Who is Clayton Swain? That’s a question fans have been asking since our first glimpse of the-then unidentified character, in the Season 5 sneak peek trailer, dropped shortly after the season finale last year. Deadline reported Troy Doherty’s casting and a few details only weeks earlier, with the article announcing the actor would play, Clayton, a cadet at the U.S. Naval Academy who becomes Chandler’s protege”.

LINK: ‘The Last Ship’: Troy Doherty & Leo Oliva to recur in Season 5.

We had to wait until late July this year for a new trailer (arriving just a month ago), when TNT finally announced the long awaited Season 5 premiere date. If you were quick and spotted the report Chandler was carrying, you may have been asking: ‘Who is Clayton Swain?’

We got our first real taste of the character this week, when dropped a new interview with Executive Producer Steven Kane, which featured Clayton Swain’s introduction to the show. He’s a young cadet at the Naval college where a retired Admiral Tom Chandler is now teaching. Swain, it turns out, is Chandler’s brightest student, and one of his class assignments may turn out to be prophetic.

We had a chance to catch up with Troy Doherty, the actor who plays Clayton, and get a proper introduction, ahead of the season premiere this weekend (September 9th, 9/8c on TNT).

******** We’ve had a few sneak peeks of you in the promos, but how would you introduce ‘Clayton Swain’ to the audience?

TROY DOHERTY: Clayton’s not your typical clean-cut guy that you would usually see in the Navy. Clayton’s someone who won’t back down from a fight, he’s a fighter. It’s what he does. He may not be the biggest or the strongest, but he is strong willed and will stop at nothing to help his country and his fellow men and women. I would introduce him as one of the good guys, and even though he’s nervous about what’s to come, he has the courage to fight.”

TLStv: Being the ‘new kid on the block’, how did you feel walking on to set for the first time?

TD: Walking on to set for the first time was astonishing. I remember just walking through the sets thinking to myself, “This is absolutely incredible, I’ve never seen a helicopter inside before”. I’ll admit at first, I was a little nervous, but as my first day came to a close I felt like I was accepted into this new family. Everyone was so kind and they really wanted to see me succeed. By the end of my first day, all of my nerves were gone and I couldn’t wait to come back to set.

TLStv: Had you seen or heard of THE LAST SHIP before auditioning for the role?

TD: Oh absolutely! I watched THE LAST SHIP right when it came out and thought it was great. Here’s a show that not only had action that was well choreographed and intense, but had very strong characters that you cared about. When I received the audition for THE LAST SHIP I got really excited to have the opportunity to be a part of that world.

TLStv: Your character is described as ‘Chandler’s protege’, considering Eric Dane’s character is the central force of the show, that must have been quite an exciting or challenging prospect? What was it like working with Eric, and the rest of the cast?

TD: It was exhilarating. Being able to share screen space with such a brilliant and talented actor like Eric Dane was truly a blessing. I was always a little nervous when we would film together, because I didn’t want to let him down. He would always give you 100% and that can be intimidating, but it actually helped me drop into the gravity of the situations we were in. As for the other cast members, it was an absolute pleasure working with them. Being on set and working with Adam Baldwin, Charles Parnell, Emerson Brooks, Christina Elmore, and Bridget Regan was a dream come true. Not only are they all extremely talented, but really down to earth and such a pleasure to be around.

TLStv: Without giving too much away, what can fans expect to see from young Clayton Swain?

TD: Let’s just say Clayton isn’t going down without a fight. He’s smart, strong, and quick on his feet. He’s going to surprise the audience in ways they won’t see coming.

TLStv: You’ve worked on short films and indies, how do they compare to the experience of working on ‘The Last Ship’ and show’s like it?

TD: They are very different. When I have shot movies or short films, we usually would film at most 3 weeks. With THE LAST SHIP, we filmed for months. Being able to spend so much time on one character and to be able to grow with the character was really interesting for me. Sometimes I would find myself driving home still in Clayton mode, and it wasn’t until I would get home that I would be back to normal Troy. It was fascinating to see the change that my body and mind took while playing Clayton Swain.

TLStv: Not only a talented actor, but musician as well, tell us a bit more about your music?

TD: I’ve always been a singer. When I was 10, I started taking voice lessons. When I was 12, I started taking guitar and piano lessons and as my skills progressed so did my desire to write. I wrote my first song at 14 and now have written over 30 songs. When I released my first EP back when I was 17, it was exciting to hear my songs fully produced. As I got older, I really started to figure out my sound, not only when it came to producing, but in my voice as well. I love music and everything about it. That’s something that will never change.


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“Honesty” – Billy Joel ? cover

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TLStv: THE LAST SHIP completed filming over a year ago now, what have you been working on since? Where can we see you next (or even right now!)?

TD: I’ve been blessed to work as an actor, and afterTHE LAST SHIP I had the opportunity to be a part of AT&T’s extremely moving ‘It Can Wait‘ campaign. It was such a surreal experience on such an emotional piece that I found myself crying on the way home. In addition, I have a film coming out in the next 6 months and I’m always writing new stuff. As an actor and musician, I am always writing and developing new things: pilots, movies, music. I have a sketch show that I created on my Instagram called ‘Roommates’ that I post every Friday. I also make a Music Monday, where I cover a new song every week!



It sounds like ‘Clayton Swain’ has an important part to play in the action this season, and we can’t wait to finally meet him! THE LAST SHIP returns for it’s fifth and final season this Sunday, September 9th, at 9/8c on TNT, as well as internationally in Spain, Germany, Poland, India, Australia, Austria, South East Asia, and many other countries around the world, over the coming weeks and months.