Frankie Adams Breaks Down Bobbie’s Epic Series Finale Role (Interview)
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for The Expanse Season 6, Episode 6, “Babylon’s Ashes,” available to stream now on Prime Video.
All along The extentbeloved race, humanity fought for the fate of the solar system. At the end of Season 6, the treacherous Free Navy made its last stand against a railgun emplacement on the edge of the solar system. Bobbie Draper (Frankie Adams) leads the heroic final charge to destroy the military installation and defeat the Free Navy. The formidable Martian soldier left her role as aide-de-camp to the UN Secretary General to take up arms again and play a pivotal role in the devastating interplanetary war.
In an exclusive interview with CBR, Adams reflected on The extent, explained Bobbie’s role on the show and congratulated the cast and crew on an acclaimed six-season run.
Bobbie has always been the badass in whatever room she’s in, and she leads the final charge in the series finale. What was it like finding out that you would have that big moment in the finale and in that massive armor?
Frankie Adams: It was unbelievable, I thought I was going to die! [laughs] I was reading it thinking it was going to be the end for me, but it was great. I got to read it on a Zoom playback with the other actors and they were all cheering, so it felt good. But Breck [Eisner], our director, told me that I should wear this costume for three days in a row. It was a lot of mental and physical preparation for three days that were so physically tough, but it was definitely worth it.
Wes Chatham said it took 45 minutes just to put this suit on and there was a liner and everything. How much does putting on this costume help you find the performance or do you really have to pull it off?
Oh it’s all of us [powering through], then nothing! [laughs]
Speaking of Wes, the last time we saw Amos Burton and Bobbie, they weren’t getting along and were ready to dump each other. In season 6, they are drunk together, empathize and compare notes. What was it like to flip that dynamic and find that chemistry with Wes this season?
We didn’t have to find him at all because even though I barely worked with Wes for the first five years, we’re still good friends. We all lived in Toronto for half the year for many years and he and I are brothers like that and give each other shit in real life. It was just a matter of finding the path from really not loving yourself at some point to regressing to loving yourself somewhat or at least understanding yourself. I really enjoyed their relationship and wish we had done it sooner. [laughs]
What was it like playing that particular drunken scene? Neither of these characters are known to open up and this is a vulnerable time for both.
Those are usually my favorite moments of her – when you see her being herself and being a little more honest with her feelings. It was a funny day, though, because there’s the whole beginning of that scene with Bobbie giving him pearls of wisdom explaining why we’re really fighting and he understands that. And then it becomes very quickly that he goes, “Are you coming to the brothel with me?” It’s all the contrast of things there. Once we got the serious stuff sorted, Wes and I could barely look at each other and stop laughing. anya [Adams], who directed this episode, was behind the monitor with the best time. And there’s that age-old question, “Did they go…?”
Do you have your own opinion on what will happen next?
I think Bobbie went there. I don’t know if she left with him because if they had to do that, they could have done it on the Roci — they have cabins, don’t they? I think they are very good friends but I don’t think they crossed paths this frontier. [laughs]
For much of Bobbie’s arc, she’s just trying to figure out who she is, with Chrisjen Avasarala even remarking that she’s not exactly happy at the start of Season 6. Where do you think the headspace of Bobbie is?
For so long, I think she was just trying to find her identity and her place. Floating before finding safe space with Avasarala, but there wasn’t much camaraderie or crew. It wasn’t the same goal she was passionate about, but since she loved Avasarala so much, she was happy to stay. I like this scene where [Avasarala] says, “You’re really not happy here”, as it reflects how well she knows her and how much Bobbie likes Avasarala because she’s doing something she doesn’t really enjoy. I think it’s so beautiful that Avasarala tells Bobbie she’s going to go on the Roci and you can see me in that scene basically, “That would be great!” [laughs] I think it shows how much they love each other.
If you and Wes are buddy-buddy, what is your relationship with Shohreh Aghdashloo having him as a stage partner?
I love this woman so much! I did so many scenes with her and she really took me under her wing. I was such a baby when I first met her. She has so many pearls of wisdom. This woman has had an incredible career and she has just become a truly wonderful friend and mentor. She and I hug constantly on set whenever we have our scenes, especially when Avasarala and Bobbie disagree with each other. [laughs]
In the whole series, was there a scene or an arc that really surprised you with where they took Bobbie?
I think Season 4 was really surprising to me because you saw her on Mars but not this close, intimate look of her on Mars. At that point, everything has become shit, and then she becomes a criminal and goes on this journey. This all surprised me a lot because I didn’t really know what was going on in the books at the time. I had read the first two. It was just a different road for her but I enjoyed doing it because it was a very independent road that she was on, discovering things and breathing in Mars at the same time. It was surprising but I loved it when Bobbie was a little mean.
With plenty of material remaining from the books beyond the events of Season 6, would you be willing to reprise your role as Bobbie in a possible spinoff or sequel?
I would love to work with this team again. I love them so much but I feel like a Drummer spinoff would be the right way to go, but I’d also be up for a Bobbie spinoff.
Thinking back to the audition, was there a specific line that stood out to help inform how you approached the role?
No, it was so hard but I read the first two books and it was really helpful because you get into each character’s mind. Initially, I felt like I just needed her to feel a bit grounded and compelling because I knew I was so right about that. When they said I understood, I just thought, “Thank God!” [laughs]
Developed for television by Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby, all six seasons of The Expanse are available to stream on Prime Video.
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