Childhood & Early Life
Cynthia Addai-Robinson was born on January 12, 1985, in London, UK, to an American father and a Ghanaian mother. When she was 4 years old, the family moved to Washington DC, US, and following her mother’s separation from her father, she was raised single-handedly by her mother.
Cynthia had a deep inclination toward acting ever since she was a child. She attended ballet, jazz, and tap dance classes. Over time, she decided to try her luck in acting. She started participating in school plays while attending the ‘Montgomery Blair High School,’ in Silver Spring, Maryland.
Cynthia decided to take professional training in acting after her high-school graduation and moved to New York soon. She then enrolled at the highly prestigious ‘Tisch School of the Arts’ at ‘New York University’ and graduated with a BFA in theater.
She took acting lessons at the ‘Lee Strasberg Theater Institute.’ For a few years after that, she remained active in the highly prolific New York theatrical scene. She also began auditioning for film and TV roles. Incidentally, she had made her on-screen debut in 2002.
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She appeared in many ‘off-Broadway’ theatrical productions in New York, before making her on-screen debut with the 2002 series ‘The Education of Max Bickford.’ She played the guest role of ‘Susan’ in the eighteenth episode of the first season of the series.
In 2005, she made another guest appearance, in the series titled ‘Law & Order: Trial by Jury.’ She played ‘Lillian Beaudriville’ in the second episode of the first season. She then appeared in a single-episode-long guest role in the series ‘Law & Order: Criminal Intent.’
In 2006, she appeared in a small role in the series titled ‘Justice.’ The following year, she earned small roles in two TV films, ‘Dash 4 Cash’ and ‘A.M.P.E.D.’
She then appeared in a guest role in the series ‘CSI: Miami’ and was also seen in a two-episode-long role (as ‘Michelle’) in the series ‘Dirt.’
In the next few years, she continued to appear in guest roles in series such as ‘Entourage,’ ‘Life,’ ‘Numb3ers,’ and ‘CSI: NY.’
In 2009, she had a career breakthrough when she appeared as ‘Debbie,’ a recurring character, in the series ‘FlashForward.’ She essayed the role in six episodes of the science-fiction series. It was a critical and commercial success. However, the series was canceled after a season.
In 2010, she appeared in a single-episode guest role in the crime drama ‘NCIS: Los Angeles.’
2011 was a huge year for her, as that was when she made her feature-film debut with the French thriller film titled ‘Colombiana.’ Cynthia played ‘Alicia’ in the film. It was a critical failure but did well at the box office. Cynthia’s supporting role in the film was noticed, and her career then began moving on a smoother path.
She got a huge breakthrough in 2012, when she was cast as ‘Naevia,’ a slave, in the series titled ‘Spartacus: Vengeance,’ which was the second season of the American series ‘Spartacus.’ Hers was an important role in the series. She appeared in 10 episodes of the series. It was loved by both audiences and critics.
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She reprised her role as ‘Naevia’ in the third season of the series, titled ‘Spartacus: War of the Damned,’ appearing in all its 10 episodes. The series was a huge success, and Cynthia benefitted tremendously from the success of the series and the popularity of her character.
In 2013, she appeared in a small role (as ‘Aja’) in two episodes of the supernatural teen drama ‘The Vampire Diaries.’ She was then seen in a TV pilot titled ‘King & Maxwell.’ She appeared in the supporting role of ‘Leslie’ in the made-for-TV film titled ‘Jodi Arias: Dirty Little Secret.’ The series received mixed critical reviews.
The same year, she appeared in a supporting role in the science-fiction film titled ‘Star Trek Into Darkness.’ The film was a huge critical and commercial success.
In 2013, she got yet another major breakthrough when she was cast as ‘Amanda Waller’ in the superhero series titled ‘Arrow.’ Hers was a recurring role that lasted for 17 episodes. The series has been a consistent success and has helped Cynthia find a footing in the industry.
She appeared as ‘Emily West’ in the miniseries titled ‘Texas Rising.’ She played one of the main roles of the series. The media coverage of the series was negative, and it was criticized for its historical inaccuracy.
In 2016, she got a major film breakthrough when she appeared in the supporting role of ‘Marybeth Medina’ in the film ‘The Accountant.’ The film was a huge critical and commercial success.
Since then, Cynthia has appeared in key roles in series such as ‘Power’ and ‘Shooter.’
She received some special forces-style training by the ‘Navy SEALs’ and ‘New Zealand Special Air Service’ personnel during the filming of ‘Spartacus: War of the Damned.’