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S.W.A.T.'s Kenny Johnson on How to Always Win an Arm Wrestling Match

Kenny Johnson, star of CBS’ new show S.W.A.T., isn’t just a tough-guy actor. He’s also a world-champion arm wrestler.

Kenny Johnson
Bill Inoshita/CBS

Veteran actor Kenny Johnson looks comfortable holding a gun.

And that’s because he’s had plenty of practice as a series regular in hits such as Sons of Anarchy and The Shield as well as his new show, S.W.A.T. Along with a familiarity with firearms being in his genes—he says a relative was one of the inventors of the Mossberg shotgun—being locked and loaded is what he prefers.

“I look for characters who are conflicted or flawed,” Johnson says. “If they end up being a good cop or rogue, I seem to physically fit the mold.” But S.W.A.T. presented a unique twist to a familiar role for Johnson: As Dominique Luca on the reboot of the ’70s cop classic, he’s a cop who’s as good at busting bad guys as he is at arm wrestling.

As a former world-champion arm wrestler, Johnson found the role wasn’t a stretch for him to play. So does that mean he’s had to prove himself against his muscular co-star Shemar Moore? “Shemar’s not going to ask me to arm wrestle,” Johnson says. “He knows he can’t beat me.”