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Published: Friday, June 7, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

'Graceland' actress takes the tough girl roles

  • Serinda Swan stars as a DEA agent in "Graceland."

    Dan Steinberg / Invision

    Serinda Swan stars as a DEA agent in "Graceland."

Acting is a tough profession for Serinda Swan, especially when it comes to the kind of roles she gets.
Known for playing strong characters on network and cable TV shows -- from her powerful turn as the magical Zatanna on "Smallville" to the even tougher role of a convict who agrees to help the law in "Breakout Kings" -- Swan is back as agent Paige Arkin in the new USA Network series "Graceland."
"The tomboy in me thought it would be cool to be a female DEA agent where you go out there and kick some butt. But that job can be a slippery slope because of the people she has to deal with like drug dealers and cartels," Swan said.
"It's even tougher being a woman because of the stuff they ask you to put yourself through.
"One of my first lines in the show is 'I'm not going to sleep with him.' And that hit home quickly because I realized there is a very fine line between trying to get in with these criminals, but how far do you go?"
The series, about undercover agents from the FBI, DEA and U.S. Customs living together in a Southern California beach front mansion called Graceland, also stars Daniel Sunjata, Aaron Tveit, Vanessa Ferlito, Brandon Jay McLaren and Manny Montana.
Swan wasn't in the series opener on Thursday since she was a late addition to the cast. She'll move into the mansion in the second episode.
Her "Graceland" character is tough, but series creators Jeff Eastin -- the man behind "Burn Notice" and "White Collar" -- has also given Swan's character a strong sense of humor.
"I consider myself to be fun, but this is the first time I've been able to do comedy and improvise," Swan said.
"The show will have some comedy and be light at times, but we'll definitely be the black sheep of the USA Network lineup."
Watch it
"Graceland" is on at
10 p.m. Thursdays
on USA.
Story tags » Television

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