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Ryan Phillippe Talks Returning to ‘Shooter’ Following Season-Ending Injury, Closing the Chapter on ‘Trilogy’ (Exclusive)

It’s been quite a recovery for Ryan Phillippe. In an off-set injury, the actor broke his leg in July 2017, causing Shooter season 2 to be cut short. However, the minute he returned on set for season 3, he was ready to get back in on the action – something that everyone was a bit worried about.

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“I was nervous initially. Obviously it’s a horrific thing to go through, especially when you’re faced with the prospect of potentially losing part of your leg,” Phillippe, 43, tells Us Weekly. “But there was also the guilt I felt for the cast and crew that I work with and our season having to be cut short. Also, in some ways, jeopardizing the show based on how I was able to function post-rehab. I’m really thankful to be able to say that I’ve recovered to the point where I’m still doing all of my own stunts. There are days that – even though I have this rod in my leg now and some screws – I feel like nothing ever happened.”

SHOOTER Adam Rose/USA Network

While doing his own stunts was worrisome for the crew, it was something Phillippe pushed to continue. “It’s one of the things that our audience seems to really respond to – the fact that you’re seeing me doing these dangerous things, me in these fights and it’s clear that there’s not a lot of cuts and stuntmen put in my place,” he says, adding that after the first day of shooting, the crew’s nerves’ relaxed.

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Season 3 picks up where season 2 left off, but will be a bit more emotional than fans are used to. In addition to action scenes, it will tell the story of how Bob Lee Swagger became the man he is. “There are a lot of revelations that I think are pretty exciting, but also closure in some ways. There’s understanding that this isn’t just a guy whose found himself in some unlike, unfortunate circumstances,” he says. “All of this has been on purpose. That’s kind of scary, and it’s cool how we reveal that over the course of the season.”

He continues: “We still have the action but there’s also the investigation component now and this personal journey of discovery for Bob Lee. There is a lot of emotion involved because his father isn’t who he thought he was, his father didn’t die the way he was told. He also loses some people close to him over the course of this year who have an impact. Season one, he was on the run, season two was about brotherhood and season three is about him trying to get to the root of what started all of this to begin with. That takes him into some pretty dark and devastating places.”

SHOOTER Eddy Chen/USA Network

In a way, season 3 is a wrap-up, as Phillippe explains. The intention was that the first three seasons would be a trilogy that could stand alone. “This season will wrap up the story of the first three in a really satisfying way and create a lot of mystery and anticipation about where the next trilogy will begin,” he says.

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Shooter returns to USA on Thursday, June 21, at 9 p.m. ET.

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