News

12 Lessons Training Day Copped From Stars Bill Paxton and Justin Cornwell

Picking up where the Denzel Washington movie left off

by | January 31, 2017 | Comments

TRAINING DAY premiers Thursday, Feb. 2 (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on CBS. The cast and Executive Producers of the CBS series TRAINING DAY at the TCA Winter Press Tour 2017 on Monday January 9, 2017 at the Langham Huntington Hotel in Pasadena, CA. Pictured: Antoine Fuqua, Executive Producer, Bill Paxton, Justin Cornwell. Photo: Francis Specker/CBS ©2017 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

“Boom! You never know.”

When Denzel Washington said that line to Ethan Hawke in the movie Training Day, he probably never knew the film would become a TV series 16 years later. Washington won an Oscar for his portrayal of corrupt cop Alonzo Harris, whose trainee Jake (Hawke) finally got the better of him.

CBS’s Training Day is set in the world of the movie, but with new characters. Bill Paxton plays Frank Rourke, a rogue detective raising red flags in the Los Angeles Police Department. So they assign Kyle Craig (Justin Cornwell) to be his partner.

Antoine Fuqua, director of the movie, produces the series and said supporting characters from the film would appear, like the Three Wise Men who controlled Alonzo and Stan Gursky (Tom Berenger).

Paxton and Cornwell spoke to Rotten Tomatoes about the Training Day series after the show’s panel for the Television Critics Association. Here are 12 lessons they shared about the new show.


1. FRANK ISN’T A VIGILANTE, HE’S A COWBOY

TRAINING DAY - Justin Cornwell as Kyle Craig and Bill Paxton as Frank Rourke (Robert Voets/CBS)

The eternal debate of Training Day will be between Frank’s Old West justice and Kyle’s belief in due process. It’s not that Frank will just shoot first and ask questions later, but he believes in confrontations.

“He’s more of a gunfighter,” Paxton said. “He’s going to push the guy into a mano-a-mano situation. He’s not going to just shoot the guy in cold blood. It’s not like he’s going to shoot the perp. He’s going to make the perp put him in a situation. There’s a whole Western myth built into the thing. I think Frank gives them a chance. If it was a due process show, it wouldn’t be Training Day.”


2. KYLE DOESN’T ALWAYS HAVE THE MORAL HIGH GROUND

"Tehrangeles" -- Pictured: Justin Cornwell as Kyle Craig. Kyle grows concerned that Frank's rogue tactics will put a kidnapped girl's life at even greater risk after a former member of Muammar Gaddafi's Amazonian Guard becomes involved in the deal and ups the stakes for the girl's return, on TRAINING DAY, Thursday, Feb. 9 (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Patrick McElhenney/CBS ©2017 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

In a single movie, the film took a stand that Alonzo was dirty and Jake had to stop him. With a new episode every week, the Training Day series can explore more shades of gray. Kyle starts off with good intentions, but he won’t always be right.

“My character is like, ‘We have to do things the right way,’” Cornwell said. “We have to put the image out there of cops. We need to be good cops. We don’t need to be these other cops.”

Sometimes Frank is right: Real life is different than the textbooks.

“You want to be a cop?” Paxton said. “You want to stay alive? You gotta get dirty. Forget what you learned in the police academy. He’s like, ‘No, we start doing that, what’s the difference? We’re just like them.’ Yeah, we are. In a weird kind of way, I am pushing that envelope, and it does create that dialogue. Who’s right here?”


3. KYLE’S FATHER WAS THE REAL ALONZO HARRIS

TRAINING DAY premiers Thursday, Feb. 2 (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on CBS. Pictured: Bill Paxton as Frank Rourke and Justin Cornwell as Kyle Craig. TRAINING DAY is a crime drama that begins 15 years after the events of the feature film, starring Bill Paxton as Frank Rourke, a hardened, morally ambiguous detective for the LAPD, and Justin Cornwell as Kyle Craig, a young, idealistic officer tapped to go undercover as his trainee and spy on him. TRAINING DAY will air during the 2016-2017 season on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Robert Voets/CBS ©2016 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Kyle’s father Billy was Frank’s partner before he died in the line of duty. Part of Kyle’s training will be learning the truth about his father. Paxton shared a scene that got deleted from the pilot.

“I start to tell him, ‘What did you really know about your dad? Pee wee football, church on Sunday?’” Paxton said. “Then I go into this whole thing where I say, ‘People were so afraid of your dad, gangsters were so afraid of your dad, if they thought he was coming, they’d turn themselves in. That’s no lie.’ You find out that his dad was King Kong, and he was my fearless leader. He’s the guy that I would follow into hell. He was the baddest one.”


4. THIS SHOW IS TRAINING DAY IN ACTION

"Tehrangeles" -- Pictured: Justin Cornwell as Kyle Craig and Bill Paxton as Frank Rourke. Kyle grows concerned that Frank's rogue tactics will put a kidnapped girl's life at even greater risk after a former member of Muammar Gaddafi's Amazonian Guard becomes involved in the deal and ups the stakes for the girl's return, on TRAINING DAY, Thursday, Feb. 9 (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Patrick McElhenney/CBS ©2017 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

A single episode of Training Day already has more action than the movie’s handful of shootouts. The first episode already has Frank bust a drug house with a foam gun, and Kyle gets blasted through a window, landing on a car.

“I’ve done a lot of my own stunts for this,” Cornwell said. “I did not jump out the window. All the fights were me. I think the only stunt I didn’t do in the pilot was jump out of that window. I landed on the car but I didn’t break the glass. I think it’s more high octane.”


5. ROURKE HAS A BIG MOUTH

"Tehrangeles" -- Pictured: Bill Paxton as Frank Rourke. Kyle grows concerned that Frank's rogue tactics will put a kidnapped girl's life at even greater risk after a former member of Muammar Gaddafi's Amazonian Guard becomes involved in the deal and ups the stakes for the girl's return, on TRAINING DAY, Thursday, Feb. 9 (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Patrick McElhenney/CBS ©2017 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Frank Rourke is a different character from Alonzo Harris in many ways, not the least of which is that he hasn’t fully crossed the line into killing witnesses and dealing drugs himself. One thing that makes him the perfect Training Day veteran though is he can talk.

“He’s obviously got a lot of that Irish in him, Frank Rourke,” Paxton said. “I tapped into that, and the only thing I really pulled from Denzel was really just that wit and that quickness and messing with people all the time. He’s got a fast mind. I think Frank could’ve been successful in a lot of other areas too.”


6. THE L.A. SKY IS REALTRAINING DAY is a crime drama that begins 15 years after the events of the feature film, about Kyle Craig (Justin Cornwell, left), a young, idealistic police officer who is tapped to go undercover in an elite squad of the LAPD where he partners with Frank Rourke (Bill Paxton), a veteran, morally ambiguous detective. TRAINING DAY will air during the 2016-2017 season on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Michael Yarish/CBS ©2016 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Training Day matches the look of the film with a yellow tinted skyline of downtown Los Angeles. That may simply be because that’s what L.A. looks like in real life.

“It was dawn, and I was looking at L.A. and I said, ‘Wow, this is the same color as our show,’” Cornwell said. “I feel like it is that. L.A. has that orange hue. It might be the refraction of the light hitting pollution.”


7. PAXTON COULD BARELY LIFT THAT FOAM CANNON

TRAINING DAY premieres Thursday, Feb. 2 (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on CBS. Pictured: Bill Paxton as Frank Rourke. TRAINING DAY is a crime drama that begins 15 years after the events of the feature film, starring Bill Paxton as Frank Rourke, a hardened, morally ambiguous detective for the LAPD, and Justin Cornwell as Kyle Craig, a young, idealistic officer tapped to go undercover as his trainee and spy on him. TRAINING DAY will air during the 2016-2017 season on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Robert Voets/CBS ©2016 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Frank Rourke couldn’t have asked for a more badass introduction, lugging a foam cannon over his right shoulder. It wasn’t so easy for Paxton. Having suffered a spinal injury before shooting the pilot, he had surgery immediately after and held the gun over his right shoulder to spare his left shoulder the weight.

“That’s my first day of filming,” Paxton said. “I’m in excruciating pain because part of my spine is collapsed. I don’t even know if I can get through the pilot.

“Because he’s been doing it so long,” Paxton continued, “it’s the idea that a guy who’s been a painter a long time, he’ll use the minimal amount of effort to accomplish what has to be done. There’s something laid back about the action part of him which I really like.”


8. FRANK LOVES MAKING KYLE UNCOMFORTABLE

TRAINING DAY premiers Thursday, Feb. 2 (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on CBS. Pictured: Justin Cornwell as Kyle Craig. TRAINING DAY is a crime drama that begins 15 years after the events of the feature film, starring Bill Paxton as Frank Rourke, a hardened, morally ambiguous detective for the LAPD, and Justin Cornwell as Kyle Craig, a young, idealistic officer tapped to go undercover as his trainee and spy on him. TRAINING DAY will air during the 2016-2017 season on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Robert Voets/CBS ©2016 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

At his core, Frank believes what he’s teaching Kyle about the streets. Sometimes though, he just has fun making Kyle squirm, like when he brings his girlfriend Holly (Julie Benz), a Hollywood madam to Kyle’s house for dinner.

“I love that my character is taking great pleasure in his discomfort, looking at him like, ‘Yeah, it’s gonna get weird now,’” Paxton said.

Kyle tries his best to stop his wife from inquiring what Holly does for a living, but there’s no keeping this under wraps.

“I just love what they edited in that scene, looks between us,” Cornwell said. “It speaks volumes with no words. Sometimes dialogue gets in the way. That scene was great because we didn’t have to say much and we kind of let the girls have this conversation.”


9. THIS IS THE REAL LAPD

"Tehrangeles" -- Pictured: Justin Cornwell as Kyle Craig and Bill Paxton as Frank Rourke. Kyle grows concerned that Frank's rogue tactics will put a kidnapped girl's life at even greater risk after a former member of Muammar Gaddafi's Amazonian Guard becomes involved in the deal and ups the stakes for the girl's return, on TRAINING DAY, Thursday, Feb. 9 (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Patrick McElhenney/CBS ©2017 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Training Day is fictional and all the characters are created; however, they take inspiration from some of the real controversies that faced the LAPD in recent decades, including the 1990s scandal in which more than 70 police officers tied to the Rampart Division’s elite anti-gang CRASH unit were implicated in wrongdoing.

“The police commissioner doesn’t want me turning into another Alonzo Harris,” Paxton said. “She even says that because that just about killed the department, which is a reference to what happened with Rampart. It’s not pulled out of the headlines, but they’re pulling a lot out of things that happened over the years in LAPD.”


10. TRAINING DAY WAS BIGGER THAN ALONZO HARRIS

"Tehrangeles" -- Pictured: Bill Paxton as Frank Rourke. Kyle grows concerned that Frank's rogue tactics will put a kidnapped girl's life at even greater risk after a former member of Muammar Gaddafi's Amazonian Guard becomes involved in the deal and ups the stakes for the girl's return, on TRAINING DAY, Thursday, Feb. 9 (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Patrick McElhenney/CBS ©2017 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Alonzo was just one of the characters in charge of LAPD corruption in the world of Training Day. The movie even touched on the bigger pictures, like the Three Wise Men who were above his head. The show will explore additional pockets of corruption.

“That world still exists [in the TV series],” Cornwell said. “The wise men who sent him on these missions, they still exist. The sickness that’s in the department is still there. The corruption is still there.”


11. FRANK LOVES THE SMELL OF NAPALM IN THE FINALE

"Tehrangeles" -- Pictured: Bill Paxton as Frank Rourke. Kyle grows concerned that Frank's rogue tactics will put a kidnapped girl's life at even greater risk after a former member of Muammar Gaddafi's Amazonian Guard becomes involved in the deal and ups the stakes for the girl's return, on TRAINING DAY, Thursday, Feb. 9 (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Patrick McElhenney/CBS ©2017 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Paxton previewed the season finale of Training Day, which finds Frank interrogated in Mexico. He compared Frank’s escape to Robert Duvall’s Apocalypse Now character on the beach in Vietnam.

“I get shot not just with sodium pentothol,” Paxton said. “It’s a cocktail of sodium pentothol, LSD, something to relax me, but something to get me not too relaxed. So we get busted out of there, and we’re in a shootout, and it’s almost like I become Kilgore in Apocalypse Now: He’s just walking through the bullets. That’s the guy that’ll never get hit. It’s been lifted, and it’s on steroids for sure.”


12. TRAINING DAY IS A FAMILY

TRAINING DAY premiers Thursday, Feb. 2 (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on CBS. Pictured (L-R): Justin Cornwell as Kyle Craig, Bill Paxton as Frank Rourke, Katrina Law as Rebecca Lee and Drew Van Acker as Tommy Campbell. TRAINING DAY is a crime drama that begins 15 years after the events of the feature film, starring Bill Paxton as Frank Rourke, a hardened, morally ambiguous detective for the LAPD, and Justin Cornwell as Kyle Craig, a young, idealistic officer tapped to go undercover as his trainee and spy on him. TRAINING DAY will air during the 2016-2017 season on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Robert Voets/CBS ©2016 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Alonzo Harris was a lone wolf, and woe be to the rookie who got partnered with him. Frank Rourke is not alone. Katrina Law and Drew Van Acker play other cops who Rourke considers family.

“You find out that I rescued her from a human trafficking ring when she was six years old, real dark stuff,” Paxton said. “Drew [plays] a guy that came into my life. He was a pro surfer that was kind of an adrenaline junkie and was kind of lost. I found him and brought him. He rescues people, but he finds lost souls. He’s kind of looking for a weird redemption.”

Training Day premieres Thursday, February 2 at 10 p.m. on CBS.


Tag Cloud

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