sanity in new Aussie drama

HE'S currently playing a top footy player on our screens, but George Pullar takes on a different type of champion in his latest role.

The Gold Coast native, who stars in Ten's Aussie Rules soap Playing For Keeps, portrays a young soldier battling with the effects of war and the army's insular culture in Foxtel's drama Fighting Season.

The six-part drama follows a platoon of soldiers which returns from Afghanistan after a controversial mission, one marred by bitter mistakes and cover-ups, the unfolding mystery of what really happened, and the impact keeping this secret has on them and their families.

Award-winning director Kate Woods returns to Australia after a decade in the US working on shows such as Law and Order SVU, Nashville and Suits to helm the series, which is written by Blake Ayshford (Barracuda).

"This story and show doesn't provide answers, but it asks good questions like what do we expect of our servicemen and women?" Pullar tells The Guide.

George Pullar plays Private Jarrod Vogel, a young soldier faced with a moral dilemma, in Fighting Season.
George Pullar plays Private Jarrod Vogel, a young soldier faced with a moral dilemma, in Fighting Season. Nick Wilson

"The story will give a voice to the Australian Defence Force - both those serving and those who have served - and highlight that very often these humans are put in very inhumane situations and expected to deal with it and move on. The biggest thing I hope people take out of this is war is very complicated not just on a national level but also on a personal level. It provides great purpose for people but at the same time it can irreparably damage their lives."

Pullar plays Private Jarrod Vogel, a young man from a wealthy family which doesn't approve of his career choice.

"Jarrod is a young guy who has left a world he's known to be familiar and safe and found a passion and purpose for himself," he says.

"He really wants that respect and appreciation a lot of young people desire when they're getting into their careers. He's gone out there and doing something as selfless as joining the army and his parents don't even give him an ounce of that respect or appreciation for doing it. His mum is just fearful for him, and his dad fundamentally disagrees with war itself and what the Australian Army is doing.

"He comes from a place of privilege, but nonetheless he's had a difficult upbringing and you'll see that as the series pans out."

The cast of the TV series Fighting Season, from left, Marco Alosio, Sabryna Walters, George Pullar, Kate Mulvany, Ewen Leslie, Jay Ryan, Sarah Armanious, Julian Maroun and Paul de Gelder.
The cast of the TV series Fighting Season, from left, Marco Alosio, Sabryna Walters, George Pullar, Kate Mulvany, Ewen Leslie, Jay Ryan, Sarah Armanious, Julian Maroun and Paul de Gelder. Supplied

He and his co-stars Jay Ryan, Marco Alosio, Julian Maroun and Ewen Leslie went through a bootcamp run by current and former servicemen to prepare for filming. They also benefited from ex-Navy diver Paul de Gelder playing a supporting role as Corporal Travis Davis.

"They ran us through a crash course in things like weapon familiarisation, weapon drills, approaching buildings, working as a group," he says.

"We really felt like soldiers at the end of that week."

Fighting Season premieres on Sunday, October 28 at 7.30pm Qld, 8.30pm NSW on Foxtel's Showcase channel.


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