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

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