Move over, Annie Walker - there's a new CIA agent named Annie on the airwaves. That's Annie Mason, the tenacious and beautiful spy on El Rey Network's Latin-flavored espionage drama Matador. This Annie is responsible for keeping a handle on undercover agent Tony Bravo (Gabriel Luna) as he navigates his dual life of operative and pro soccer player. Actress Nicky Whelan, who brings Annie to life, spoke with us last week to tell us how she sees her character.
Matador is one of the original series on the brand-new El Rey Network, which many people are still discovering. We asked Nicky if the program being on a fledgling network mattered to her when she accepted the role of Annie. "I never looked into the network initially or who gets it on their TV," she told us. "The material was awesome; the writers and creators are so talented. [And] being a part of something that comes from the family of [executive producer] Robert [Rodriguez] is always a blessing and is always going to be amazing!"
"The role of Annie was a character I was ready to play," she added. "She is a challenge for me and I'm very grateful to play a powerful, positive leading lady."
So just how interesting is it to play a kick-ass spy on a show from the minds of Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci (Hawaii Five-0, Sleepy Hollow)? "Every week, the story gets better and better for all of the cast," Nicky told us of her experience working on Matador. "We all eagerly await what's to come next. Each day on set is a blast and I've got to say, there are many surprises to come."
That's not the only thing that she has in the works. "I have a movie called Left Behind with Nicolas Cage coming out on October 5th. I also have a movie called The Wedding Ringer with Kevin Hart and Josh Gad coming out January 15th," she told us. "We start filming season two of Matador in February."
It's been an impressive journey for the actress who started her career in her native Australia before moving to the United States. "I did take a huge leap moving countries," Nicky reflected. "People have no idea how huge it is to relocate overseas. Finding your new life alone is enormous, and then starting a new career in Hollywood is so big.
"I've worked steady here since I arrived and I work hard," she continued. "I'm extremely grateful and I've deeply enjoyed the journey, even the ups and downs!"
Right now, she's looking forward to unraveling more secrets as we watch the second half of the opening season of Matador. "There is so much the audience is yet to find out about my character Annie Mason. I hope you guys love what is to come," she told us. "I'm sure grateful for my journey with her."
Matador airs Tuesdays at 9 PM ET/PT on El Rey Network (check your local listings for specific channel). The series has already been renewed for a second season.