Kyle Siebert, who appears in camo gear on Generation Kill, is a most unlikely war hero. He doesn't think war is necessary and now works in a supermarket in Christchurch.

Being picked for a supporting role of HBO war series Generation Kill was a big coup for a school-leaver from South Africa. Siebert says he didn't realise exactly how huge the show was until he was on set with a bunch of great actors. He even worked alongside an ex-marine - Sergeant Rudy Reyes who plays himself in the series - whom Siebert counts as one of the most interesting people he has met in his life.

Siebert had dabbled in stage productions through school and later took a few small parts in films and television series. In 2007 his agent sent him to audition for one of the smaller, cheaper roles on the American TV series, which was filmed in Africa. He landed the part of Corporal John Burris, and soon found himself in a gruelling boot camp in Namibia - 5am starts, circuits, and a whole lot of mud. "Some of the actors bitched and moaned about this and that but at the end of the day we all ended up running ourselves to the point where we were almost throwing up," he recalls.

Unlike other boys his age, Siebert had never really had an interest in war, and training for one did not change his perspective.

"I'm a pretty liberal guy, and have not really had an interest in war to be honest. But then again I did enjoy Band of Brothers, I mean you can separate my dislike of war from a good show. I think this was the same, it was just a job for me and I realised the guys the show is about also thought of war as a job."

The troops the film is based on were the sort of young men who'd grown up playing war games on Playstation - and they are totally desensitised to it, Siebert says.

It just so happens that since his family moved to New Zealand two years ago, Siebert's younger brother has joined the army for the same reason.

"It's funny considering the show, but he grew up in the world of warcraft playing video games and I guess that just translated into the closest thing he could find in real life which was the army."

Meanwhile Siebert, now 21, is stacking supermarket shelves in Christchurch, and plotting his next move.

"I'd like to make a career out of acting, and this is probably the best opportunity I'll have, so I'll go for it. It's certainly a passion for me, but it's not my only passion. So I hope to have a good crack at it and hopefully try something local," he says.