Interview: Rising Star Robyn Cara on Netflix’s Newest Hit “Bodkin”

June 10, 2024

Text: Jeremy Whitaker

Robyn Cara is a true talent. From roles on the CW, the BCC, Apple TV+, and Netflix to roles in feature films like We Die Young opposite Jean-Claude Van Damme, she is not afraid to take a risk or face a challenge. This tenacity has taken her from one diverse project to another, allowing her to more fully showcase her versatility and skill as a captivating performer.

Robyn's return to Netflix as Emmy Sizergh in Bodkin, the first show from Higher Ground, a Barack and Michelle Obama-founded production agency, places her at the forefront of a new generation of must-watch actresses. The show follows three podcasters who set off to uncover mysterious disappearances in a small Irish town and is one of the most highly anticipated shows of the year.

Just before the release of Bodkin, I caught up with the leading lady to learn more about this one-in-a-lifetime role, her approach to acting, and what challenges she is looking for in the future.

Read the interview below:

You play Emmy in the upcoming series Bodkin. What can you tell us about this character and what it took to develop her? 

Emmy is the podcast’s researcher who is basically there to make sure everything involved in recording the podcast runs smoothly. She’s very keen, eager to please, and insecure about her relative lack of experience out in the field. In terms of developing her, I think the first thing is finding similarities/overlap and I think from the get-go it was clear we have quite a similar energy — we both have this slightly bumbly English thing going on. We’re both chronic people-pleasers but underneath all that I think there’s a similar underlying drive and ambition which was fun to get to explore as the show went on. 

Bodkin marks the first fictional series from Higher Ground, Barack and Michelle Obama’s production company. How does it feel to be a part of such a significant project, and did their involvement influence your decision to join the series?

I loved the Bodkin scripts straight away! I found the tone so unique and hilarious – I remember just reading it and immediately connecting with Emmy which doesn’t always happen. And then all the names of the people involved and the work they’d done before was so incredible that it just became one of those auditions I really, really wanted. Which is dangerous because then it hurts more if it doesn’t go your way! 

Do you have a favorite podcast? 

I’m not wild on the true-crime podcast front, not gonna lie! But I did listen to a few before/during filming like Serial. I think I’m definitely into funnier podcasts — Off Menu is probably my favourite. I also like SmartLess or Call Her Daddy!

With a diverse portfolio that includes roles in The CW’s The Rising, Apple TV+’s Trying, and Channel 4’s Ackley Bridge, what draws you to your characters, and what excites you when reading a script? 

I think when the writing feels authentic and I can find something in the character to connect to, I can get excited about any kind of script really. Increasingly I’ve been loving finding roles/projects with comedy in them whether it’s a more out-and-out comedy series like Trying or a mix of genres with a general blackly comic tone like Bodkin. I’d love to do a romcom and I have also been going through a horror phase recently and think that would be properly fun to do. One other consideration is where the show is thematically saying something I think is especially interesting or important or something that I’ve never seen explored on screen before – that’s always immediately engaging.

What do you find to be the biggest challenge in acting? What is the most joyous aspect? 

The downtime is challenging — all you want to do is be creating on set or in a rehearsal room and it can definitely be hard to keep creative, positive, and focused when you’re in between jobs. In terms of the most joyous aspects, I think it’s the connection with other people, whether it be the other actors in the scene as you figure it out and shoot it or the crew as you choreograph these mad scenes meticulously and work out how to work in concert with every other department.

The whole experience of going to a place you’ve never been with a massive group of people all of whom in some way just enjoy being involved in stories, and then working together to create something that’ll outlive all of you is just really cool and special – I love it.

Is there a particular skill you would like to learn in a future role?

I would love to train really physically and intensely for a role – maybe learning how to fight or a specific sport, something that you get to do for a few months before filming, so you can really learn it and immerse yourself in that world. I used to do gymnastics as a kid so maybe something that lets me dust off those extremely rusty possibly no-longer-existing skills. Or maybe chess? But actually, you probably wouldn’t need to learn that because they could just tell you what moves to make. Plus, it looks hard.

Full Credits:

Text: Jeremy Whitaker

Photographer: Pip Bourdillon

Styling: Rachael Perry