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

stand-up comedy Star Wars Mystery TIFF DC streaming service japanese PlayStation die hard Rom-Com Comics on TV streaming finale crime asian-american Fargo archives GLAAD crime drama Character Guide USA SXSW The Arrangement ABC Signature trailers heist movie royal family feel good Paramount Network 73rd Emmy Awards BBC Emmys critic resources debate nature 2020 Music adenture 2016 ViacomCBS book olympics directors Sony Pictures stop motion Funimation First Look Discovery Channel Acorn TV halloween tv Cannes 1990s CW Seed Hear Us Out Legendary spain black werewolf hispanic cancelled TV series A24 dreamworks cooking Netflix Christmas movies Country Mary poppins king arthur Pop TV Cartoon Network adaptation chucky Elton John GoT SXSW 2022 Watching Series best gangster Binge Guide concert BBC One jurassic park cops VOD Fantasy Black History Month nfl pirates of the caribbean Black Mirror wonder woman dc Winners NBC Trivia Best and Worst Photos Britbox cancelled television Ellie Kemper war Fox Searchlight superman Tumblr Crackle justice league Nat Geo hist theme song saw TV renewals TLC Star Trek FXX Film Festival remakes APB Instagram Live TCA Awards 2019 comic books docuseries black comedy biography breaking bad 71st Emmy Awards spanish language lord of the rings kong sopranos Apple TV+ spider-verse sequel LGBTQ Schedule Martial Arts new zealand Focus Features Interview Marvel satire Columbia Pictures Pixar hispanic heritage month blockbusters action-comedy LGBT Certified Fresh golden globe awards Set visit Lifetime American Society of Cinematographers leaderboard festivals HBO Go reviews Paramount Pictures Academy Awards National Geographic Winter TV parents child's play Marvel Television video on demand Mindy Kaling hollywood teaser comics Musical kids cancelled psycho Countdown Lucasfilm Sundance TV Opinion 93rd Oscars The CW biopic deadpool halloween Syfy Rocky Disney Channel indie Esquire zero dark thirty Grammys docudrama films unscripted Crunchyroll MTV mockumentary Universal Pictures Anna Paquin Film CMT Polls and Games El Rey Ghostbusters GIFs politics genre Marathons witnail Best Actor crime thriller free movies green book anime children's TV Avengers aapi VICE versus cancelled TV shows 20th Century Fox travel strong female leads Pet Sematary President Vudu talk show canceled History TV Land telelvision 2018 2021 WGN screen actors guild Writers Guild of America Cosplay Starz Hallmark HFPA marvel cinematic universe DC Universe live event thriller SDCC Oscars Food Network historical drama Heroines IFC Films OWN YA Mary Tyler Moore critics TNT YouTube sitcom ratings obituary MCU Trailer festival doctor who Disney Plus Sneak Peek YouTube Premium prank cartoon RT History E! twilight based on movie james bond richard e. Grant Horror Hollywood Foreign Press Association razzies composers Podcast Disney+ Disney Plus MGM hidden camera DC Comics fast and furious Trophy Talk science fiction foreign anthology TV movies Chernobyl Rock superhero 4/20 Endgame suspense universal monsters 90s 21st Century Fox Pacific Islander video rt labs critics edition Dark Horse Comics See It Skip It new star wars movies italian OneApp FOX YouTube Red blaxploitation nbcuniversal Musicals BAFTA facebook ghosts true crime Showtime Summer boxing jamie lee curtis police drama south america worst movies Tomatazos high school joker Adult Swim Masterpiece Walt Disney Pictures screenings TruTV Women's History Month batman IMDb TV godzilla fresh Wes Anderson Image Comics documentaries Stephen King Comic Book robots 007 revenge Lifetime Christmas movies Pirates monster movies TCA Winter 2020 tv talk television 45 Nominations mob Election emmy awards Holidays spider-man Apple Peacock Shudder game of thrones space game show Calendar Teen Chilling Adventures of Sabrina rotten criterion Television Critics Association Tubi 79th Golden Globes Awards Awards Mary Poppins Returns football CBS what to watch MSNBC Best Picture Neflix ABC Family Rocketman scary movies Warner Bros. 2017 dramedy singing competition target adventure zombie Sci-Fi slashers PBS legend diversity indiana jones dogs marvel comics Superheroes movie CBS All Access 99% Paramount Plus golden globes South by Southwest Film Festival AMC VH1 Ovation Sundance posters 24 frames miniseries Universal spy thriller HBO Max vampires 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards The Academy cats comiccon Broadway documentary Epix TCA 2017 Family Superheroe HBO Marvel Studios mcc Prime Video New York Comic Con Tarantino Extras Biopics 94th Oscars series quibi rt archives Freeform franchise Song of Ice and Fire CNN Reality Competition romantic comedy Best Actress trophy Comic-Con@Home 2021 live action Emmy Nominations sag awards Amazon Infographic comic book movie discovery harry potter Amazon Prime crossover dceu independent Fox News Tokyo Olympics Valentine's Day USA Network Television Academy summer preview Drama worst movies kaiju Brie Larson summer TV dark Year in Review rotten movies we love Paramount japan Action art house latino PaleyFest BET women Mudbound Holiday TCM animated boxoffice basketball know your critic Hallmark Christmas movies Toys Lionsgate X-Men venice sports Quiz scary FX Sundance Now Video Games AMC Plus Tags: Comedy blockbuster Captain marvel ITV Red Carpet spanish slasher name the review renewed TV shows TV new york Classic Film casting Creative Arts Emmys NBA Comedy stoner A&E Comedy Central Pride Month Turner Netflix ABC SundanceTV ID mutant Amazon Studios Oscar Turner Classic Movies Christmas 72 Emmy Awards popular comic book movies WarnerMedia zombies international medical drama all-time mission: impossible Nickelodeon Travel Channel RT21 Best Director 2015 Amazon Prime Video Spike comic king kong french binge The Witch Spring TV technology toronto Hulu reboot comedies The Walt Disney Company laika Disney vs. The Purge dexter serial killer E3 elevated horror dragons Reality Exclusive Video DGA Bravo NYCC disaster First Reviews christmas movies Kids & Family summer TV preview romance streaming movies australia Spectrum Originals cults obi wan IFC Shondaland TCA transformers Pop canceled TV shows Apple TV Plus social media book adaptation San Diego Comic-Con Premiere Dates TBS Alien political drama Western toy story supernatural psychological thriller Box Office aliens DirecTV TV One a nightmare on elm street Super Bowl The Walking Dead Fall TV Animation rom-coms BBC America Logo period drama cinemax ESPN Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt BET Awards scorecard FX on Hulu cars young adult Awards Tour streamig natural history sequels scene in color Thanksgiving Disney streaming service spinoff classics Baby Yoda Arrowverse news award winner rt labs