Bill Paxton knows his old movies — and the star says his new CBS show “Training Day” will be chockablock with references to them.
“Training Day,” premiering Feb. 2, is a series adaptation of the 2001 crime thriller starring Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke about two cops battling gang violence in Los Angeles. But it’s hardly the only famous movie the new show will name-check, both overtly and more slyly.
One episode plays around with a famous Texas battle. “It’s … ‘The Alamo’ we all grew up with — John Wayne, Richard Widmark,” Paxton, 61, said Monday at the Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena, referring to the 1960 movie epic about the historic fort.
“We have another episode that is called ‘Sunset Boulevard,’ that is a total homage,” he added, referring to the 1950 Billy Wilder classic about a faded silent movie star and the hack screenwriter who becomes enmeshed in her world.
“It opens with me floating in the pool, for God’s sakes!” Paxton exclaimed. “Sunset Boulevard” famously began with a shot of screenwriter Joe Gillis (William Holden), face-down and dead in a swimming pool.
Paxton, of course, has a lengthy list of movie credits to his own name, including memorable roles in “The Terminator,” “Aliens,” “Apollo 13” and more. “Training Day” will be his first starring TV series role since HBO’s “Big Love.”
“I should be doing TCM — that’s the next thing after this,” Paxton joked.