Cassandra Freeman Takes on NBC’s ‘The Enemy Within’

Hunting down spies has been a common thread to the television industry, but the NBC new drama The Enemy Within dives deeper into the plot. Cassandra Freeman plays Jacqueline Pettigrew who is an interval contribution with a team that tracks down the greatest of spies in the undergrounds of America.

ATM: In this series, how do we see the good and negative side of trust?

CF: Great question. This is a hard question. You would think only the good things are good about trust. The show is about when learning the full story about someone, does this mean you should trust me? This is the thing that gives you empathy for someone as well. For Shepherd, you are learning about so much about her relationship with her daughter, motivation, but is this enough to trust someone? This is true for anyone in this world. The good side is that you get the learn the person and their background. However, the bad side is that just because you get to learn their background, does this mean this is enough to trust them?

ATM: What can you reflect on the communications in the co-worker to co-worker relationship and mother to daughter relationship?

CF: In a mother and daughter relationship they are speaking from the heart and trying to be understood from the heart. In the co-worker to co-worker, they are trying to be understood from their intellect. People are communicating from different parts of their ego. They are more talking from intellect and information; it is not about heart. It is about project management.

ATM: How does your character deal with moments where she must be very strategic and feel comfortable?

CF: How does she deal with it? How do you deal with coming up with good questions for an interview? She comes from this background. Her background is about being a hostage negotiator. She is using everything she has ever learned to do what she does. She is not just a pedestrian, but this is her career.

ATM: What could you also reflect on your character’s emotional level?

CF: Emotionally, she is a very witty person. She takes what she does seriously. She has a lot of levity about what she does. This is an incredible skill. An exterior type would be someone who does this for a living and thinks nothing bright about it. She is a breath of fresh air.

ATM: How does this series continue to express what we know about spy drama?

CF: I work with a team, which includes Morris Chestnut’s character, Will. His character is played dramatically and amazingly. It is about how we as a team come together to find the biggest spies in America. It is like we are trying to find the James Bond of an undercover America. This is a different look at the show. Also, Jennifer Carpenter’s character Erica Shepherd is extremely different. She is the biggest trader in American history. She is a mother bear with the heart of a dragon. There is no show with this type of lead. She is brilliant in this lead.

ATM: What elements does a group of people need to have to carry out teamwork?

CF: The way to look at the show is it being about collaboration. But it is also about the vision of the leader. The focus is what and how do we become taller? We all use our expertise, whether it is tactical or technology to come to this conclusion. People allow others to be the best in their field. We do not walk over each other when it comes to this. We might compromise, but people realize that Kate is the one that understands technology. We are not going to step on her toes.  

ATM: How does this show a different a side to what we consider an enemy to be?

CF: An enemy has many different meanings. So, The Enemy Within means the enemy within our office or someone you work next to is your enemy. Maybe it is within yourself or in your mind. The greatest tool of a human being is your mind and your heart. What happens when your mind becomes your enemy, or your heart becomes your enemy? It goes on and on. The Enemy Within is not just about the person across from you, but it can also be the person within you as well

ATM: What are your character’s strengths and weakest part?

CF:  It is a bit for an opinion. She would say her weakness is her heart because she cares so much. Her strength is also her heart because she cares so much. Her strength is being a negotiator with hostages. Another weakness could be her being the first to go out to battle. It makes her a target.