Last June, at the Corus upfront in Toronto, myself and several other TV beat writers were in a room awaiting Shamar Moore to come in and tell us all about S.W.A.T. The remake of the mid-’70s cop show, premiering Thursday night, was one of Global’s major prime time acquisitions this season.
Just before Moore walked into the room, we were all told that there would be time for just one question. All together!
This is an excellent way to piss off a room full of reporters.
Moore has always seemed to be a very friendly and accommodating actor. He comes in, takes the one question and is getting ready for another when he is told to stand for a photo.
“Is that it?” he asks.
So as we’re all standing, I blurt out, “Is Hondo not the coolest character name you’ve ever had?”
Moore plays Daniel “Hondo” Harrelson, a Special Tactics and Weapons police officer based in California. Steve Forrest played the same character in the original series, a 1975 Aaron Spelling effort which aired on ABC.
“It is, but it’s kind of an intimidating name,” says Moore, a former soap star who spent a dozen years on the hit drama Criminal Minds.
“Honestly, when I thought of Hondo, I think of The Rock.”
He then talked about consulting with real special task force officers in Los Angeles.
“Even the women are put together,” he says adding the cops “are not herculean guys like gym rats, they’re just thick.”
Moore added that “you have to be in shape just to wear the gear. I put the gear on for the first time, I felt like a ninja turtle!”
Big laffs in the room. Moore was just warming up. He talked about putting on the heavy, padded, bullet-proof vest. His first thought: “Every bad guy is going to get away.”
Moore crouched and imitated trying to run in a 100 pound suit.
“Then I was like, ‘How do you go to the bathroom?’ And we had to get used to it. They put us through all these drills. It’s a trip.”
Then he was whisked out of the room. The take away: when stars come north to promote a show — and they come ready to play — let them.