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

WGN ITV Creative Arts Emmys diversity television Columbia Pictures blaxploitation NBC History Cosplay Musicals Marvel robots SundanceTV BBC America revenge CMT Premiere Dates DC streaming service animated APB sports justice league DC Universe Biopics zombie Calendar talk show Starz American Society of Cinematographers A&E game show adventure Comics on TV biography stand-up comedy anime award winner Fantasy crime Opinion Tumblr Year in Review Warner Bros. Amazon Logo TV cars President CBS police drama OWN festivals 45 historical drama BET Nat Geo what to watch green book The CW Ghostbusters Marathons Paramount doctor who serial killer Mystery ESPN Disney Channel Spike cops political drama TCA psychological thriller game of thrones vampires Photos Sundance Now First Reviews LGBT Chernobyl Horror Extras Freeform streaming Fox News El Rey Valentine's Day 2015 Amazon Prime Video batman Epix E! 2018 CNN Polls and Games Drama kids USA Network Adult Swim CBS All Access period drama Awards dc Action ratings children's TV joker 20th Century Fox DC Comics docudrama Kids & Family RT History Martial Arts Spring TV Film The Witch cooking theme song Sci-Fi Sundance Bravo Food Network Trailer 2016 quibi San Diego Comic-Con Thanksgiving Reality Competition cults Summer Country zero dark thirty PBS aliens cancelled TV shows sitcom Pop Ovation spider-man Song of Ice and Fire MSNBC Shondaland space canceled TV shows Pet Sematary hist medical drama Walt Disney Pictures Film Festival Britbox Nickelodeon Crunchyroll canceled TBS teaser cats NYCC Lucasfilm The Purge YouTube Premium TruTV Pride Month anthology science fiction Lifetime Black Mirror comiccon WarnerMedia nature Cartoon Network Mudbound toy story war Best and Worst south america dragons TCA 2017 21st Century Fox PaleyFest Rom-Com Peacock Rocketman Oscars 71st Emmy Awards breaking bad MCU First Look Paramount Network Mary Poppins Returns BBC ABC Family composers Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt VH1 Dark Horse Comics Emmys strong female leads Quiz natural history singing competition slashers E3 mockumentary Syfy See It Skip It Star Trek Turner Classic Movies Character Guide witnail Vudu Awards Tour Amazon Prime supernatural YA Disney Trophy Talk IFC Films Women's History Month adaptation Apple TV+ transformers thriller series Television Academy Superheroes Musical Comic Book TV Land Toys hispanic Pixar casting IFC Shudder Box Office Lionsgate based on movie Acorn TV Chilling Adventures of Sabrina RT21 romantic comedy spy thriller comic Reality Sony Pictures Mindy Kaling psycho Apple 24 frames spanish language politics Tomatazos GoT Tarantino Rock CW Seed New York Comic Con Binge Guide Superheroe Brie Larson Winners disaster Video Games Christmas Watching Series Turner dramedy Arrowverse Captain marvel Grammys Classic Film spinoff spain The Walking Dead Certified Fresh Red Carpet free movies Ellie Kemper Anna Paquin 007 The Arrangement crime thriller crime drama Set visit GLAAD mutant YouTube Family harry potter Teen Elton John Esquire Disney streaming service Star Wars TIFF dceu finale renewed TV shows MTV Mary Tyler Moore GIFs cancelled television Comedy Central halloween crossover ABC FOX miniseries Showtime HBO Max Emmy Nominations travel golden globes Animation foreign National Geographic TLC Heroines video Interview ghosts Super Bowl HBO TNT richard e. Grant Mary poppins 2017 facebook true crime Infographic Trivia Masterpiece TCM Schedule elevated horror FXX technology DGA Writers Guild of America Pirates Fall TV jamie lee curtis Spectrum Originals Rocky tv talk VICE Western DirecTV Disney Plus Netflix USA Sneak Peek unscripted movies AMC cinemax Podcast romance Countdown 2019 Hulu Stephen King cancelled LGBTQ discovery social media binge boxoffice YouTube Red FX Comedy Winter TV Crackle sequel X-Men Holidays Music SXSW zombies cancelled TV series SDCC book Election Cannes latino Universal TV renewals Nominations