‘I think women want to see other women be strong and powerful and there’s no reason why they can’t be,’ she says.

By C. Molly Smith
September 19, 2015 at 01:53 AM EDT
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  • Movie

Charity Wakefield only just recently started working in action — for NBC’s upcoming thriller The Player — and she’s already hooked.

“I’ve got to learn how to shoot guns, how to jump off of buildings, how to work crazy technology, and how to look like I have a hell of a lot of money and live and work in a top organization in Las Vegas,” the actress told EW at People’s Ones to Watch event on Wednesday. “It’s been fascinating, amazing to learn about all of that stuff.”

The show follows a former military operative turned security expert (Philip Winchester) at the center of a high-stakes game, where people gamble on his ability to stop crime from happening. Wesley Snipes co-stars as the pit boss, with Wakefield as the dealer. 

Known for known for her dramatic work in Wolf Hall and the TV mini-series Sense & Sensibility,  Wakefield says the role has been a “huge” challenge because “it’s completely different from anything I’ve done before.” 

But she’s up to the challenge, and is excited about the opportunity to be a woman working in action. “Being a woman, it’s very rare that you get the opportunity to do stuff like that,” she says. “There’s not many projects around for women to do fight sequences in.”

But she points to Ronda Rousey as someone making interesting moves on that front, on and off screen. “She’s a strong woman, very outspoken and this kind of amazing, undefeated fighter,” she says of the UFC fighter, who recently signed on to star in the Roadhouse reboot. “Not to say that my character is like that exactly, but right now I’m very interested in strong women in leading roles and strong, powerful parts.”

Wakefield’s hopeful that Rousey in that role, just as an example, could help pave the way for future actresses working in action. “I feel like there’s absolutely a market for it,” she says. “I think women want to see other women be strong and powerful and there’s no reason why they can’t be. We’re proving that as we go along.”

The Player premieres on Thursday, Sept. 24 at 10 p.m. ET on NBC.