Where To Catch Him: On S.W.A.T., premiering Thursday, November 2, on CBS.
What drew you to S.W.A.T.?
“CBS has been home to me for 21 out of 24 years of being in this game. This is a diverse group of people. We’ve got black. I’m biracial. We’ve got Latina. Got Asian. We’ve got white. This is the same name from the ’70s show. It’s the same font [laughs]. I’m excited it’s the same theme song. I like to say we put a little more stank on it, so we upgraded it for 2017 — but those are the only similarities. I call it S.W.A.T. 2017 because we’re taking on real life. We’re taking on the Trump years. I’m not going to get political. It’s just what’s happening today. It’s Black Lives Matter. As much as some people don’t want to hear it, it’s All Lives Matter. It’s not just black versus blue or black versus white. It’s every ethnicity. It’s fear. It’s racism. It’s terrorism. It’s subject matter of today. It’s not going to be a heavy. You’re going to have a good time. It’s a thrill ride. It’s everything you know S.W.A.T. to be, but I really believe we’re going to surprise you. What I’m describing is why I am here playing Daniel ‘Hondo’ Harrelson.”
Were you in talks for S.W.A.T. when you left CRIMINAL MINDS last year?
“When I left CRIMINAL MINDS, it was a blind leap. I just believed in me and I was hungry to grow. I didn’t know S.W.A.T. was coming. I had no idea. I was an unemployed actor trying to figure it out. But my mother gave me a card that said, ‘Leap and the net will appear.’ I went on vacation to Sydney, Australia, and I lost myself. I got away from the business. I was like, ‘I’m chilling.’ ”
Did getting to be team leader play a part in taking the role?
“Yes. I’m very proud that I get to be the lead, but I’m more proud that I get to be the leader — and I’m smart enough and I’m humble enough to know that I can’t do this by myself. That’s why I’ve got this team around me. We’re all very unique. We’re all very capable.”
You’ve still got the CBS synergy going. Any chance you’d pop back into Genoa City for a visit?
“I say this all the time: Y&R is my first home. It’s my first family. It’s where I learned to act. Kristoff [St. John, Neil] is my brother on-screen and off. I did learn from the last time [in 2014] that they go a lot faster now than they did back in the day [laughs]! But hey, if they needed me and we could work out schedules and all that, I’m always willing.”