DIRECTV’S KINGDOM is one of the hardest-hitting dramas—both literally and figuratively—to ever appear on television. Jonathan Tucker plays Jay Kulina, and he spoke with DIRECTV about his experiences on the show.

KINGDOM is a really physical show. How sore are you after a day of shooting?

Some days, I was sore from being punched or kicked or tweaked from rolling. Other days, I ached from lifting.  But most days, it was the emotional joyride that Jay takes that required the most healing. Just don’t tell any of my coaches that.

 Were you a fan of MMA before taking the series?

I wasn’t at all. And I am now.

 Jay is amazingly talented, but troubled. Is it possible for his story to end well?

An addict’s recovery is usually a very rough journey with views from mountaintops and valleys. I pray for Jay, but am keenly aware of the truth that his road ahead, while deeply personal, is not uncommon and not always fruitful.

Do you relate to Jay at all in your own life?

Jay balances extremes. He cares deeply, he loves fully, he uses humor to mask pain, and when he’s focused, he’s unstoppable. I can dig that.

What are you most looking forward to next season?

The continued dance that Jay, Byron Balasco, and I do with each other and with my KINGDOM family. Nitroglycerin has a tendency to explode.

Who on set has the best taste in music?

Mac “Music Man” Brandt.

You tweeted recently (@jonathanmtucker) about the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument. Tell us why this is important to you.

State and national parks are egalitarian. They’re open for all to explore, and there’s nothing more honest than the wildness, the wilderness, the great heavens above.

KINGDOM airs Wednesdays at 9pm ET/PT on Audience (Ch. 239).