There is an intensity, as well as a legitimacy, that actress Jennifer Carpenter brings to whatever role she plays, whether it’s Debra Morgan on serial killer drama Dexter, Rebecca Harris on the TV spinoff of the film Limitless, or, now, as Erica Shepherd in NBC’s The Enemy Within. The latter is actually different from the others as its puts her right in the center seat of the show rather than in the position of being a co-star, and has her deal with material that is possibly grimmer than anything she has in the past.

“Well, one does inform the other, right?” Jennifer proposes at the recent TCA session for the show. “Everything that has led up to this certainly informs Erica Shepherd, the character that I’m playing. It’s really not a laughing matter, what the show is talking about. She was the deputy director of the CIA, so she was the eyes and ears and the information that was going to be threaded through the most powerful players in America. So, again, it is not a laughing matter and it is a fight for her life. So it’s a heavy responsibility. In a strange way, having so much experience with eight years on a cable show, this show feels comparable to working in an environment like that, where the subject matter and the caliber of actors and writers and directors that we’re working with, it really feels like it challenges an audience in a way that they deserve to be challenged, because TV has changed the way it has in the last 10 years.”

NBC describes The Enemy Within as a “character-based psychological thriller. Erica Shepherd is a brilliant former CIA operative, now known as one of the most notorious traitors in recent American history serving life in a Supermax prison. Against every fiber of his being, but with nowhere else to turn, FBI Agent Will Keaton (Morris Chestnut) enlists Shepherd to help track down a fiercely dangerous and elusive criminal she knows all too well. While Shepherd and Keaton have different motivations for bringing the enemy to justice, they both know that to catch a spy, they must think like one.”

For more on Jennifer’s views of the show, as well as series creator Ken Woodruff, just scroll down.