The midseason premiere of S.W.A.T. saw some big life storylines for a few characters, including Hondo and Nichelle.
Hondo finally met with Nichelle’s parents on S.W.A.T. Season 6 Episode 9, and the two couples had some opinions on where to raise the baby, which could cause tension in the family.
TV Fanatic got a chance to talk to Rochelle Aytes about the situation, as well as the aftermath of S.W.A.T. Season 6 Episode 8. Keep reading to see what she had to say!
I wanted to start off by saying that you were upped to series regular for S.W.A.T. Season 6.
It was a very pleasant surprise seeing you in the opening credits during the premiere. What are you feeling now that you’re able to really dig deeper into Nichelle’s storyline and have these bigger roles on the show?
Yeah, I’m so grateful to be a part of the show in this way. I never expected to transition to series regular. I wonder what my character’s storylines would be, and they’ve written such great stuff.
I have this job as a community center advocate; I am working at the Inspector General’s Office auditing cops; I am a pregnant woman. I love that.
There’s just so much going on that I never expected, and it’s been challenging. It’s been a lot of fun. Who doesn’t need or want conflict in their characters? The stories are just getting deeper and deeper.
I’m having a lot of fun.
In the midseason finale, we saw Nichelle fear for her life at the center, which was supposed to be a safe space.
How was it filming an episode like that and dealing with the roller coaster of emotions throughout the episode and seeing a side of her we’ve never really seen before?
Filming that was pretty intense. When I read it, I was like, “Okay, wow, this is going to be intense, and it’s going to be very challenging,” because she’s being violated in a way that we wouldn’t have imagined.
The danger is with S.W.A.T. not being a part of the danger and what that brings is her need to protect herself and her baby, and she wants to get a gun. That doesn’t really work out so well because she realizes that it’s not something for her; she cannot take another person’s life like that.
That was very emotional, to say the least.
Kind of going off of that, will we see her get more protective of herself and the center moving forward now that she is expecting?
I don’t know specific stories after what’s been filmed, but I can imagine that she’s going to be a mama bear, right?
As an expecting mother wanting to protect herself and her child, I can’t imagine that she doesn’t have PTSD and what that looks like moving forward. So, we’ll see what else comes from that.
In the midseason premiere, we get Hondo meeting Nichelle’s parents. Why do you think it took so long for this to happen, even though they’ve been going out for a while now?
That’s a good question. I can’t remember if it was Season 3 or 4, but Hondo was supposed to come to some fundraiser event for me. Remember when someone gave me money for the community center?
Oh, that’s right, that’s right! Yes.
It was the initial reason why we broke up because I mentioned my parents were going to come, and he was supposed to meet up there, but he didn’t. So this is the next time that he sees them after all that. I’m not sure why.
They have been on the East Coast, so that’s a part of it. Knowing how my parents are and how difficult he is, my father needed time before we got all together, but now I’m pregnant.
During the meeting, it was mostly about where you wanted to raise the baby and your parents wanted you guys to move to a different neighborhood. Mostly it was just about who Nichelle was dating.
Do you think the difference of opinion will affect Hondo and Nichelle’s relationship or their choice to stay in their neighborhood moving forward, or do you think your parents will eventually be open to it?
My parents will have to come around because I feel like we’re strong people, and we decided that this is where we’re going to be unless something just devastating happens in the story where we need to move.
I feel like they are going to have to come around.
Let’s hope that something horrible doesn’t happen because they’ve been through enough, in my opinion. Why do you think it’s important to include a storyline like this, especially during the pregnancy?
I think that we need to see what their family dynamic is like, and I think the show does just a really good job of weaving in the family, moving, touching storylines with that high-intensity, fast-paced action.
You need a little shake-up in your personal life, somebody that’s going to kind of challenge.
Oh, yeah, totally. As we previously talked about, it’s a very exciting time in their life getting ready for the arrival of their baby girl. What are you most looking forward to as the storyline goes on, either during the pregnancy or after?
I’m looking forward to just seeing how their dynamic continues to play out. As they get closer to having this baby, what is going to be the conflicts and the challenges, and how they’re going to juggle their personal lives and their careers?
Now Nichelle has this new job at the office; Hondo’s a cop, he’s saved lives. She’s got the community center. I’m looking forward to seeing how that all plays out.
Going back a bit, you were one of the lucky ones that got to go to Thailand for the season premiere. What was that experience like?
Oh, my goodness, yes. I was one of the lucky ones in Thailand. I got to take my husband, and we just explored. I mean, I was on the trains in Bangkok and exploring different restaurants and food and Chiang Mai.
We went to an elephant sanctuary, which was amazing. The views and people just get to work there. It was a paid vacation.
That all sounds amazing! One more quick question. Do you hope that maybe once Hondo and Nichelle finally get married, their honeymoon is out of the country?
That would be awesome. Where should Nichelle and Hondo go for their honeymoon? Italy? Absolutely, that would be awesome.
If you need to catch up, you can watch S.W.A.T. online right here on TV Fanatic.
Megan Behnke is a staff writer for TV Fanatic, who you can follow on Twitter.