EXCLUSIVE: Shemar Moore takes us behind the scenes of S.W.A.T.’s Tokyo episode

They have their sights set on Australia next.

Criminals don’t stand a chance when these guys are on the case. The taskforce in S.W.A.T. always get their man – even if they have to traverse the globe to do it.

During a special set visit to Tokyo, Japan, TV WEEK caught up with leading stars Shemar Moore, Patrick St Esprit, Jay Harrington and David Lim to discuss their soaring success, camaraderie and love of Australia.

What brings the team to Tokyo in the upcoming special episode of S.W.A.T.?

Patrick: The storyline follows an extradition process where we need to bring a Japanese fugitive back to Tokyo. My character [Commander Hicks] decides to handle it and I bring the boys with me. I’m in charge.

Shemar: Yeah, he’s in charge – in his tight suit. [Laughs]

P: OK… here’s the story. I showed up to work one day in LA and it was like a hundred degrees outside and these guys are running upstairs in their S.W.A.T. gear. So I come in wearing my designer suit, which they’d altered and dry-cleaned for the show. I said to Shemar, “Hey man, how’s it going?” He looked me up and down and said, “We’re out here sweating our a**es off and you roll up in that?” I’m the boss!

On set in the streets in Tokyo.

Who’s the real team leader when the cast travel abroad?

S: You know, I’ve been to quite a few places, but I’d have to hand it to David for this trip.

P: Well, I mean… he led us to Starbucks. [All laugh]

David: You’d think they’d be easy to find, but it wasn’t!

S: It’s always fun being with the guys on set. We know how to have a great time, but also have to get up and work hard.

Could a trip to Australia be on the cards anytime soon?

Jay: I hope so! We’d love to do that.

S: We’ve got an Australian native, Alex Russell, in the show and he’s been pitching it. We’d love to come and meet the fans. It’s an incredible place.

You play fictional characters, but are portraying the jobs of real-life people. Do you take any advice from them?

J: Absolutely. We were filming in downtown LA recently and three of them showed up – one of whom has the same call sign as one of our characters – and we all traded stories and joked around on set. They come and chat to us about their jobs and give an insight into what they do each day.

How much training goes into the role?

S: We always want to pay respect and homage to these servicemen and women. What they do is no game. We want to stay in shape to look good, but we need to keep up with the physical demands of the show. Before we went to air, we trained with their squads.

There’s a lot of camaraderie in the cast. How important is it for a show like this?

P: Like anything, it starts from the top and filters down. Shemar has always been like that. I first met him when I starred in an episode of Criminal Minds. He walked up, made me feel welcome and said, “There’s a gym on set and you’re welcome to use it anytime.”

S: Well, if you’re gonna stand next to me, you’d better be ready! [Laughs] But seriously, we have a great cast, we look out for each other and learn from each other. To have a successful show is one thing, but to have this luck and be able to travel the world for it is something else.

P: When an actor gets an opportunity to be on a show like this, you ride that wave all the way to the beach.

The special Tokyo episode of S.W.A.T. airs February 9, 8.30pm, FOX ONE.

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