It took Shemar Moore a long time to become the lead on a network drama.

The star of “S.W.A.T.” on CBS struggled for years as a coffee shop barista and model before a GQ ad helped him land a job on “The Young And The Restless.” Moore’s 25 year grind through the acting business perfectly prepared him for role of Daniel “Hondo” Harrelson.

“I was working in New York at the coffee shop and I had no money. I was broke as a joke,” Moore told CBS Local in a recent studio interview. “The Young And The Restless was my first professional gig and I was scared to death. I believed in myself and I was smart enough to know what I didn’t know. I’m a big believer in never forgetting where you came from. My life and the steps in my career have groomed me for this opportunity.”

Moore loves playing Harrelson so much that he recently got the S.W.A.T. logo tattooed on his forearm. Viewers will be able to see the new tattoo tonight when “S.W.A.T.” returns for season two. While the first season was filled with heart-pounding drama and non-stop action, Moore says that the show is going to the next level in season two.

“Our signature is the action. We come in that big truck with our gear and things are going to be blowing up,” said Moore. “There’s nothing like it on TV because we are making a movie-esque show. Then there’s the life stories and the relationships. We are going to continue to hit on immigration and racial tensions, without preaching.”

Viewers will also get the chance to see more of Hondo’s family this season. Legendary actors Obba Babatundé and Debbie Allen will be playing Moore’s parents on the show. The experience of working with big time actors is nothing new for the star of “S.W.A.T.”

“As I was finishing my run on Criminal Minds, I was so honored to have Danny Glover play my father,” said Moore. “That was insane, what an honor.”

Catch the season premiere of “S.W.A.T.” at 10pm EST/PST on CBS.