Alex Russell answers S.W.A.T.'s call to action

Alex Russell plays Jim Street in the TV series S.W.A.T.
Alex Russell plays Jim Street in the TV series S.W.A.T. Bill Inoshita

RUNNING straight into oncoming gunfire isn't advisable, but it's certainly one way to make an entrance.  

Alex Russell answers the call to protect, serve and entertain in the new American cop drama S.W.A.T.  

The Queensland acting export sees his fair share of action in the series, inspired by the 1970s television series and the 2003 feature film of the same name.  

He stars opposite Shemar Moore (both pictured above) who plays Daniel "Hondo" Harrelson, a locally born and bred S.W.A.T. lieutenant who is torn between loyalty to the streets where he grew up and duty to his fellow officers in blue.   
It's the Brisbane-born, Rockhampton-raised actor's TV debut and biggest role to date after his breakthrough in the 2012 sci-fi film Chronicle.  

Alex Russell, right, in a scene from S.W.A.T.
Alex Russell, right, in a scene from S.W.A.T. Monty Brinton

"We're filming at the moment and it's incredible," he tells The Guide.  

"It's more action-packed than any network show that I can remember, while simultaneously retaining heart and humour and complexity."  

Joining the Los Angeles Police Department's elite S.W.A.T. unit - the "last stop for solving crimes" - is a baptism of fire for Alex's character Jim Street.   

The new recruit doesn't make the best first impression, speeding on his motorcycle and still showing up late to work. Then on his first assignment, he breaks protocol in pursuit of a suspect who gets away.   

Outgoing S.W.A.T. leader William "Buck" Spivey saw potential in the cocky street cop with a troublesome past, but it's up to new boss Hondo to turn Jim into a team player.  

Alex Russell and Shemar Moore in a scene from S.W.A.T.
Alex Russell and Shemar Moore in a scene from S.W.A.T. Bill Inoshita

"I look at the show and what we've shot so far and I feel proud," Alex says.   

"It deals with real-life problems and real issues we're facing in society today.  

"It's something effortlessly current while still being entertaining, which is a rare and rewarding combination. It's really fun."  

Southern California's recent wildfires temporarily halted production on the show, as well as HBO drama Westworld. Ironically, Alex recently portrayed a hotshot fire fighter in the film Only The Brave.  

It's back to business as usual now, with US network CBS ordering a full 20-episode season of S.W.A.T. following the reception of director and executive producer Justin Lin's action-packed pilot episode.  

Alex Russell and Shemar Moore in a scene from S.W.A.T.
Alex Russell and Shemar Moore in a scene from S.W.A.T. Bill Inoshita

Starring in a major American TV series seen by more than six million viewers each week is a dream come true for Alex, but it's the reception back home that he's eagerly awaiting.  

"I'm obviously really excited for it to air in Australia," he says. "Mum is ready."  

S.W.A.T. premieres on Fox8 on Sunday at 7.30pm Qld, 8.30pm NSW.    

Topics:  alex russell foxtel shemar moore swat television

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