The CBS reboot inspired by the 70’s TV series and the feature film, S.W.A.T. stars Shemar Moore as Daniel "Hondo" Harrelson, a S.W.A.T. sergeant leading a specialized tactical unit that is the last stop in law enforcement in Los Angeles.


In the latest episode titled “Monster,” the S.W.A.T. team is out to catch a monster hiding in plain sight. They’re tasked to provide security for a warlord threatened by assassins determined to take him out before he's extradited by the International Criminal Court.

Actress Dionne Audain plays Verna, the warlord’s unsuspecting wife and mother to their young son, who calls out Hondo for racially profiling another black man and wrongly accusing her husband of heinous crimes. The only problem – Hondo is right.

Verna is just the latest memorable role for this talented actress born in Montserrat, West Indies and raised in the Bronx, New York. Dionne previously appeared in John Singleton’s Snowfall, Jenji Kohan’s Orange is the New Black, Terence Winter’s Boardwalk Empire, and David Simon’s The Wire. She also emerged in the feature films Twelve and Salt; and hit the stage in the national tour of the musical adaptation of Whoopi Goldberg’s Alice.

Dionne Audain shares more about working on S.W.A.T. in this exclusive interview:

What can you tell us about your role in S.W.A.T.?

DIONNE AUDAIN: I got to work with actors whose work I have watched coming up as a child and as an actor in the industry. That was pretty frikkin awesome. And the toys, I mean, official S.W.A.T. vehicles were a dream for a girl who grew up around mechanic shops. I was in engine heaven.

(On set S.W.A.T. - Shemar Moore and Dionne Audain / photo courtesy: Dionne Audain)

How challenging was this role for you and did you do anything specific to prepare?

DA: This role was challenging. Physically. Psychologically. Emotionally. "Monster" dealt with many real-world situations. I allowed myself to live in each of those places, crevices in Verna's journey throughout the episode and worked alongside great actors who were playing at the top of their game as well. It was a dream come true.

What was it like working on such a fan-favorite show?

DA: Honestly, it was amazing and affirming. I've prepared for a role like this and bigger. I was excited and still am to show the world the breadth and depth of what I have to offer as an actor. And honored to breathe life and sink my teeth into an amazing storyline like we saw in the episode "Monster".

(On set S.W.A.T. - Dionne Audain / photos courtesy: Dionne Audain)

Any interesting stories from the set you can share with us?

DA: My first day of filming was one of the most intense scenes of the episode and I wasn’t allowed to really speak. After that I felt like I had climbed a huge mountain; the other days were no cake walk, yet I knew my most difficult work was behind me.

What’s been the biggest lesson you took away from the opportunity?

DA: The biggest lesson I gleaned from this opportunity is to trust my instincts, trust my colleagues and of course to stay liquid. In all seriousness, having prepared well for this role starting with the audition pre-prep before going into the room with casting, as well as my background in theater, really helped while on set. S.W.A.T is an amazing collaborative ensemble with every one diligently doing their part every scene I was able to play with many levels of energy and delivery as Verna and give the other actors and the crew what they needed in each and every take. That's my job and I love it.

Got anything else coming up we can watch for the near future?

DA: I’m working on several projects coming soon, including a top-secret motion capture video game role; The Kailen a dramatic mythical fantasy TV show set in the year 2369 written by Gabriel Portuondo and Michelle Swan; Ten-Cent Daisy an ethereal mermaid folktale feature film by writer director Lisbon Okafor; the indie short film Discovering Brooklynn by writer and director Aliya Brooks; and a new short film written and directed by Tiffany Yvonne Cox called Roadside Assistance.

Fans can follow Dionne Audain on Instagram: @iamdionneaudain and Twitter: @DionneAudain

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