Tonight marks the series premiere for CBS’ new military/legal drama The Code. The series opens the curtain on what it’s like for some of the military’s brightest legal minds as they protect the U.S. both inside and outside the courtroom where each attorney is trained as a prosecutor, a defense lawyer, an investigator AND an active duty Marine. The Code stars Luke Mitchell and Anna Wood as Captain John “Abe” Abraham and Captain Maya Dobbins.

CBS Local’s Matt Weiss spoke to Mitchell and Wood ahead of tonight’s first premiere.

MW- Good morning Anna, good morning Luke!

AW- Hi Matt!

LM- Good morning, how’s it going?

MW- Doing well, exciting day with the big premiere tonight!

AW- Very exciting!

MW- So I want to ask you both and Anna let’s start with you, what was it about The Code that made you want to be involved from the get go?

AW- I think the thing that hooked me right off the bat was that my character Captain Maya Dobbins in unapologetic and super strong. She holds her own in the room. I have a daughter so I really take her into consideration when choosing roles and this was something I felt like I would be proud to show her.

MW- And what about you Luke?

LM- It’s really well written, first and foremost. I’m not the strongest reader but I read the pilot in a very short period of time. I just think the world of the military is fascinating and it’s something I didn’t really know much about.

MW- Luke you played Abe, one of the lead characters on the show. What can we expect to see out of your character?

LM- You’ll see a lot of wise cracking and a lot of competitiveness. His ego is quite large but he’s also quite playful and is very passionate. He’s a third generation marine so it’s in his blood.

MW- Anna, what about you and Maya Dobbins. She seems like a really strong female role model…

AW- You’re on the right track there! Maya aspires for greatness and she wants to do that by doing everything to the best of her ability, she’s a perfectionist. She’s just down to get in there with the boys and fight. She doesn’t hold back, she’s really passionate about what she does, she’s sort of married to her work. She eats, sleeps and breathes justice.

MW- While being lawyers on the show you also portray actual active Marine personnel. What kind of preparation did you do for these roles? Did you reach out to any actual Marines? Lawyers?

LM- We both read the same book actually which is a really fascinating look at this guy’s decision to join the Marine Core for his own personal betterment and how hardcore the training is; then his transition to being in combat when 9/11 happened.

That kind of blew my mind and that was a really interesting starting point. I personally put on a little bit of weight for the role, I wanted to bring a bit of physicality to my character. I also had to shave my beard that I had had for about three years at the time which made me look a little younger, so I thought bulking up would be in my best interest.

MW- How painful was that to shave the beard?

LM- I cried, I cried man tears [laughs]. That’s why I’ve grown a little bit back right now because we’re on hiatus.

MW- Oh man, I’m sorry you had to go through that [laughs]. Anna what about your preparation?

AW- Same, I read the book which was a really interesting book. We look at the military and The Marines as an enigma sometimes so zooming in on these individual stories really humanizes things and gives you perspective.

We did some gun training. We did a lot of research into the language of the show because there is some military dialogue and there is some legal dialogue that isn’t necessarily a part of civilian speech. We wanted to get a really strong grasp of what we’re saying so we can portray very confident and authority on this heightened language.

LM- I would add that there is also a certain amount of learning that happens on the job. We have advisers on set, inside and outside the courtroom, and I think that’s very important to make sure we are locking things down and getting things right.

MW- What peaks my interest about this show is that it shines a light on something that not many people are familiar with and that’s the legal side of the military and The Marines specifically. It’s an area that I think people will find interesting to learn more about and there will be a lot of eyes opened into all that these men and women do for their country.

LM- Right!

AW- Exactly!

MW- Very excited for the premiere tonight and good luck with everything the rest of the way!

AW- Thanks Matt!

LM- Thanks Matt, nice talking to you!

The Code premieres tonight at 9:00 PM ET/PT, only on CBS. Check your local listings for more information.