Steven Seagal Steven Seagal

It's the second season of Lawman (Wednesday, 10/9c, A&E), and Steven Seagal is still out for justice. As a bona fide sheriff's deputy in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, the action-film icon serves, protects and, when needed, kicks a little butt. We chatted with the Zen-like Seagal about catching real-life bad guys.

TV Guide Magazine: How do you balance your career fighting movie bad guys with your job as a lawman?
Seagal: One is a job in which you get paid to pretend, for entertainment. The other is completely different. You put your life on the line and are very serious.

TV Guide Magazine: How much do you rely on your martial-arts training in the field?
Seagal: A tremendous amount. It's not just physical techniques of arresting or subduing. It's also about philosophy. Having studied the martial strategy for so much of my life really aids as a problem solver.

TV Guide Magazine: Does your celebrity make it easier or harder to respond to calls?
Seagal: Both. If you are in a situation that is precarious and people you're trying to make safe start talking about that fame, it can throw things into an arena that is not necessarily what you want.

TV Guide Magazine: But it also helps disarm the bad guys?
Seagal: Exactly. Sometimes potentially volatile situations turn completely calm just because people have respect, you know?

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