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Shantel VanSanten on Ryan Phillippe and Non-Traditional Roles

The actress plays an atypical hero’s wife in Shooter

Shooter, based on the Stephen Hunter novel Point of Impact and the 2007 film starring Mark Wahlberg, has been turned into USA’s newest drama series. This time, Ryan Phillippe stars as Bob Lee Swagger, a former U.S. Marines marksman drawn out of self-imposed exile when he learns of a plot to assassinate the president and attempts to stop it. Shantel VanSanten, known for playing Quinn James on One Tree Hill and the fan-loved Patty Spivot on The Flash, plays Phillippe’s loyal and supportive wife, Julie Swagger. “I think people are going to be surprised when they see him [Phillippe] in this role,” says VanSanten. “People have their reservations and then when they see him they’re like, ‘That’s it! That’s Bob Lee!’”

VanSanten says the series follows more closely to the novel. “They’re going to see the differences between the movie and the show immediately,” she says.

Shantel VanSanten

And don’t get it twisted. VanSanten is not playing the your average hero’s wife, someone watching and worrying from the sidelines. “I’ve gotten my fair share of action sequences—not as many as Ryan has— but as the season goes on and the stakes get higher there are more opportunities for Julie to get involved in the action,” she says. “Julie’s a very strong pillar in the family unit. She’s had to play the role of single mother when Bob Lee’s been away.”

With all the action and high-stakes drama, VanSanten is loving every minute of filming. “The pilot always feels so memorable,” she says of her favorite moments on set. “You’re not sure if the show is going to go and you’re really giving it your all. We were shooting in Vancouver on a small island on the side of a cliff. That’s when I knew I was part of something bigger than I had even thought when reading the script. It’s only evolved from there.”

That memorable pilot premieres on USA Network on November 15th, later than originally planned.

Photo Credit: Mathieu Young