When Training Day premieres on CBS on Thursday, February 2, fans of the 2001 film starring Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke will recognize the scenario. A decorated cop is sent in to watch the questionable methods of another officer. This time around, it’s Officer Kyle Craig (Justin Cornwell). He’s just been praised for a heroic act and is reassigned as a trainee to Detective Frank Roarke (Bill Paxton). Frank was Kyle’s father’s partner, so he takes Kyle on. Kyle, however, has been tasked with catching Frank doing something illegal, infiltrating his “family,” which includes Detective Rebecca Lee (Katrina Law) and former pro-surfer-turned-officer Tommy (Drew Van Acker). We got a chance to chat with Law (Spartacus, Arrow) about the show, her character, whether or not she trusts Kyle and working with a pair of very scary monkey.
ComingSoon.net: Tell us a bit about your character.
Katrina Law: Okay, so I play Detective Rebecca Lee, a detective in the SIS [Special Investigations Section] division of the LAPD. She is extremely loyal to Frank Roarke, played by Bill Paxton. One of the reasons she’s so loyal is to him is because Frank, when she was nine-years old, he saved her from human trafficking that ended up happening in Los Angeles. And she sees him as a hero, as a father figure. He didn’t personally take care of her, but he did watch over her and made sure she was in a good foster home, so as she grew up, she just idolized him more and more, and believes in his way of taking criminals off the streets. She wanted to follow in his footsteps, which eventually got her into the LAPD. And now she’s on the squad.
ComingSoon.net: When she first enters in the first episode, the first thing she says is, “I’m going to kill somebody.” I loved that.
Katrina Law: [laughs] Yeah, she’s very direct and to the point, for sure!
ComingSoon.net: At one point in the show, she says, “Nobody gets all of me.” Can you give us some insight into how Rebecca sort of splits up her life?
Katrina Law: I think if Rebecca had her way, she would eat, sleep, live, die at SIS. Frank and Tommy are basically her family. She loves them, she’d die for them. She’s “ride or die” for them. And it’s what she’s dedicated her life to… the rest of her life, she keeps very private. She doesn’t have the two worlds interact, and I think you’ll be able to see at some point, when you enter her apartment, that it’s not what you would expect. When you see her personal life, it’s very surprising the way that she goes about it, and the lengths that she’ll go to, to make sure she gets to keep her privacy.
ComingSoon.net: So, how does Kyle entering the picture change the dynamic between Frank, Tommy and Rebecca?
Katrina Law: So Kyle entering the SIS division is very disturbing for Rebecca. First of all, she doesn’t know who this guy is. She’s never heard of him. She doesn’t know where he comes from. And usually when somebody enters the SIS division, there’s a vetting process. We’re usually aware of who they are and we have a say in it, somewhat. This just comes out of nowhere, and what’s even more disturbing is that Frank Roarke just takes him under his wing like it’s no big deal. She’s the one that’s skeptical about his intentions and also she’s a little worried that Frank is being blindsided by this man. And she knows that he knows he’s the son of [former partner] Billy Craig, so she knows that his blindspot is even bigger, which is very disturbing to her. So she doesn’t trust him, she doesn’t know why he’s there and she thinks that he has ulterior motives. I think eventually she does come to find out that she’s right, but in the meantime, she’s going, “this is my family. This is my life. Do not mess with it.” That’s her general attitude toward Kyle Craig.
ComingSoon.net: What does Rebecca think of Frank’s method? He does some things that aren’t exactly by the book.
Katrina Law: [laughs] You know, I think Rebecca sees Frank very clearly. I think she very clearly sees all of his faults and knows about most of the skeletons in his closet, but loves him anyway. That being said, she isn’t one hundred percent with him when it comes to all of his antics, but she does trust him enough to follow him, even when he doesn’t give her reasons for his actions. So in a sense, I would say Rebecca is 99 percent on board with whatever Frank does, but that one percent is what makes her call him out every once in a while and say, maybe we’re going a little too far.
ComingSoon.net: In the first few episodes, you’re in a scene with a monkey and a scene with a shark! That monkey was terrifying!
Katrina Law: [laughs] There is a surprising amount of animals on this show! Okay, so the monkey was the most amazing thing you’ve ever seen. First of all, it had three-inch fangs and was running around in a diaper, so it was very confusing about how you should feel about this monkey. I was kind of like, “oh, I want to cuddle it, but you have teeth that will rip my face off.” [laughs] It’s always fun working with animals, but at the same time, animals are unpredictable, so it was not like everyone was running around trying to touch this monkey. We were leaving the monkey and the trainer alone and letting them do their thing. These monkeys were amazing. We had a male monkey and a female monkey, and the male monkey was the one who ran around and jumped very happily onto the guy’s lap. It was the female monkey that would scream on cue. So it’s really funny. She was sitting there, very happily during the scene, and then the guy would make – I think he was snapping his fingers and all of a sudden she’d start screaming. Then he would do whatever the action was again and then she would just stop and be like, “oh, great, yay!” Yeah, but it was very scary when she was screaming.
ComingSoon.net: I know you’ve worked a lot with Kitt Crusaders. Are you still working with them?
Katrina Law: Yes, I’m still very active with Kitt Crusaders. We just recently had a kit-tee shirt sale going on, and all the proceeds went to rescuing animals, and ongoing, all year round, we have photos that are available for sale with an autograph. We personalize them and same thing, all proceeds go to the animals. Kitt Crusaders is a non-profit animal rescue organization based out of Los Angeles. The women who run this are amazing and have some of the biggest hearts. I’m very proud to be a part of that.
ComingSoon.net: You’ve done a number of genre shows like Arrow and Spartacus. How different is the vibe working on this show?
Katrina Law: You know, I think the biggest thing that I’ve noticed is that when I have to do action sequences on Training Day, it’s relatively easy compared to what I’ve had to do on Arrow and on Spartacus. Sometimes they’re like, “oh, are you okay jumping over this thing,” and I’m like, “is that all you want me to do?” [laughs] It’s kind of like taking a little bit of a break. I think the stakes are just as high, but one of the biggest differences is the lack of costumes. Other than that, it feels like I might be on the same show.
ComingSoon.net: Was anything you had to train for here that you didn’t have to do for the other two shows?
Katrina Law: They ended up taking us out to Taran Tactical, which is – it’s a guy named Taran who trains a lot of the industry people on how to use weapons, and he’s one of the fastest quick-draw people in the world. Training with him was very intense, but they taught us to use a Glock and 15s and shotguns. It was pretty intense, and having that much power in your hand is a huge responsibility. You want to be safe.
ComingSoon.net: What has it been like working with Bill Paxton?
Katrina Law: Bill is amazing. Bill is one of the best team leaders you could ask for. He comes to work every single day with a smile on his face, and he says, “Good morning breakfast lovers!” He just starts the day off right. He’s got a positive attitude. He’s got so much work to do, as you can tell from the three episodes that you’ve watched, all he does is talk the entire time. So he has a lot on his plate that he has to handle and he gets it done everyday, and at the end of the day, he walks away with a smile and makes sure that everybody stays in line. He’s so positive and so professional. And funny! So funny!
ComingSoon.net: Can you give us a little tease of what’s coming for the show and for Rebecca?
Katrina Law: So upcoming in the show, you’re going to watch the hero team go through different scenarios that the LAPD runs every single day, and it’s going to be interesting to see how the fans react, because the methods our heroes go through to get the end results are questionable at times and raises the question of, do the ends justify the means? It will be interesting to see if the fans go along with our methods and if they disagree. And if they disagree, what would they have done differently. For my character, you get to see her functioning in this world and going through the journey with Frank, and especially when it comes to Kyle Craig. At the end of season one, there is a huge cliffhanger which will leave you chomping the bit for season two.