Lights, cam­era, ac­tion

Char­ity Wake­field ditches stitched up pe­riod drama pet­ti­coats for femme fa­tale in The Player.

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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

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