There has been much fuss made (and by me) about Jimmi Simpson in Breakout Kings, and while he is truly brilliant in the A&E con drama, his co-star Serinda Swan can't go unmentioned either. The former commercial actress certainly earned genre fans through appearances on shows like Smallville and Supernatural, but it really hasn't been until now that we got to see the nuances of her art.
At first glance in Breakout Kings Swan seems like just another hardened criminal-- a tough chick from the wrong side of the tracks who did some bad, got caught, and now managed to catch a break. But week by week, episode by episode, she is going to be stripped down slowly until her true self is exposed, just as much as she is stripped of all of the possessions one usually uses to hide behind when she is in her cell. Yes, she is a bad-ass at times, but at others she is extremely vulnerable. And she really only wants what just about everyone wants: to be with her family.
Swan gets points for pulling off a strong, stoic poker face that makes her seem harsh and even cold at times-- traits her character of Erica Reed would have to adopt in order to survive in the world she created for herself. Swan is extremely convincing as a con for all of that, but it is when the cracks in her armor start to form that she becomes truly interesting and so much more than just the one-note stereotype the character could have been on the page.
Breakout Kings has been getting some mixed reviews so far, but Swan has two films set to debut this year, too; no matter what screen she graces, she does so...well, with grace. And intrigue. She makes you want to know more about her and any character that she portrays, but she's smart enough not to give it all away at once. There will be plenty of new discoveries to learn and plenty more years to learn them, as her career is really only getting started!