From a surgeon to a Navy SEAL elite team, these actors’ characters have some of the toughest jobs in the world, but the stars themselves proved they can also survive the grind by completing the infamous Tough Mudder race on Saturday at the Glen Helen Raceway in San Bernadino, California.
“Grey’s Anatomy” actor Giacomo Gianniotti, who plays Dr. Andrew DeLuca on ABC’s ShondaLand drama, led a team fundraising for My Friend’s Place, a Los Angeles-based organization which helps homeless youth during their darkest hours.
Gianniotti ran the race last year with some of his “Grey’s” co-stars, and while a few of them had to drop out this year because of scheduling clashes, they still raised $25,000 this time around, “so it just keeps getting bigger and better,” he told TheWrap.
Originally from Rome, Italy, and more recently Toronto, Canada, Gianniotti says that when he moved to Los Angeles, “I immediately saw that homelessness is a big problem.” He began working with My Friend’s Place after being introduced to it by “Grey’s Anatomy costar,” Jerrika Hinton. “I think it’s a really important part of being an artist, and knowing with success there is a responsibility to give back, because we’re very fortunate to be in the position we are,” he said.
Meanwhile, the cast of History Channel’s “SIX” (above) — Edwin Hodge, Juan Pablo Raba, Donny Boaz, Kyle Schmid, Jaylen Moore and Barry Sloane — were literally dropped in at the deep end for their first Mudder as they fundraised for Got Your 6.
As Liverpool, England-born actor Sloane said, “you run as a team and you finish as a team.”
“There is nothing individual about it,” the former “Hollyoaks” actor told TheWrap. “You are never going to get through it on your own as you’ve got to literally pull each other over obstacles, but that’s part of the charm of it.”
The guys have survived the hard-as-nails training for “SIX” playing SEAL Team Six (one of the U.S. Armed Forces primary counter-terrorism units) so even though they were in great shape, this was no walk in the park.
“A lot of the obstacles were similar to the training we’ve gone through for the show,” Sloane, who plays Joe “Bear” Graves, said of the military-training based course.
While endurance wasn’t a problem, heights were for Hodge, who admitted he had to take a couple tries to make some of the highest leaps from obstacles such as The King of Swingers (where you have to leap from a 12 foot platform to catch a swing arm and reach with all your might to tap the bell dangling from above).
Gianniotti and his teammates didn’t seem fazed by any of the obstacles in the Tough Mudder Half, and even went back to do some of the extra challenges such as the Kong and the Augustus Gloop, admitting that staying in shape is a necessary part of his job.
The 27-year-old didn’t even seem out of breath by the end of it and had a (complimentary) beer in his hand even before the mud had dried.
The full Tough Mudder features an 11-mile, 25-obstacle course, while the Tough Mudder Half is around five miles. Really crazy athletes among you can do the Toughest Mudder, a grueling eight-hour challenge that takes place from midnight Saturday night and 8 a.m. Sunday morning.
Other notable participants featured in the fourth annual Tough Mudder Los Angeles included YouTube star and “The Amazing Race” 28 winner Matt Steffanina, and Olympians Jade Jones (2016 Gold Medalist) Ashley McKenzie, Perri Shakes-Drayton, Anthony Fowler and Jessica Varnich.
Season 1 of “SIX,” which was shot in Wilmington, North Carolina, culminated on March 8. History has since renewed the drama for a second season, which will likely premiere in 2018 and will be filmed in Vancouver, Canada.
“Grey’s Anatomy” is currently in its 13th season airing Thursdays at 8 p.m. on ABC.