If J.J. Abrams sought to find the perfect leading man for NBC’s new spy show, “Undercovers,” he couldn’t have done better than Boris Kodjoe. He’s dangerously handsome, internationally traveled and he can definitely embody a reinvention of the super spy role.
“Steven is a fun guy, he doesn’t take himself too seriously,” Kodjoe tells Zap2it. “I think that’s a new element when you talk about a leading man, somebody who’s supposed to be a super spy. So, you can probably picture Steven as a James Bond with a lighthearted side to him.”
Kodjoe, who most viewers will remember from his tenure on Showtime’s “Soul Food,” was born in Austria to a German mother and West African father. Still a German citizen, the leading man speaks two languages other than German and English. He also speaks French and Spanish.
“At an early age we were exposed to traveling a lot and learning all these languages, which comes in handy,” Kodjoe, a former top college tennis athlete and model, tells us. “I think to be able to play this character, you’ll need at least a good ear for languages.”
“Undercovers,” like Abrams’ “Alias,” travels all over the globe and certainly takes advantage of Kodjoe’s talents.
“There was one episode… where I spoke Spanish, English and German in one scene,” he says. “My brain exploded afterwards.”
Kodjoe makes up half the team of retired spies-turned caterers, Steven and Samantha (played by Gugu Mbatha-Raw). After one of their friends goes missing, the two are brought back into being agents to help find him. The fact that the two are married and not just flirting with romance makes their relationship unique among the spy genre.
“You’re dealing with real missions and operations while being with somebody who you love and care about,” Kodjoe says. “And, therefore, it presents you with a different sort of risk. It’s not just about you, it’s about the other person. It just sort of bumps the stakes dramatically.”
Watch our full interview with Kodjoe on the “Undercovers” set below:
“Undercovers” premieres Wednesday, Sept. 22 at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.