News

Shooter Star Cynthia Addai-Robinson on Getting Typecast as a Badass

An FBI agent in the USA series, the actress notes how the show ‘eerily’ mirrors current politics

by | December 5, 2016 | Comments

SHOOTER Cynthia Addai-Robinson (Jeff Daly/USA Network)

Cynthia Addai-Robinson is no stranger to playing kickass women – and her new role in the new USA series Shooter keeps her squarely in the “folks we wouldn’t want to mess with: category. Shooter, based on the 2007 film of the same name, features Addai-Robinson in the role of FBI agent Nadine Memphis, a character that was recast as female (Michael Peña played “Nick Memphis” in the movie) without the star even knowing.

“I hadn’t seen the movie when this opportunity presented itself to me, so in a way it was kind of nice to have the opportunity to build this role from scratch,” Addai-Robinson told Rotten Tomatoes. “The character originally was male and as far as I know that was a conscious decision by the folks putting the series together … it’s an interesting opportunity to explore a different dynamic, especially when you see how this character fits into the larger world and how Nadine ultimately ends up interacting with the other characters, it’s interesting to see it, you know, as a female role.”

Memphis is investigating ex-Marine sniper Bob Lee Swagger (Ryan Phillipe) after he is framed in a plot to kill the president that goes wrong – but her doubts about his involvement are quickly dismissed by her coworkers.

“It’s interesting to question how would she [Memphis] be perceived if the character were male,” Addai-Robinson said. “I think certainly for women who are watching, that might be something they can see as far as how her character moves about in the world and they might be able to relate to it in a very specific way.”


SHOOTER Cynthia Addai-Robinson (Joseph Viles/USA Network)

Addai-Robinson played rebel fighter Naevia in the Starz series Spartacus and later was high-ranking government official Amanda Waller on Arrow, carving out a niche for herself away from the typical rom-com roles often available to younger actresses. Most recently, she played a Treasury agent in the Ben Affleck thriller The Accountant, making waves as a female character with no romantic interest in the film.

“It’s interesting once you see a pattern arise in your work as far as how people might perceive you or where your strengths lie,” Addai-Robinson said. “I’m not sure how I landed in these government roles, I’ve been very fortunate and all of these characters, they’ve all been different in their own way.” But, she added “I like the idea I get to be my own fully-formed woman and fully-formed character and it’s not necessarily about being dependent … on a man.”

She joked, “Maybe in the next role I can be a government agent with a love life as well – they aren’t mutually exclusive.”


Shooter Cynthia Addai-Robinson and Omar Epps (Jeff Daly/USA Network)

But playing dark characters does come with its own set of issues. Shooter’s intense violence saw the show push its premiere twice after events in the news prompted sensitivity concerns. Addai-Robinson said she agreed it was the right thing to do and that the show’s relevancy to current politics is almost eerie.

“When this show was coming together, nobody could have predicted what would be going on in the world, and so it’s interesting to suddenly find yourself in a show that feels so topical and so timely. So when you find yourself in that situation you want to be sensitive to it, which I think we have been. And at the end of the day, we now have opportunity to be very thoughtful moving forward with the story that we are telling because now it sort of takes on a different immediacy,” she said. “First and foremost, we want to entertain.”

She added without giving away a spoiler, to keep your eye on one particularly relevant plot point that mirrors current politics.

“When we start out in the pilot, we have this situation, we see my character meeting an informant and he leaves some information that has been written by a journalist in the Ukraine – and that’s sort of a very important thread to follow… The plot is quite dense so it’s important to pay attention to these little breadcrumbs.”

Shooter airs on Tuesday nights at 10 p.m. on USA

Tag Cloud

facebook video Rocketman A24 TIFF Amazon Prime Video strong female leads WGN Disney+ Disney Plus comics Travel Channel Mudbound anime Writers Guild of America trophy Calendar HBO Max psycho Sneak Peek LGBTQ political drama TV One Ghostbusters Crunchyroll Apple TV Plus concert 2016 Heroines worst movies HBO Go Adult Swim Focus Features Britbox The CW Amazon Prime streaming movies chucky rt labs singing competition scary movies cartoon Emmys Biopics Marathons Creative Arts Emmys Pride Month scene in color film series cars mcc obi wan archives ratings joker Chernobyl child's play TV Winners American Society of Cinematographers History Best Actor Binge Guide cats dogs rt labs critics edition mutant a nightmare on elm street young adult parents dark Trophy Talk dexter Peacock pirates of the caribbean 2018 Paramount kids dreamworks harry potter comic book movies biopic scary Turner video on demand Elton John scene in color series VICE YouTube Premium Reality Competition FX CMT Year in Review Rock cancelled genre women new zealand New York Comic Con sitcom ID dceu 45 First Reviews canceled TV shows documentaries Women's History Month Musical SDCC streaming The Witch Disney Channel docuseries hispanic heritage month indie Pacific Islander mob 72 Emmy Awards USA Network Summer marvel cinematic universe action-comedy italian ghosts Chilling Adventures of Sabrina dc Netflix Christmas movies spider-verse hist new star wars movies docudrama Masterpiece Mary Poppins Returns Holidays Drama Columbia Pictures Tokyo Olympics Vudu Election FOX 2017 casting Schedule Broadway sequel Wes Anderson comiccon spain Arrowverse book adaptation Ellie Kemper crime thriller Pop TV YouTube zombies Sci-Fi reviews new york live action WarnerMedia halloween The Arrangement Tumblr Discovery Channel serial killer tv talk Television Critics Association Awards Tour Oscar BBC period drama target scene in color Marvel Television adenture PaleyFest all-time critics live event supernatural 20th Century Fox TLC technology versus Country golden globes National Geographic name the review X-Men superhero IFC Films travel Cartoon Network slasher YA HFPA hispanic Best Picture 2015 Classic Film award winner sag awards TCA disaster slashers 94th Oscars saw hidden camera Stephen King Polls and Games The Purge Marvel Studios universal monsters MGM high school medical drama Kids & Family President historical drama news SundanceTV Superheroes posters aapi Rocky Sundance Now DC Universe heist movie 2019 Disney Plus Amazon Comic-Con@Home 2021 scorecard aliens RT21 latino Tomatazos Toys 21st Century Fox Syfy emmy awards Emmy Nominations Showtime mission: impossible Awards elevated horror blaxploitation IMDb TV Universal Pictures movie Animation 73rd Emmy Awards ViacomCBS politics Hallmark Hulu breaking bad Pop football Television Academy 99% robots crossover twilight anthology summer preview japanese Indigenous GIFs Nominations what to watch doctor who screenings BET Awards Turner Classic Movies 2020 Winter TV Apple TV+ Hallmark Christmas movies canceled sports unscripted die hard BAFTA Best and Worst Crackle superman stand-up comedy Universal know your critic zombie revenge comic books legend Geeked Week boxing obituary Neflix police drama ABC christmas movies Lifetime MTV kong scene in color jurassic park Black History Month Interview Disney french Sundance TV spanish Tarantino Mary Tyler Moore Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt teaser Mary poppins crime Esquire Baby Yoda rotten movies we love OneApp Star Wars MSNBC reboot space DC Comics Video Games blockbusters Avengers TV movies Fargo binge 4/20 kaiju El Rey Trailer Walt Disney Pictures Family monster movies Nat Geo Endgame suspense Logo international Amazon Studios romantic comedy hollywood Star Wars Celebration true crime Pet Sematary TV renewals war ITV comic Sony Pictures comic book movie justice league OWN toy story halloween tv Song of Ice and Fire Reality PlayStation Netflix Sundance free movies Pixar AMC Plus Spring TV venice TBS HBO Alien Comic Book Super Bowl Best Actress Western miniseries Lucasfilm razzies classics book Martial Arts First Look Paramount Plus comedies SXSW 2022 green book Spike series spy thriller Fox Searchlight Lionsgate Prime Video South by Southwest Film Festival streamig dramedy Premiere Dates E3 adventure television NBA remakes rotten VOD jamie lee curtis Disney streaming service Funimation Certified Fresh IFC fast and furious Countdown Sony Hollywood Foreign Press Association AMC quibi Grammys See It Skip It sequels 79th Golden Globes Awards cancelled TV series Shudder vs. directors criterion rt archives zero dark thirty ABC Signature Comics on TV Quiz asian-american documentary theme song cancelled television franchise GoT E! satire blockbuster NYCC children's TV CBS biography DGA Set visit 2021 Trivia Apple interviews Tags: Comedy CNN Infographic A&E TCA 2017 Bravo Exclusive Video Oscars GLAAD VH1 Watching Series golden globe awards Podcast Captain marvel Lifetime Christmas movies USA crime drama TruTV social media 90s Image Comics godzilla 1990s BBC America boxoffice cults Acorn TV royal family Photos CW Seed based on movie batman game show popular black leaderboard foreign Food Network DC streaming service TCA Winter 2020 screen actors guild Paramount Pictures MCU thriller DirecTV Cannes The Academy 71st Emmy Awards Spectrum Originals Red Carpet Film Hear Us Out NBC laika critic resources south america Mystery psychological thriller Comedy Central FX on Hulu APB Anna Paquin fresh Brie Larson deadpool BET films cooking Starz nbcuniversal RT History art house basketball Fox News Extras TCM debate independent transformers spider-man diversity Cosplay summer TV stoner vampires 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards science fiction indiana jones PBS romance The Walking Dead 007 ABC Family cinemax Pirates Freeform renewed TV shows marvel comics LGBT 93rd Oscars CBS All Access trailers king arthur talk show spinoff FXX japan king kong Teen telelvision black comedy Christmas james bond Box Office Character Guide Paramount Network Academy Awards Tubi Native witnail Fall TV The Walt Disney Company Holiday Instagram Live Superheroe mockumentary TNT Dark Horse Comics Valentine's Day nfl YouTube Red ESPN game of thrones Rom-Com BBC One broadcast movies Comedy TV Land Mindy Kaling Horror Black Mirror Legendary best SXSW discovery Fantasy Film Festival Shondaland animated Warner Bros. TCA Awards Musicals Star Trek wonder woman feel good adaptation worst stop motion Thanksgiving festival Opinion nature gangster Nickelodeon San Diego Comic-Con Music rom-coms richard e. Grant werewolf spanish language 24 frames composers dragons finale lord of the rings summer TV preview toronto australia cancelled TV shows Ovation prank natural history olympics cops Marvel Action festivals Epix Best Director sopranos target