Lights, camera, action
Charity Wakefield ditches stitched up period drama petticoats for femme fatale in The Player.
CHARITY Wakefield has ditched the corsets and petticoats. The 35-yearold British actor, best known for roles in period dramas Sense and
Sensibility and Wolf Hall, has turned action star for The Player.
Wakefield plays Cassandra King opposite Wesley Snipes’ (Blade) pit boss Mr Johnson and Philip Winchester’s (Strike Back) former intelligence officer Alex Kane in the US mystery drama. The Player, from the makers of The Blacklist, is a throwback to 1980s action movies, with Kane trying to prevent crimes from happening. The kicker is that wealthy gamblers are betting whether or not he will succeed. Cassandra, known as The Dealer, is Mr Johnson’s assistant, but it is very clear early on that she is no dolly-bird. Cassandra is tough and potentially lethal.
“I’m doing lots of stunts,” Wakefield says. “I’m doing performance driving – I’ve driven a Tesla, a Porsche and a Jag over the last few weeks.
“I’m learning to shoot, I’ve been to gun ranges, I’ve been suspended from the side of a building. What I’m learning is that I love this stuff. I haven’t done it for acting work before, but as a person I’m very into outdoor stuff. I’ve always done things like rock climbing and mountain climbing so for me it (doing the action scenes in
The Player) is absolutely amazing.” Wakefield hopes The Player will open doors for her in Hollywood after a couple of near-misses.
In 2009, she filmed the pilot for US law drama Legally Mad with Hugh Bonneville and Jon Seda but it never made it to series. In 2012, she appeared in
Mockingbird Lane, the re-imagining of The Munsters, as Marilyn Munster. Australia’s Portia de Rossi was also in the cast. The pilot went to air as a special but again, no series.
“This (action-drama) genre is something I’ve wanted to do for a while but only very recently started to pursue it,” Wakefield says.
“I’ve been lucky because as soon as my mind turned to it, this opportunity came up.
“We’re breaking new ground with Cassandra – knocking down gender stereotypes in a way.
“She is a fighter and she is up there with the guys. This genre can sometimes be termed ‘boysy’ or for men but actually it is about real human beings. She is very interesting. She is not typical at all. It is hard to sum her up. She is definitely sexy and alluring.
“She is extremely intuitive and intelligent. We will find out how well trained she is and what her background is as we go along.
“I’d be happy to call her a femme fatale. I think it is up to the audience to decide whether she is good or bad.”
THE PLAYER WEDNESDAY, 10.30PM, SCT