When you’re an actress who’s appeared in a number of Oscar nominated films, people expect you to have some sort of arrogant demeanor. For actress Thandie Newton, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. When you first go to meet her, she’s busy chatting it up with her fellow cast mates. Newton greets them with hugs with all of the might her petite frame can muster. You seat yourself in a quiet room to set up for the interview and before you can even get your thoughts together, she breezes in with a warm smile and that pint-sized case of nerves you had melt away.
Thandie Newton and I fell into an easy conversation about her new gritty cop drama “Rogue” which premieres April 3rd at 9pm exclusively on DirecTV. The versatile Newton plays Grace who is a morally and emotionally tormented undercover cop mourning the death of her son who may have been killed by someone she’s investigating. As she throws herself into finding her young son’s murderer, she begins to lose control of her marriage, relationship with her daughter and her own life. Adding to the chaos is Jimmy Laszlo, the head of a crime syndicate who suspects that someone wants him dead. Together, they embark on a journey riddled with deception, shocking revelations and murder.
Come along as Thandie Newton discusses how “Rogue” reflects real life dynamics between men and women, the games people play to get what they want, and why she’s proud of her friend Kerry Washington.
TUD: Despite the men being in power positions on the show, it seems like the women are really the ones running things. What do you think about that?
TN: That’s interesting. I haven’t even thought about it like that. I think Leah, the woman who plays Cathy, she’s like a Lady Macbeth. She sort of turns screws in the background. It’s a lot like real life. Women wield a huge amount of power in the relationship and in the goings on of the family. But to say they have more power than the men on the show, I don’t know. The central role is a woman and I kick ass! I’m glad we see this person claiming her future and fighting for the justice of her family.
Even with your character and Jimmy’s relationship, despite him being the powerful and feared mob boss, your character is the one person who can stand up to him and not deal with the repercussions that might befall on someone else in his crew.
Absolutely. Well, you know a stranger can be your best friend. But that’s definitely set up as a bit of dramatic irony. The fact that the two of us end up needing one another just shows that an enemy can be the person you need to rely on. That’s at the heart of a lot of interesting dramas. If you dig a bit deeper and penetrate the surface, you actually discover the situation is very complicated. That’s one of the great things about “Rogue.” You just don’t quite ever know which side anybody is on.
Your character Grace seems to be running off of desperation to find the killer of her son. Does her desperation cloud her judgement?
It does cloud her judgement, but more so that’s how her family perceives it. They also don’t know what she’s doing because she doesn’t want to reveal to them what she’s doing. She can’t in the beginning because she’s a cop. When she’s no longer a cop, she doesn’t want them to know she’s not a cop because her family will stop her from doing it because it’s a very dangerous thing to do. So she ends up having to do everything in secret. That’s why it seems that Grace is doing something that contradicts what they want. When, in fact, if they knew she was trying to seek justice for their family member, they would support her all the way.