News

S.W.A.T. Star Shemar Moore Shares 7 Things That'll Make You Say 'Whoa'

John Wick better watch out — Hondo Harrelson is back

by | October 31, 2017 | Comments

S.W.A.T. star Shemar Moore doesn’t want viewers to just watch the CBS reboot of the 1975 series and 2003 movie — he’s expecting an audible reaction.

“When people are done — Thursday night at 10 o’clock starting November 2nd — I hope they say one word: W-H-O-A, whoa,” Moore said. “That’s all I want.”

Moore plays a Hondo Harrison for the new millennium. Hondo becomes the leader of a S.W.A.T. team after his superior, Buck (Louis Ferreira), leads a mission in which an innocent child, Raymont Harris, gets shot. Like the previous show and the movie, Hondo has Dominique Luca (Kenny Johnson), Deacon (Jay Harrington), Jim Street (Alex Russell) and Chris (Lina Esco). New characters Victor Tan (David Lim) and Mumford (Peter Onorati) join the team on action-packed weekly missions.

Rotten Tomatoes interrogated Moore before the premiere of S.W.A.T. to find out exactly how he’s going to get those whoas.


1. HE’S GUNNING FOR KEANU

The cast of S.W.A.T. are training on the same shooting range where Keanu Reeves trained for John Wick. Other stars like Michelle Rodriguez and Jason Bateman train there, too, but Moore’s personal goal is to beat Reeves’ course times.

“I’m not as good as Keanu Reeves yet, but I’ve been practicing and training at the same location,” Moore said. “From what I hear, he’s a junkie. He loves it. It is a thrill. My times are getting faster and faster. I’m trying to catch Keanu, but he’s had a little more practice. I’m right behind him. He’s still got me beat, but I’m right behind him.”

Moore has been on the course, he says, on and off for six months. He’s got Reeves in his sights.

“It depends on the course,” Moore said. “My fastest time in one particular course, I think, was 28 seconds and Keanu’s time was 17 1/2, something like that. I’m creeping up to him.”


2. KIDS WILL HUM THE THEME SONG

Moore wants S.W.A.T. to be a show families watch together and discuss with their kids. Parents may remember that hummable theme song, but once kids hear it, Moore expects them to start playing S.W.A.T. with their friends.

“Hopefully we’re going to have millions of people and kids running around their backyards playing Hondo and Deacon in the street going, ‘Na na na, na na na,” Moore said. “It’s the exclamation point that makes this show as fun as I know it’s going to be.”


3. YOU’LL BE TALKING ABOUT S.W.A.T. ALL WEEK

S.W.A.T. is going to give you an hour of excitement every week, but then it’ll give you something to chew on until the next episode. The pilot involves the police shooting an innocent child, mirroring many of the issues surrounding real-life law enforcement. Moore promises juicy topics on every S.W.A.T. episode.

“I don’t think we can change the world or change the game or find an answer to racism and fear and prejudice, but I think we can create an argument,” Moore said. “We can create a debate. We can help bridge that gap and raise some questions and create some understanding. It’s just a TV show so that’s a big, bold goal but I really believe people are going to go wow.”

Debate means both sides, and that means half the audience may completely disagree. That’s a risk Moore is willing to take.

“You may not agree with our depictions or our arguments, but you’ll understand it,” Moore said. “All we want to do is show our take of the men and women of blue and the civilians, and there’s humanity on both sides. If we can create a little more understanding, a little more patience while having a really good time, that’s going to be incredible to do with a television show.”


4. THEY WON’T TAKE A BREAK AFTER THE PREMIERE

The first episode of S.W.A.T. is directed by Justin Lin, who did The Fast and the Furious 3-6 and the action has been a strong point in many fresh reviews (though not all). If you came for the action, Moore promises S.W.A.T. won’t let up, even without Lin at the helm each week.

“Obviously in television you can’t spend $10 million every week, but they are spending a nice healthy amount of money to keep the integrity of the show so that we can bring the action,” Moore said. “We’re using three cameras, so you get all the angles. We had 16 days to shoot the pilot. Now we’ve got eight days to shoot each and every episode.”

Moore can vouch for the quality of S.W.A.T. because he’s been on “regular” television shows that don’t need to blow the roof off every week. S.W.A.T. is a step above.

“I worked on Criminal Minds for 11 years, and I’ve done a whole bunch of stuff in between for 24 years, but I’ve never been on something that felt this way,” Moore said. “It does not feel like we’re making a TV show. It really feels like we’re making a movie. I’m not going to say it’s never been done, but I do really strongly believe this is a fresh look. This is a new look. This is raising the bar of the way television is presented.”


5. IT’S LIKE THE ORIGINAL SHOW… UNTIL IT’S NOT

So they’ve got the theme song, they’ve got Hondo, Luca, Deacon, and Street. Fans of S.W.A.T. may settle in, until the new show drops them on the streets of 2017 Los Angeles.

“For the folks old enough for the ’70s show, for the folks who watched the movie 15 years ago, it’s the same name,” Moore said. “I joked it is the same font, and it’s the theme song with what I call a little more stank in it. Those are the only similarities. I really believe it’s going to give people a little bit of what they remember of S.W.A.T., but it’s also going to surprise people in a big way because they’re not expecting the type of content and the type of gritty, grimy nature that this version is bringing.”

Moore hopes that in addition to portraying the real issues involving crime and law enforcement, S.W.A.T. can also offer hope for real-world solutions.

“It involves violence, it involves guns but it’s done in an optimistic way,” Moore said. “It’s done in a conscientious way.”


6. HONDO’S GIRLFRIEND BECOMES HIS BOSS

Stephanie Sigman plays a new character, Jessica. When she gets promoted at the same time Hondo takes over the S.W.A.T. team, it throws a wrench in their relationship. She doesn’t want to mix business with their personal lives.

“Here’s Hondo who’s overcome the odds to get to the position that he’s in, and the Jessica character, a Hispanic woman in a leadership role — all the adversity that she’s had to overcome, all the politics that she’s had to play by,” Moore said. “Here are two people who have scratched their way to be in a position of power to possibly make change, and then it’s frowned upon within the system to have any relations.”

With their highly specialized fields and common struggles, they may be the only people who understand each other. They may also be risking their careers.

“These two just identify each other and these two are kind of a safe place for each other, a safe place of understanding and companionship,” Moore continued. “But all the while, they have to keep it a secret because it could be detrimental to both their careers so they’re playing with fire, but it’s a need that they both feel they have, so they’re running that risk.”


7. THEY SPENT MORE TIME TRAINING THAN ACTING

Actors always love to talk about their months of martial arts training before a movie, or the ride-along they did with real police officers. Moore just might have other action heroes beat.

“All of us went into it with the positive mindset that we were going to get picked up because we just knew what we had created,” Moore said. “We started training really the day after we stopped the pilot. It’s fighting, it’s hand to hand combat, it’s cardio, it’s a lot of tactical stuff. Then when all that was done, we kind of woke up one day and it dawned on us, ‘Oh, we still have to act. We have to memorize words and tell stories.’”

Don’t worry, they still learned their lines and hit their marks, but Moore and his costars have plenty of experience in that. They devoted more time to the S.W.A.T. part because real S.W.A.T. teams live it.

“There was so much focus on getting the maneuvers correct, because we don’t want people to watch the show and look like actors with guns,” Moore said. “We want this to feel as real as it is because it’s an action show, it’s a good time, it’s a thrill ride, but it’s intense.”


S.W.A.T. premieres Thursday, November 2 at 10 p.m. on CBS.

Tag Cloud

Action MCU A&E unscripted television halloween Apple Mary Tyler Moore reboot 24 frames HBO Go The Walking Dead A24 franchise reviews binge spy thriller cops E! discovery Amazon Baby Yoda CNN Reality Competition HBO harry potter Writers Guild of America richard e. Grant facebook blockbuster Spectrum Originals Syfy GLAAD VOD TV renewals breaking bad Lifetime Christmas movies mutant Hear Us Out Premiere Dates composers Fall TV Reality Amazon Prime natural history series President Heroines comiccon Paramount Network Oscars transformers Photos game of thrones Pirates IFC Dark Horse Comics AMC spanish language BBC Rom-Com sag awards Schedule Summer Mudbound 2019 casting RT21 Arrowverse crossover comedies Epix serial killer TCA romance Black Mirror festivals TCA Winter 2020 Masterpiece cats The Arrangement FX on Hulu singing competition nature Grammys stoner El Rey Emmys TBS Ellie Kemper miniseries hispanic Captain marvel screenings children's TV MSNBC WGN Brie Larson theme song Black History Month PlayStation 2015 anthology Awards crime ITV Box Office National Geographic Ovation canceled TV shows Mary poppins dogs Cosplay First Reviews DirecTV versus SundanceTV The Witch zombie GoT Polls and Games Biopics joker Sundance Election Rocketman Warner Bros. scary movies talk show BET Awards TCM Pop BAFTA Year in Review Crackle spinoff FXX Stephen King a nightmare on elm street Walt Disney Pictures RT History Travel Channel green book Netflix Christmas movies Countdown Country mission: impossible Emmy Nominations BBC One stand-up comedy Family First Look Certified Fresh comic Spring TV witnail Apple TV Plus Holiday Ghostbusters Academy Awards werewolf Mindy Kaling Marvel movies Amazon Studios adventure PBS LGBT Showtime satire Mystery cinemax Song of Ice and Fire The Purge Pixar Martial Arts Chernobyl Fox News Sci-Fi Film Festival Chilling Adventures of Sabrina parents TruTV Discovery Channel Hallmark streaming 71st Emmy Awards Fantasy San Diego Comic-Con Thanksgiving cooking Musical best cancelled television YouTube Premium concert VH1 Funimation adaptation game show Holidays Mary Poppins Returns based on movie Tubi Cannes Trivia Pet Sematary Amazon Prime Video biography TLC Universal Disney+ Disney Plus Marathons kids criterion CMT boxoffice E3 foreign Podcast historical drama Trophy Talk YouTube Red spain chucky American Society of Cinematographers politics blaxploitation 21st Century Fox aliens ratings Kids & Family romantic comedy SDCC Britbox APB FX DC Comics die hard Horror Film award winner directors diversity ABC Calendar indiana jones Musicals independent psychological thriller elevated horror book Rocky Disney streaming service History cancelled X-Men critics crime thriller Star Wars crime drama animated anime Avengers Nickelodeon Lucasfilm Tumblr The CW Food Network Opinion Comics on TV Classic Film comics Sundance TV all-time video Esquire doctor who medical drama dc WarnerMedia disaster MTV Pride Month Nominations DGA Best and Worst Apple TV+ batman GIFs Cartoon Network Shudder TV Land Vudu TV 2020 Watching Series docudrama SXSW Animation strong female leads zero dark thirty cartoon Disney Plus cults period drama slashers war BET justice league finale hist mockumentary Television Academy IFC Films Acorn TV DC streaming service 45 Superheroes christmas movies Marvel Studios Video Games Hallmark Christmas movies HBO Max child's play tv talk Endgame Starz cancelled TV series teaser See It Skip It Crunchyroll renewed TV shows Disney Binge Guide 20th Century Fox social media Logo Superheroe Quiz canceled Netflix CW Seed DC Universe documentaries YouTube YA toy story Freeform Shondaland Set visit sitcom Anna Paquin quibi what to watch New York Comic Con thriller CBS Star Trek asian-american screen actors guild news Extras video on demand documentary robots 2017 NYCC Winners Bravo Tarantino space Marvel Television universal monsters revenge true crime Comic Book Creative Arts Emmys indie dragons Adult Swim films NBC 4/20 USA Network LGBTQ Valentine's Day TNT dceu PaleyFest Sony Pictures ABC Family BBC America technology FOX Columbia Pictures movie TCA 2017 Tomatazos supernatural free movies Winter TV spider-man Comedy Central ghosts latino Paramount golden globes dark jamie lee curtis dramedy psycho Peacock Elton John Sundance Now CBS All Access Hulu Spike sequel cancelled TV shows Lionsgate rotten movies we love 2018 Music Super Bowl vampires Red Carpet Drama VICE travel Turner name the review Character Guide zombies OneApp Christmas sports 007 Women's History Month police drama Teen Comedy twilight Toys ESPN Turner Classic Movies political drama Disney Channel south america Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt OWN TIFF Awards Tour USA Pop TV Infographic Western Rock Interview Lifetime science fiction Sneak Peek Nat Geo 2016 cars Trailer