‘Hostile Planet’ Star Bear Grylls on Climbing Mount Everest and His Best Advice for Adventurers

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Bear Grylls is no stranger to adventure. During his career, the adventurer and survivalist has traveled to some of the toughest, most remote places around the world. That’s why Grylls was the perfect person to host the new National Geographic series Hostile Planet.

Coming from producers of Blue Planet and Planet Earth II, Hostile Planet is centered on the animals and wildlife making home in some of the most extreme environments around the world. Shot by Oscar-winning cinematographer Guillermo Navarro (Pan’s Labyrinth) the series takes viewers in-depth to see just how these incredible animals adapt to these extreme locations and survive—and sometimes thrive.

Each episode of the series spotlights one of those treacherous environments, like mountains, oceans, jungles, and deserts. In Episode 3, Grylls will turn the focus to the “Grasslands”, which you can watch when it airs at 9 pm ET/8 pm CT on National Geographic. You can also catch up on past episodes of Hostile Planet at NationalGeographic.com.

Hostile Planet / National Geographic

Grylls spoke with Men’s Journal about some of the incredible animals and moments he saw while working on the Hostile Planet series, the best advice he ever received, climbing Mount Everest, and what places he wants to explore next.

Men’s Journal: What was your experience like working on the Hostile Planet series?

So much of my life has always been about adventure, nature and wild animals, so I’m so proud to be a part of bringing this new series to such a big global audience: the message matters. Hostile Planet really is a dynamic reboot of the natural history genre, introducing wildlife at its best to a younger, newer audience. It’s about showing just how brutal and unforgiving the natural world can be, and at the same time, being inspired by the mind-blowing resilience of these animals.

What do you hope that people take away from watching the series?

While the series definitely doesn’t hit viewers over the head with climate-change messaging, I do hope people will consider just how real and personal it is after seeing how these animals have become life-threateningly affected by climate change. For years, I’ve seen its devastating effects firsthand, and this series takes an unflinching look at the reality of what’s happening in the natural world. It’s sometimes difficult to watch, because the scenes are so heartbreaking as well as at times simply terrifying, but the goal was to view the animals from their own perspective and show how they have become victims of this rapidly changing planet.