‘SEAL Team’ Star AJ Buckley Says Sonny’s ‘Terrified’ to Tell Davis His Big News

Toni Trucks AJ Buckley SEAL Team Davis Sonny
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CBS

If you were a bit disappointed in how SEAL Sonny Quinn (AJ Buckley) reacted to the news that his ex-girlfriend Hannah (Rachel Boston) is pregnant — he stared at her, didn’t say much, and left on a mission with Bravo — you’re not alone.

SEAL Team‘s Buckley, who was excited when he learned he was becoming a father (he has three kids), admits to TV Insider that he struggled with Sonny’s reaction. “Why is he coming off like such a dick? It doesn’t seem like a Sonny thing to do,” he recalls thinking when he read it.

Then he spoke with executive producer Spencer Hudnut, who had him remove his own feelings from the picture and see where Sonny’s coming from. “We have to show how the character evolves and grows and has to figure out how to accept this,” Buckley shares from that talk. “This guy’s never ever really been in a relationship — he’s finally doing that [with Toni Trucks’ intelligence officer Lisa Davis] — and then you throw this on top of it, it’s too much. This guy’s a knuckle-dragger and just been kicking down doors for the last 10, 15 years.”

But he still hasn’t told his girlfriend the news. “He’s terrified if he tells Davis he’s going to lose something he’s really loved for the first time in his life,” Buckley says. “He’s finally made that step and shown that vulnerability and then this happens. Sonny sees it as, ‘of course this is going to happen to me,’ as opposed to a blessing. He’s having a meltdown moment and he needs to compose.”

And, as the star points out, it’s not like he has time to process the news by sitting at home or going to the gym. He had to spin up on a mission immediately and focus on that and making sure he and his brothers stay alive. “That really brings home to what our men and women go through when they are deployed and have these other things at home they’re dealing with,” Buckley explains. “They have to be able to turn that off.”

AJ Buckley Toni Trucks SEAL Team Season Episode 8

(CBS)

But can Sonny do that, when having kids may change his outlook when it comes to missions? “I talked to Spencer and some other team guys that had kids and went through this, and for them, for the first time, death meant something,” the actor continues. “‘I don’t want to die, because I want to be there for the kids.’ Sonny didn’t have the best childhood with his father and his family, so the self-doubt and [other emotions] all hit him at once, because he just doesn’t like failure.”

For Buckley, this storyline — including the struggle in Sonny after he learns he’s going to be a father — ends up being one of the first times he separates himself from his character. “There’s so much of myself in Sonny, the fun-loving guy with the ability to make people laugh. That’s very much how I am in real life,” he shares.

We’ve seen Sonny grow so much when it comes to his relationship with Davis, so we’ll have faith that he’ll do the same when it comes to being a father. Let’s just hope it happens sooner rather than later!

SEAL Team, Wednesdays, 9/8c, CBS