You may know Cobie Smulders has had many memorable characters, from Robin in “How I Met Your Mother,” S.H.E.I.L.D. Agent Maria Hill in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, or even from her Broadway debut in 2017 in PRESENT LAUGHTER. In the end it was a character named Dex Perios in the show Stumptown, based on the graphic novel of the same name by Greg Rucka to bring her back to our televisions screens.
Acting alongside other tv veterans, Jake Johnson (New Girl), Michael Ealy (Almost Human), and Camryn Manheim (The Practice) Smulders talked about what drew her to this character, and back to tv with this show which premiers Wednesday, September 25th on ABC.
Cobie says this character offers her a chance to play a lot of different facets that make her an interesting challenge.
Cobie Smuders: I like playing messy characters. I like playing characters that can’t really be described, or characters that change throughout a project. I thought to myself, if I’m going to do a series again, and you never know how long those are going to go, but if I do it again I want to do it with someone who is constantly changing and surprising even me. She’s very flawed, she has severe PTSD because she was in the military and suffered some major traumas, she is a guardian to her younger brother which is not something I thought she ever expected in her life, she is sexually fluid, she’s an addict; she’s all sorts of things.
Smulders may be no stranger to stunts and action thanks to her jaunt through the comic book MCU, but this show, and the characters background calls for a fighting style that is more gritty and realistic.
In terms of her choreography; because she is a woman, and because she’s going up against people who have a hundred plus pounds on her we’re going to have to be really inventive about using props using whatever she can. She’s more of a scrapper than a highly trained spy; she’s been in a lot of bar fights. But she’s really smart and knows her strengths.
Colbie also use the fighting as an extension of her character’s personality and the shows desire to show a more well-rounded character in Dex.
I think her fight style is that she has no style. One of the things I love about the pilot is that one of the first times we see her in a fighting sequence is she just gets hit really hard in the face. You know, you don’t usually see women taking a punch; usually you see women executing these amazing moves and taking down a bunch of people, but you don’t see someone getting hit. I think there is a strength in that where you get hit and then you get up and fight again and come back. She is extremely resilient and I think that is one of her major strengths.
Based on a graphic novel, Smulders did research to better understand the character, especially her military background to grt it right.
I have a history with the military before, so I knew some things but I continued to research because whenever you are portraying somebody who has been in the service you want to get that right and pay it the respect that it deserves.
Catch Cobie Smulders and the rest of the cast of Stumptown when it premieres Wednesday, September 25th on ABC.