‘Training Day’ star Bill Paxton explains how the show is a ‘departure’ from the movie

Bill paxton training day cbs
Bill Paxton as Frank Rourke on CBS’s ‘Training Day.’ Patrick McElhenney/CBS

Bill Paxton hopes that viewers will come to his new CBS show, “Training Day,” with an open mind.

The series is based on the the popular 2001 film of the same name, which won Denzel Washington an Oscar for playing a rogue detective whose new partner, a rookie narcotics officer placed by Ethan Hawke, is spying on the veteran cop.

“I think the show is a departure from the original in many ways,” Paxton told Business Insider recently.

“They have to kind of just take a ride with us,” he continued. “It’s ‘Training Day’ — you’re gonna do a ride-along. Come with us and see where it takes you. Leave your preconceptions at the door. We’re talking about a movie that is considered an iconic modern masterpiece that displays contemporary actors of the last few generations, won the Academy Award for Denzel Washington.”

Mirroring the characters in the film, the 61-year-old actor steps into the role of Det. Frank Rourke opposite Hollywood rookie Justin Cornwell, 28, as Kyle Craig. The young actor’s credits include just single appearances on Fox’s “Empire” and NBC’s “Chicago P.D.,” as well as an unnamed role in the 2015 Spike Lee movie “Chi-Raq.”

Justin cornwell bill paxton training day cbs
Justin Cornwell as Kyle Craig and Bill Paxton as Frank Rourke on CBS’s ‘Training Day.’ Patrick McElhenney/CBS

“It’s been a cool dynamic. And I gotta say I love Justin Cornwell, a new actor in town,” Paxton said, “which is kind of funny, because it’s like art imitating life. I’ve been in Hollywood for 40 years counting and he’s only been out here for a couple months.”

Paxton said the show is definitely lighter than the movie, which didn’t exactly leave audiences with an upbeat feeling.

“It was a very R-rated, dark, gritty, tragic story of complete nihilism and corruption,” he said. “This has corruption in it, and there’s some nihilism in it. There’s certainly some cynicism in it, but it is a moral story that could have some hope in it.”

And as for his spin on the Denzel Washington role, the former “Big Love” star said he tried really hard to understand how a young man could start a police career and then end up working outside the system and hopes viewers get that from the show.

“These are cops who go after the worst of the worst,” the actor said. “It’s beyond the racial politics that are happening in police forces and stuff. That’s a whole other animal. These guys are going after people that are really bad. And they try to catch them in the commission of a crime and try to take them down. Frank’s the kind of guy who wants to take the guy into the gunfight. He doesn’t want to go through the legal system, which can be very corrupt, depending on who’s representing you. So you gotta leave it at the door a little bit.”

Watch a preview of CBS’s “Training Day” below:

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