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

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