The Code's Anna Wood developed a 'new respect' for the men and women of military while working on CBS show
In an exclusive interview with MEA WorldWide, the actress gets candid about the military, being a mom and what she learnt from her character on the CBS legal drama
Best known for her roles in ‘Reckless’ and ‘Deception’, actress Anna Wood first set foot onstage at the age of 7 in a production of ‘Peter Pan’. At the age of 18, Wood directed and starred in the play ‘Out of Gas on Lovers Leap’ at the Levering Orchard Theatre near her home town of Mount Airy, N.C.
She has also worked on ‘The Good Wife’, ‘NCIS: Los Angeles’, ‘Cold Case’, ‘Madam Secretary’, ‘Mad Men’, ‘Brothers and Sisters’, and ‘The Following’.
Currently, Wood is all set for the premiere of her upcoming show on CBS, 'The Code', a drama about "military's brightest minds, who tackle the toughest legal challenges facing the US Marine Corps, and wherein the courtroom, each attorney is trained as a prosecutor, a defence lawyer, an investigator — and a Marine."
While we have reservations about the show ourselves, Wood's portrayal of Captain Maya Dobbins saves the show some blushes.
In an exclusive interview with MEA WorldWide (MEAWW), Wood sheds light on her character of Captain Maya Dobbins, how she prepared for the role, and what she learned from her on-screen persona of Captain Maya Dobbins, and more.
What was it like working on a military legal show?
It’s an awesome honor. I know a lot of folks who have joined the military — both in my family and from my high school. I grew up in the south so the military was definitely on my radar in a big way. But getting to dive into the inner workings of the military, understanding the drive they have, their commitment to service, and the sacrifices they make, gives me whole new respect for the men and women of the military.
Can you tell us more about Captain Maya Dobbins? How would you describe her best? What is she like an officer, what are her ideals?
Captain Maya is a perfectionist. She holds herself to a borderline unrealistic standard and does the same to everyone around her. She is confident, unapologetic, and competitive as hell (especially with herself). She’s an idealist and aspires to greatness, but wants to get there by diligence and persistence. She wants to earn her accomplishments in an honest way.
How did you prepare for Captain Maya Dobbins' role?
Like Maya, I am a perfectionist as well. When it comes to my work, I’m pretty tough on myself about leaving no stone unturned. For me, this means making sure that every single word that comes out of my mouth is meaningful to me. With the military jargon and legalese of this show, that meant doing a lot of research on a world I knew very little about — which was thrilling and challenging. I was also coming off my first year as a new mother when I started this show, which prepared me in so many ways: I never knew how much I could accomplish in one day until I had a baby! Being a mom has been very empowering for me, and I use that power to fuel Maya as she navigates her career.
Were there any challenges when filming for 'The Code'/Capt. Maya's character, and if so, how did you work through them?
Personally, I had to learn how to juggle motherhood and my career. I spent a lot of this season on solo mom duty, as my husband (Dane DeHaan ) was out of the country working on his own TV show, so just learning to be efficient as hell with my hours, anticipate any issues, and knock it out of the park as a mommy and actor were exciting hurdles to jump.
Captain Dobbins is such a confident badass, channeling her and embodying her gave me the extra confidence and drive to accomplish all I needed to in a day. From shooting for 14 hours to coming home for a few hours of sleep, then waking up with my little girl and being present and excited about our time together. Then doing it all over again. It was hard but I did it, and I’m really proud of myself!
What are some of Captain Maya's on-reel characteristics that you admire?
I’m working on apologizing less. Literally and metaphorically. There’s this weird brainwashing a lot of women I know have where we just apologize incessantly. I don’t want to think like that, especially for my daughter's sake. Maya never apologizes needlessly. She is right where she’s meant to be and she knows it. She’s aware of her purpose and proud of herself for getting to where’s she’s gotten in her career and in life. I think a lot of that rubbed off on me, and I’m hoping to instill that in my daughter as well.
Tell our readers about the rapport Captain Maya shares with Captain Abe?
They are peers, equals, dear friends, and occasional enemies in the courtroom. They have nothing but respect for each other, and they enjoy the challenge of going head to head in the courtroom. They make each other better people and lawyers by being there to counterbalance each other’s strengths and weaknesses. I’d like to think Maya makes Abe work even harder, and I know Abe makes Maya relax a little.
When watching the previews, we got a very will-they or wont-they vibe from Capt. Maya and Capt. Abe (played by Luke Mitchell). Can you tell us something about that?
You know I can't! Isn’t he a cutie, though?
A lot of viewers are comparing the show with JAG. How would you weigh in on this? What do you think?
I’d say thank you! JAG was one of the most beloved TV shows ever, and to be associated with that is awesome. It examined such an interesting micro-culture in a human way, and brought to light a part of the military many didn’t even know existed. It was such a special and important show, I’m really hoping we fill that same sort of relevance for our audience.
Why should viewers tune into 'The Code'?
First and foremost, our cast is just phenomenal. I can’t believe I get to work with such talented, driven, versatile and experienced actors. They are such wonderful story-tellers. And the story we get to tell is so important. I’ve been so proud to zoom in on the military, a sort of vague idea that often gets politicized these days, and remember that these are men and women who have decided to spend their lives and careers serving their fellow citizens. The military is made of all kinds of people: men, women, parents, sons and daughters, rich and poor, native-born and immigrant, who have come together to be a part of the greater good. It’s important to remember the humanity and sacrifice of our service members, and our show does that. To all of the service men and women reading this: Thank you, thank you, thank you! It’s truly an honor to tell a part of your story.