Back in 2001, Ethan Hawke was known for a few select roles: Vincent Freeman in Gattaca, Jesse in Before Sunrise, and of course, Jake Hoyt in the award-winning film Training Day.
In fact, Hawke was so memorable in that last role he was even nominated for an Academy Award (in the end he lost out to Jim Broadbent for his turn in Iris). It’s a feat that relative newcomer Justin Cornwell is quite aware of, especially since he’s about to play a similar type of character in the TV remake of the popular film.
Training Day picks up following the events of that film, with cop Kyle Craig (Cornwell) being promoted to detective status, in order to spy and report on the shady detective Frank Rourke (Titanic‘s Bill Paxton). After only one day on the job as Rourke’s trainee, Craig realizes there’s much more to the gig than meets the eye.
When the show debuts in full force in early 2017 on CTV, you’ll see Kyle Craig become the new Hoyt in a way; with some similarities but also a few notable differences.
“Kyle is a character who is a lot more aspirational,” Cornwell tells us. “Jake has been a cop for a few years and one that wanted to be Denzel Washington’s character. Kyle doesn’t want to be Frank — the moment he meets Frank he’s actually there to spy on him, to get dirt on him and to take him down.”
Cornwell does allow himself to be compared to Ethan Hawke, however, in his character’s execution of taking down criminals. Especially when it comes to the stunts he’s currently training so hard to pull off — picture him jumping out of a building in order to save a falling baby in the pilot, for example.
“Kyle is similar to Ethan’s character in that he’s young and vulnerable and he’s a little gung-ho, ready to jump into a situation,” he adds. “There’s a scene where Ethan Hawke says, ‘Stop the car’ and he gets out and fights these two drug addicts. Kyle would do something like that. He’s very much that same kind of guy.”
So if Cornwell’s the new Ethan Hawke, who’s the new Denzel Washington?
That would be none other than the aforementioned Bill Paxton, whose southern-talking detective has no problem bending the rules and mingling with the bad guys in order to get longer-term results.
“Bill Paxton is like your old uncle at this point, he’s just known. Working with Bill is like working with somebody that I’ve known for so long. If you gave me a script I can almost hear how he would say his lines, like Morgan Freeman or something,” Cornwell says. “He is just such a great guy, a mentor to me. We really try to keep each other at the top of our game.”
Spoken like a true Paxton trainee, if you ask us.
Training Day premieres midseason on CTV. Check out the trailer, below.