Though it ended its on-air run on Cinemax after his Thursday NBC series premiered, Winchester had finished production as one of the “Strike Back” troubleshooters much earlier. He’s brought much of the same physicality to his current role as Alex Kane, a former Special Forces operative turned security expert whose potential success in missions is the subject of bets fielded by Las Vegas casino pit boss Johnson (Wesley Snipes).
For the tastes of stunt work Winchester has had in his career, he acknowledges to Zap2it, “There are rules that let you do things and don’t let you do other things. With ‘Strike Back,’ we got to do a lot more stuff when we were in South Africa and Budapest.
“But having said that, NBC and Sony [the studio behind ‘The Player’] have been amazing. They said, ‘If you want to get in there and ride that bike, if you want to do that stuff, go ahead,’ so we’re pushing that out. This is a show where we’re bringing back ’80’s action and we’re putting it on television, and we’re having a good time doing that.”
One of Winchester’s most distinctive scenes thus far was in the pilot for “The Player,” as a gun-carrying Kane engaged in a foot chase down the Las Vegas Strip, wearing only his briefs. Much of the sequences actually was filmed in Los Angeles, but it still was quite memorable for the good-humored actor.
“I mean, they shut down Hollywood Boulevard,” he recalls. “They shut a stretch of it down, and it was actually really neat, because we were running around the alleys in Hollywood … so they had these toe shoes. We painted them skin colored, and we stuck those on, and I was running around in those to make it look like I was barefoot. We probably did it all night.
“And then, we went to Vegas” for location filming, Winchester adds, “and we ran down Fremont Street — which, actually, nobody paid attention to because it’s Vegas. They were like, ‘Ah, it’s no big deal. Boxers and a gun? He probably lost a bet.'”