'East New York' Star Amanda Warren Credits SWAT Officer Fiancé for Training Her for Cop Role (Exclusive)

The star of CBS' police drama talks to ET ahead of Sunday's return.

East New York star Amanda Warren is reflecting on the success of her freshman CBS cop drama, where she plays Regina Haywood, the newly promoted boss of the 74th Precinct in East New York, who aims to deploy creative methods to protect her community.

"It means everything that the show's been embraced by the audiences, particularly the communities in and around East New York. It’s a relief because New Yorkers like me will tell you what they like and what they don’t like right off the bat," Warren told ET's Will Marfuggi ahead of the series' return Sunday. "It’s called a New York minute for a reason because it happens really quick and we're just really happy as an ensemble, as a creative team. It’s just been really, really encouraging."

The actress detailed a memorable encounter with a fan that has stuck in the front of her mind. "There was one woman, she was stopping and she almost missed her traffic sign," Warren recalled. "She saw us and she was like, 'You guys have no idea. We love the show,' so it’s been really, really exciting when they see us and we get that kind of response. It's very energetic and very exciting and positive."

When East New York resumes season 1, it'll be picking up with Officer Andre Bentley (Lavel Schley) fighting for his life after getting shot.

"We pick up on East New York right where we left off with [Officer] Sandeford helping Bentley, coming to his aid. Then we will see each member of the ensemble coming to respond to the call and how we respond to Bentley," Warren teased. "Bentley's this guy who's very warmly embraced by everyone. He’s a good guy, he’s kind of a good deed-doer and so for it to happen to him, you get a lot of perspective as to what happens to good people that you work with because it is an occupational hazard, getting in the line of fire. What kind of personal trauma triggers come up and and what from people's personal lives also come up because we also need to find out who has done this to Andre."

"Regina always walks that line," she said when asked if her character will go by the book or throw it out the window to find the culprit responsible for Andre's shooting. "But we see her definitely teetering on the edge and favoring a side. But she’s definitely meeting more and more resistance as the season progresses. You see the dynamic and relationships that she has with people shift and evolve into something that maybe we're not anticipating."

Warren shared that her fiancé, who is a SWAT officer and featured in a few of her training videos she's posted to Instagram, helped prepare her to take on the role of a New York deputy inspector and gives her advice "all the time" on how one would carry themselves in posture and voice.

"I get the feedback all the time and he actually trained me for what you see is the first five minutes of our pilot episode -- I was working on other stuff so it was difficult to find a trainer anywhere else," she credited. "But I get [feedback] from NYPD, I get it from from friends that I have who are officers, from family now who have been in it for for decades, so that has also been a very positive response weekly and that’s very much a relief because we want to live up to what it is they do in essence. We can never actually understand until you literally put yourself in their shoes and put your life on the line for any random call every day, day in and day out. So I can never understand that. But to be compassionate toward the situation, to respect it is where I start, and then the writing kind of carries us from there."

She also revealed that they often train together on her off-time.

"I go to a range that he trains on whenever I can," she said of her training regimen for the show. "That’s when I train just to, like any actor wants to do, we want to know how it is to comfortably be in our bodies, be in our costumes, be with our props and such, so that’s always very important to me and to also physically have that training. Regina’s someone who is very tactical, so I wanted my build to be very square in the shoulders as much as possible, so I train. I do the Pilates."

As for whether she'd be down for a future crossover with another CBS Sunday drama, Queen Latifah's The Equalizer, Warren was open -- if it made sense.
"I think that East New York is gonna stay in its own world. We got something very good cooking and it kind of gives us the freedom to do our own thing, but yes, we have gotten very encouraging comments about that as well. But I think for the most part, East New York is East New York and The Equalizer and Miss Queen herself is doing her thing over there."

East New York returns Sunday, Jan. 8 at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.