Former Navy Seal's dramatic escape

Former Navy Seal's dramatic escape

Elite soldier-turned-Hollywood actor Joel Lambert is the star of a TV show, which ironically, he agreed to do only because "it isn't a Hollywood TV show".

In each episode of six-part Manhunt With Joel Lambert, he is placed in foreign countries, where he has to evade the host country's elite military and law enforcement tracking units to reach an extraction point, where he will be lifted to safety within 48 hours.

While the tracking teams can deploy assets such as helicopters and police dogs, and use vehicles to track and capture Lambert, he is equipped with only whatever his backpack can carry.

The show premieres here on Discovery Channel (StarHub TV Channel 422) next Monday at 8pm.

If you are expecting it to be another gimmicky show tailored to capture the audience's attention, think again.

Lambert, an ex-United States Navy Seal, is adamant that his series is the real deal.

"I'm not making a game of it to show TV. I'm doing what is real in the moment and I'm evading, setting booby traps and these cameras are documenting a real struggle and a real contest with myself, when everything that is to my advantage has been lost," he says in a group telephone interview with the regional media, including Life!.

In fact, he claims he was not interested in being a part of the show in the beginning.

He was eventually won over by the person who came up with the idea for the show - a former Special Forces guy whom Lambert felt was "passionate about doing something very real and genuine based on tracking and on escape and evasion".

The key difference between this show and other military-themed reality shows is that "they all try to take military training or military experience or military operations and squeeze them and form them and fit them into a television show", adds Lambert, 42, who has starred as a member of the Strike Force Team in Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen (2009).

"In this one, we just took the camera guys and shoved them into a real military operation, except they're just not shooting at each other." Of course, he explains, there are inevitable restrictions to how realistic the show can be.

"Obviously, we don't kill anybody and the missiles don't actually launch, but aside from those small unreal parts, everything else is very real," says Lambert, who is single.

During his 10 years as a Navy Seal, he planned and took part in more than 20 real-world combat missions. He also headed the mission critical ordnance department containing all weaponry and optics for 16 Seal operators and also trained Seal operators and foreign special operations personnel from countries including Singapore, Thailand and Greece.

Now, besides taking on small roles in TV shows such as Mad Men and The Closer, he also works with video game developers.

"I did motion capture for Call Of Duty: Ghosts. If you play that, you're playing me," he says, referring to the first-person shooter video game released last year.

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