David Boreanaz has been the star of hit dramas before, but “SEAL Team” is different. Different because of the mental and physical requirements of his character Jason Hayes and different because of the raw stories about Navy SEALs being deployed into action and readjusting to life at home. CBS’s new military drama is intense and that’s one of the many reasons why it’s been so well received as Wednesday night’s most watched program.

Boreanaz talked with CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith about working closing with veterans, understanding the difficult plight of Navy SEALs and how playing ice hockey prepared him for the show.

DJ SixsmithWhat do you remember about your early days as an actor?

David Boreanaz: I remember living on a couch and the stress that comes along with finding yourself in Los Angeles doing odd jobs and working in local theaters, commercials and other small gigs. For me, it’s kind of relevant to climbing the ropes as a Tier One guy and that is what the show “SEAL Team” is pretty much about. It’s about where they start, how they get in and how they get accepted. Once they are out there leading the charge, it’s an interesting plight. It’s one that I can look back on in my life and relate it to where I am today and use some of those experiences to apply to my character. We have 41 veterans who work on our show and it has been an enlightening experience to learn from them every day.

DS: “SEAL Team” is averaging over 10 million viewers per episode. How would you describe your experience on the show so far?

DB: Working with these Tier One guys has been great! Their head space is so uniquely driven by controlling chaos and being calm. That’s what they love. The other side of it is how they acclimate themselves back into society. We examine that character plight in our show and we understand how difficult it is and shine a light onto why they are not so accepted back into society. That’s what the show is all about and the show drives on that character stuff. It’s a workplace show and we examine that DNA.

DS: Veterans Day is coming up. What is the most important message you want your show to relay to the men and women who have worn the uniform and those people who have never served?

DB: That we are getting it right and taking the time to preciously look at all the moments in the scenes we are doing. Both when they are coming home and also being deployed. The back half of the season examines what it takes to leave your family and what it’s like to be away from your family for six month to a year and a half and have no communication with them. It’s a whole different world. CBS has allowed us to show what those characters go through. Its two shows in one. Getting into their minds has been the most exciting part. Hearing stories and applying them to those characters. Every day I learn how SEAL Team members tick. It’s both enlightening and frightening at times.

DS: You’ve been on many shows such as “Bones” that have been successful. What are the keys to creating a hit series?

DB: It’s about putting the work and the time in and finding the moments and not glossing over the little things. It’s very easy to get caught up in the time that you have and how many hours you have to shoot a show. It’s all about the passion and the drive that you have and getting it right with the right people.

DS: I know you are a big hockey guy. Who would you say you model your game after?

DB: I have a little bit of the aggressiveness of former Philadelphia Flyers goalie Ron Hextall. I’m not too much of a speed or finesse kind of guy. I like to go in front of the net and play like Wayne Simmonds from the Flyers. I can clean up some goals, stand in front of the goalie and cause some issues. I’m not afraid to go to the corners. I’m going all Philadelphia here as you can see, the Flyers are my favorite team. I played a lot of hockey to train for the show.

SEAL Team” airs Wednesday nights at 9pm EST on CBS.