Exclusive Interview: NYC 22’s Harold House Moore aka Jackpot Talks New Series, Character and Swinging Swords


If you like cop dramas, you are in luck as this Sunday, NYC 22, a new series premieres on CBS and will follow six diverse NYPD rookies as they patrol the streets of upper Manhattan.

TV Equals had the chance to chat with series star Harold House Moore who plays Jayson “Jackpot” Toney, one of the six rookies. Harold shared what the series was going to be about, what you can expect from it and what series he would like to guest star in.

Check out what he had to say below and don’t forget to tune in for the premiere of NYC 22 this Sunday, April 15 at 10 pm on CBS.
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Tell me about the show. What’s it about?

Harold House Moore: 2-2′ is about six rookie cops fresh out of the academy who have priority and responsibility and the privilege of working as cops on the streets of Manhattan. The diversity in the show occurs with the backgrounds of these colorful, and we feel, impactful and relatable characters. Our primary characters are six rookie cops that patrol the New York, Manhattan area.

The pilot is being directed by James Mangold, a renown director and is being produced by Robert De Niro. That’s a good combination.

Harold House Moore: It’s an awesome combination. I think for me, for this part of my career and also CBS, I don’t think I could’ve asked for a better outcome as far as presenting myself to the world, in a better fashion, on a better format and also with better people.

And your character is Jason?

Harold House Moore: Jason ‘Jackpot’ Tony. We call him Jackpot.

Why?

Harold House Moore: Because that was his name. He’s a local legend in that area for playing basketball. He’s a former NBA player. He played like three or four years in the NBA and he just squandered his opportunities with his arrogance. His immaturity got the best of the opportunity. He didn’t really take advantage and seize the moment. His way of actually coming back, because he was looked at on such a high pedestal amongst the community, for them he was their Michael Jordan.

When he came home and had the opportunity to mature a little bit he felt as though becoming a police officer was something that he could do that was equally or if not more impactful than his being an NBA player. That’s his way of almost trying to right his wrongs, and saying, ‘You know what, I know I made a big mistake, but I’m going to do something bigger than being in the NBA. I’m going to make a difference in the community that I grew up in, or that people know me in.’

What initially attracted you to the character?

Harold House Moore: A) I play basketball. I had NBA or pro level aspirations prior to [acting] and so when I had the opportunity to play a basketball player and also a police officer which leads to action, that’s my genre of filmmaking that I’m most intrigued by. If I’ve wanted to do anything acting wise it would be action or sports related. I’m a fan of Will Smith and Brad Pitt and Bruce Willis and Mel Gibson. So, if I had to do any type of film that’s what I prefer, action. When I had the opportunity to put two and two together along with Robert De Niro, Tribeca Films, James Mangold and also CBS it was a no brainer.

The cast is pretty impressive, too, with Leelee Sobieski and Terry Kinney. What was it like working with them?

Harold House Moore: Leelee actually plays my partner which is amazing for me, to be at this point in my career and have such a great co-star is an honor and a privilege and a blessing. She’s been extremely insightful.

I have to say that Terry has definitely been the water under the bridge, and what I mean by that is that he keeps everything flowing. He’s always in great spirits. He’s always available to give you information and knowledge to make the process easy. He shares things. With someone that present and that established and that experienced, that makes everyone else chill out. If this guy who’s been doing it for this long is in great spirits and things are amazing you can just chill out, go with the flow and appreciate it.

That’s one of the things that he’s instilled in me, how to take these moments and appreciate it. He’s always available for me, and so it’s truly been an honor and a privilege to work with both of them.

What can you tease about the upcoming episodes?

Harold House Moore: I saw some of the storylines. I’ve spoken to the writer which is Richard Price who’s a phenomenal writer. He’s another person that attracted me to this. He wrote on ‘The Wire’, ‘Clockers’ and a lot of other big projects. So, his understanding of writing is so different because it’s so detailed.

That’s one of the amazing things about working with a writer and a director and producer who’s so established in the community. They have an understanding of what works. CBS. They have a format. So, when you put all these people, these individuals, these entities with these formats success together it’s a domino effect of success.

That’s what we feel like going in, that if everyone shows up and does their part then the rest is enjoying the fruits of your labor. Just come in and work hard, continue to work hard, continue to push ourselves to get better and create the best project and show for the audience and the viewers and the rest will take care of itself.

The ‘2-2′ is a cop drama with similarities to other shows in that genre like ‘Rookie Blue’ on ABC. What do you think differentiates your show from the others?

Harold House Moore: I would have to say that those shows are more procedural. Our show is more relatable. Our show is more essential. Our show’s format is written and geared towards more real life scenarios as opposed to something like a ‘Rookie Blue’ where they’re more about procedures. They’re going to go A, B, C, D and this is how we get to E, F, by following these steps. Ours, we’re going to put C maybe before B and A. We’re going to end up hopefully in the right places we do, but we’re honestly learning as we go.

It’s not one of those things where we come on and solve things right away. We’re going to make mistakes and I think the relatability to the decisions that we make are what is going to make the audience, we feel as though, fall in love and appreciate our show. We don’t show up every single week and get everything exactly right exactly where it’s supposed to be. We’re going to make some mistakes and we’re going to learn and we’re going to get the consequences of messing up, as opposed to all the pats on the backs.

It’s like in your first year, if you’ve ever been a rookie, even your job working with your company where your first year, your internship wasn’t pleasant. You didn’t have all the luxuries and the things that you do now. You look back and you appreciate it because it ultimately made you who you are. It’s a process. It’s almost a hazing process and we’re going through that process and it’s so relatable.

People respect that because technically it’s done by the book and that’s why I say our show is a mix of both of those. We do majority by the book, but a lot of it is just, hey, we’re in those moments that are real and relatable to people and we’re going to respond not so much as cops all the time, but as somebody would as a friend or a person if an individual’s life was in danger or even if your own life was in danger.

If you could guest star on any other show, which one would it be?

Harold House Moore: Pick of the litter. It would be ‘Spartacus’. I love ‘Spartacus’. I thought that ‘Spartacus; Blood and Sand’, oh, my God. ‘Gods of the Arena’ is good, but ‘Blood and Sand’, man, it’s good. The women. It’s just so barbaric. It’s so manly. It’s so testosterone driven, but then the plot got better and better with every episode. I’ve probably watched that series twice. If it had to be, I’d take my shirt off and swing a sword and the women [laughs], having barbaric sex with women and swinging swords, eating raw, half cooked steak, I think that’d be a great guest star spot for me.
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Check out a preview of NYC 22 below:

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Americ is an editor at TV Equals, Film Equals and Web Series Channel.