You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

CCH Pounder

Featured player

For the past two decades, CCH Pounder has built an impressive oeuvre studded with roles befitting a worldly thesp, one who received an education in London and helped set up a cultural museum in Senegal.

The Guyana-born actress has turned heads portraying smart, confident women such as judges and doctors, and she’s at it again with her latest turn as seasoned detective Claudette Wyms on FX’s “The Shield.”

“Claudette very quickly establishes this one-of-the-boys kind of attitude,” Pounder says. “She can hang with them at any rate, as opposed to being a woman fighting for her space in a man’s world. She’s already done the fight, and seeing where it goes from there can get very interesting.”

Indeed, she’s one of the few people who can rattle Vic Mackey, the brawny, morally challenged detective played by Michael Chiklis. Her role has grown considerably meatier since the series debuted two years ago, with Claudette moving from a weary veteran inching toward retirement to a major force threatening to expose Vic’s corrupt ways.

“She takes it on like a cowboy and I can’t be more thrilled,” says Pounder, who has earned two Emmy nominations, one for supporting actress as Dr. Angela Hicks on “ER” and another for a guest spot on “The X-Files.”

Pounder made her television debut more than 20 years ago on “Hill Street Blues” and has since appeared in scores of shows including “L.A. Law” and “The West Wing.” But she says her role on “Shield” is perhaps the best she’s ever had (save for the eccentric motel owner she played in the feature “Bagdad Cafe”).

Which makes it all the more surprising that her part in the series was originally meant for a man. But Pounder fought hard for it because she became enamored of the work of Clark Johnson, director of the pilot episode, after having just finished a TV film with him (“Boycott”).

“I said to Clark, ‘I don’t care what you’re doing next, I want to work with you again,'” she says. “So it was very unexpected the way it worked out, but this just turned out to be the one for me.”

More TV

  • Pete Davidson Sits Out Final 'Saturday

    Pete Davidson Sits Out Final 'Saturday Night Live' Sketches of 2018

    Just hours after “Saturday Night Live” cast member Pete Davidson posted a message on social media that said he “really [didn’t] want to be on this Earth anymore,” he was absent from the final 2018 live sketches of the late-night sketch comedy show. But although Davidson did not take part in the sketches or appear [...]

  • Pete Davidson photographed by Peggy Sirota

    Pete Davidson Posts Unsettling Message, Deletes Instagram

    UPDATED: “Saturday Night Live” cast member Pete Davidson posted a disturbing message Saturday morning stating he doesn’t “want to be on this earth anymore,” then deleted his Instagram account. In the post, Davidson wrote, “I’m doing my best to stay here for you but i actually don’t know how much longer i can last. all [...]

  • Disney Channel Fires 'Andi Mack' Actor

    Disney Channel Fires 'Andi Mack' Actor Arrested for Plotting Sex With Minor

    Disney Channel has severed ties with “Andi Mack” actor Stoney Westmoreland following his arrest for allegedly trying to arrange a sexual encounter with a 13-year-old. “Stoney Westmoreland, an actor working on the series ‘Andi Mack,’ was arrested in Salt Lake City today,” a Disney Channel spokesperson said in a statement Friday. “Given the nature of [...]

  • Russian Doll

    TV News Roundup: Natasha Lyonne's 'Russian Doll' Sets Netflix Premiere Date

    On Friday’s roundup, Netflix announces the premiere date for “Russian Doll” and Benedict Cumberbatch’s “Brexit” film has a premiere date on HBO FIRST LOOKS Showtime has released a new teaser for the upcoming comedy series, “Black Monday,” which will premiere Sunday, Jan. 20 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. The series stars and is executive produced by Don [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content