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On The ' S.W.A.T.' Team

In the new film "S.W.A.T.," Samuel L. Jackson plays Sgt. "Hondo" Harrelson, who thinks he has put together the best Strategic Weapons And Tactics team the L.A.P.D. has to offer. Now, it is put to the first department test.

Jackson tells the The Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith the cast had go to a S.W.A.T. school for two weeks to prepare for their roles. The film is filled with chases, gunfights and a little story of teamwork.

Jackson says, "To be a S.W.A.T. team and to learn to work as a unit was very important so that we look good on screen. We portrayed these guys doing their jobs in a very specific and realistic way."

Jackson's Harrelson is seeking redemption from his past. But, his longtime nemesis, Capt. Thomas Fuller (Larry Poindexter), makes it his mission to see Harrelson fail. The new S.W.A.T. leader recruits established S.W.A.T. officers, Michael Boxer (Brian Van Holt) and T.J. McCabe (Josh Charles), beat cop Deacon "Deke" Kaye (James Todd Smith aka LL Cool J), first female S.W.A.T. member Chris Sanchez (Michelle Rodriguez) and a reprimanded Jim Street (Colin Farrell).

Jackson notes that working with media "bad boy" Farrell was a lot fun. He says, "He is a charismatic guy. But he's also an extremely professional guy. He shows up, does his job. He knows his lines. He's in place. And he knows how to have fun doing his job. And this is a fun guy. You show up to a guy like this to do essentially what we did as kids. You come out of the house, you have your guns on; you're ready to play cops and robbers. That's what he does. He looks you right in the eye. He gives you an honest characterization. You can give him something back. He gives you something back. You're playing, having a great time."

Jackson says playing the leader in the updated version of a '70s television show also led to a similar responsibility on the set. The veteran actor explains he wanted to set an example for the young actors by being professional.

In the movie, the new S.W.A.T. team is tested when Alex Montel (Olivier Martinez), a French-born international mobster known as "Le Loup Rouge" (The Red Wolf), attempts to escape police custody during what should have been a routine prisoner transport.

The team foils his escape plan, but not before he broadcasts to the city a $100 million bounty for anyone who can free him from custody — resulting in the S.W.A.T. team trying to evade criminals specifically targeting them.

Some Facts About Samuel L. Jackson

  • Born Samuel Leroy Jackson in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 21, 1948
  • Married to actress LaTanya Richardson, whom he met at Moorehouse; they have one daughter, Zoe, aged 21
  • Jackson's first feature was 1972's "Together for Days"
  • Jackson won a special jury prize as Best Supporting Actor at the 1991 Cannes Film Festival for his role in Spike Lee's "Jungle Fever"
  • Later this year, Jackson will be seen in Philip Kaufman's suspense thriller "Blackout," Quentin Tarantino's "Kill Bill," John Boorman's "Country of My Skull." He is currently filming the final installment of the Star Wars saga to be released in 2005