For someone who never planned to be an actor, Cobie Smulders has come very far in her career. To highlight her successful genre-hopping from comedy star to action hero who kicks butt alongside Tom Cruise in Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, in cinemas October 20, we look at some of her best titles.
Name: Jacoba Francisca Maria “Cobie” Smulders
Born: April 3, 1982 (age 34)
Years active: 2002–present
Smulders grew up in Canada and worked as a model, which she says she “kind of hated” due to being continually judged physically, and she was hesitant on pursuing an acting career because of it. When she was younger she aspired to become a marine biologist but instead decided to study acting after quitting modelling. One of her first roles was in 2002 as a guest on the television show Jeremiah and her first permanent role was on the short-lived ABC series Veritas: The Quest.
Smulders played Robin Scherbatsky on the long running and beloved American sitcom How I Met Your Mother. For nine years Smulders played a small-time, Canadian news reporter who was friends with Ted, Barney, Marshall and Lily who spent most of their time together in a Manhattan bar. The show has an impressive following for its eccentric humour and Smulders is often caught in a will-they-won’t-they relationship with each of the two single leads.
Happily taking a break from comedy, Smulders was recruited to play Maria Hill in The Avengers as part of the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Based on Marvel’s Avengers comics, the film follows Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) as he recruits a superhero team to fight Thor’s brother Loki from taking over earth. Smulders is Fury’s lieutenant and is known for being tough-minded and working by the book – definitely not a comedy star. She is very involved in the action, with hand-to-hand combat and a gun by her side.
Continuing her role as agent Maria Hill, Smulders joined the television show Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D while still filming How I Met Your Mother for only two episodes. Standing for Agents of Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement, and Logistics Division, they are a peacekeeping and spy agency in the world of superheroes. Smulders made appearances in season one to help connect the films and the show.
Returning to comedy for They Came Together, Smulders joins the likes of Saturday Night Live’s comedy heavyweight Amy Poehler, Paul Rudd, Ellie Kemper and Bill Hader. The film is a parody of the romantic comedy genre using an absurd approach to show how an unlikely couple falls in love. Smulders plays Tiffany Amber Thigpen, the ex-girlfriend of Rudd who cheats on him when he tries to propose.
Mixing animated action and comedy, Smulders played Wonder Woman in The Lego Movie. The film was the first ever feature-length Lego animation and follows an ordinary Lego man on his adventure to become ‘special’. Wonder Woman, Batman, Superman and the like are all Master Builders and help the Special defeat an evil tyrant conquering the world. The film features comedy favourites Chris Pratt, Will Arnett, Elizabeth Banks, Will Ferrel, Jonah Hill and Morgan Freeman, because, obviously.
The ninth film in the Marvel universe, Captain America: The Winter Soldier continues the story of Captain America and the government’s new secret weapon. Smulders did a lot of her own stunts for this film, “I try to do my own stunts whenever I can. You’re only allowed to do certain stunts. There is an amazing team of stunt people that do most of the work in this film. But, I studied a lot of tae kwon do. I also did a lot of training just with weapons because I’m not very comfortable around guns. I had to get comfortable because that’s my character’s thing,” she said.
In Avengers: Age of Ultron Smulders reprised her role as Maria Hill, but this time as an employee of Tony Stark instead of an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. The Avengers assemble once again in this film to fight Ultron, a seeming dormant peacekeeping program gone wrong which was unwittingly unleashed by Tony Stark and Bruce Banner. As Smulders states, her character is confused about who is really the good-guy and uses this film to figure that out.
Smulders stays true to her butt-kicking side in Jack Reacher: Never Go Back alongside Tom Cruise, certified action figure. the second film in the Jack Reacher series. She plays Susan Turner, a Major in the US Military, who is the current head of Reacher’s old command and gets framed for treason. The film follows the two as they go on the run and try to unravel a greater military conspiracy at play. Find out how Smulders matches up to Tom Cruise’s abilities when the film releases in cinemas from October 20!