‘S.W.A.T.’: How Shemar Moore Had to ‘Step Up’ for Role of ‘Hondo’

by Matthew Memrick

For Shemar Moore, playing “S.W.A.T.” series character ‘Hondo’ presents a unique challenge.

After seeing past TV shows and movies with the character, the actor knew he had to make the character role his own.

“I have had to step up my intensity, emotional range, and leadership capabilities because I am the lead of the show,” Moore told Stack.com in a 2018 story.

Moore knew that more responsibility and more pressure came with being the S.W.A.T team leader. It’s something that the 51-year-old actor has always kept in his mind while playing. He’s had this role since 2017.

“But I’m having a lot of fun rising to the challenge,” Moore said.

He also related that being on the action-packed “S.W.A.T.” show was “so thrilling and the stunts so fun to do.”

He likened it to “big kids playing cops and robbers.”

Former ‘S.W.A.T’ Hondo Shined

Samuel L. Jackson played Dan ‘Hondo’ Harrelson in the 2003 “S.W.A.T.” movie while Steve Forrest played him in the 1975 CBS series.

Moore told Stack.com that his reboot version was “like watching a movie every week on television. He likened” “S.W.A.T” to other popular action franchises and the 2003 movie “except we don’t want to repeat the movie.” 

After his role in the CBS show “Criminal Minds,” Moore wanted to “beef up” Hondo’s presence on the screen. Unlike his Derek Moore character on “Criminal Minds,” he gained 12-15 pounds for the role because he also wanted “the mindset of S.W.A.T.” 

‘S.W.A.T.’ A Good Combination

Moore serves as a producer on the show. In 2018, he told Stack.com about everything that went into the “S.W.A.T” to make it a hit.

“We’re a hit show because we have good writing, we have good producers, and we have a very hungry, excited cast,” Moore said.

The actor also said the cast and crew enjoy working despite the long hours. He said everyone knows “we’re making something unique, original and hot” for network television as a team.

With the long hours, Moore and the cast have taken to playing Cornhole tournaments at the star’s seven-bedroom, 9-bathroom Los Angeles mansion. Everyone takes the game so seriously that a league formed for weekly competitions.

The “S.W.A.T. Cornhole” league even has a motto, “Chasing bad guys by day, slinging bean bags by night.” 

In an Instagram video, Moore’s league is pretty special to see. The actor bought Cornhole boxes, set them up at 27 feet, and have hosted pro Cornhole players.

According to People, Moore’s “S.W.A.T.” co-star David Lim had even made special Casa Del Sham rings on them as a lovely tribute to the star’s home. Moore said serious players could battle for the rings and even win them.

The show’s Season 5 premiere on CBS will be on Oct. 1.