Home » The LEGEND-ary Aleks Paunovic on style, mental health, and his latest role in Amazon’s The Silent Service

The LEGEND-ary Aleks Paunovic on style, mental health, and his latest role in Amazon’s The Silent Service

The LEGEND-ary Aleks Paunovic on style, mental health, and his latest role in Amazon’s The Silent Service

When a force like Aleks Paunovic walks into a room people take notice.  Apart from his 6’5” stature, his captivating energy and genuine passion for his craft are undeniably infectious.  Having starred in a plethora of projects on screens both big and small, Aleks has solidified himself as one of the most respected and sought after performers in Hollywood.  We had a chance to sit down with Aleks to talk about his latest role in Amazon’s THE SILENT SERVICE, his go-to style, and why he’s using his platform to advocate for mental health with his new water brand LEGEND….

How would you describe your go-to style?

Urban street with a rocker kind of flare. I dig that kind of stuff a lot. 

Do you find that it can be challenging to find things to wear given your height?

Always. It’s always a challenge. It’s not just my height, I’m a thick dude, so it’s usually the sleeve length. And shoes are super tough as well! 

What brands/designers would you like to see expand their collections to be more size and height inclusive?

I suggest all of them. Not too many designers (especially luxury brands) make clothes for men that are big dudes or have long limbs, which can make shopping for clothes (and shoes– I’m a size 15) very challenging. 

You star as Logan Steiger in Amazon’s THE SILENT SERVICE.  What was it like filming in Japan, and what you can share with our readers about the series (without giving away any spoilers)?

Japan was phenomenal!! It was definitely one of the best places I’ve been able to film in.  Amazing cast and crew and even though we didn’t speak the same language we communicated and collaborated really well. Plus, when I got to Japan it was cherry blossom season! It was so beautiful! The culture, the people, the whole experience!  The Silent Service was such a great project to be a part of. It has already established itself with it being a Manga hit in the 80’s, so it already had a built-in audience. The script was fantastic. I play Logan Steiger, an Admiral in the Navy who’s reluctant to believe Japan has a nuke on one of the submarines. The show touches on power, morals, and devotion. It asks the question, if you had this kind of power, what would you do? I love how the show explores those avenues.  

You’ve filmed all over the world.  What would you say was your favorite place and why?

I’ve been to some pretty amazing places. I shot on the Great Wall of China, along with Japan, and I would have to say one of my favorite places (just because no one goes there to shoot a movie) is Antarctica! Now that was an experience. One of the most stunning places on earth. I feel really lucky and grateful to have had these experiences in my life. 

Your new water brand LEGEND is unlike any other brand… Can you share what makes it so special?

Thanks for asking, I love being in this space. When we started LEGEND, we wanted to do our part to get rid of single-use plastic, and I, for one, really want to get it on movie sets and just help our environment a little. Plus, we have a QR code on the can that says, “Legends supporting Legends”. The QR code takes you to our website, but also a crisis hotline for suicide prevention and links to rehab facilities across the country. So, water being one of the world’s best and most healthy beverages, we thought the link between water and mental health was a perfect fit. 

Why do you think mental health is such an important topic today?

When I was a kid, talking about mental health wasn’t as open as it is now. I love that for this generation. But with social media and the demands and pressure that we put on a young person we just want to be there if they decide to reach out. Drinking LEGEND at an event or party– and if you’re feeling like you need to talk to someone but don’t know who to talk to, we hope you will look at the can and see that it’s all ok…people are here for you, and we are here for you. We are all 1 degree of separation from someone you know who is struggling with something. If we can help one person, then this is the right thing to do. 

You received some great advice when working with the legendary Anthony Hopkins.  What was that advice and would you say you still live by it today?

I live by it today! Do I ever! I remember when we were working together, I was in awe. My acting hero and I’m in a movie with him. We got to know each other a bit and really got along wonderfully. So, I took my shot to ask him for some advice. I asked him what he does, something that maybe the public doesn’t know regarding his process.  As I was speaking to him, I was speaking with my hands a lot, and gesturing above myself referring to him and what his secret is. He looked at me and said, “You’ll never get there.” I immediately looked at him like, trying to cover the hurt in my eyes…  Then he said, “Your hands are gesturing above you to talk about me. You already put a roof over your abilities. You subconsciously put yourself below me. Don’t do that son. You must know that hard work and doing what we are doing now, in this film, is all you need to do. So, keep doing it. Be strong in your convictions and know that you are enough.” So, ever since then my work has changed for the better and I feel so fortunate that I got that piece of gold from the legend himself. 

What advice do you have for anyone who has faced great challenges in the pursuit of a dream?

Love it. Just make sure you love it, because when you love something so much, you will fail, you will succeed, and you will fail again. You will fail 50 times more then you will succeed. But love will always bring you back and stay persistent, because there’s nothing else you would rather do. So, people that just want to be on a TV show or be famous, they might have some success early, but then again, you might not. It’s the dreamers that stay around longer than anyone else to pursue the dream more joyfully that will enjoy this crazy ride. So, love what you do.

What’s next? Any new ventures or roles you’re excited about?

I’m very excited about things that are happening now. I’m a part of a couple of shows and a movie that I can’t talk about yet, but I can’t wait until I can. I’m coming back to hang with you when I can tell the world! Is that cool?  


Photo credit: Charles Zuckermann