From sitcom queen to tough private eye

Cobie Smulders says playing the protagonist of new crime drama Stumptown is a significant departure from her roles in How I Met Your Mother and the Avengers films

Actress Cobie Smulders, 37, drew on her experience of being diagnosed with ovarian cancer at age 25 for her role as a private investigator suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder in Stumptown.
Actress Cobie Smulders, 37, drew on her experience of being diagnosed with ovarian cancer at age 25 for her role as a private investigator suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder in Stumptown.PHOTO: FOX

This is actress Cobie Smulders' grittiest role to date: In the new series Stumptown - based on the edgy comic-book series of the same name - Smulders plays Dex, an army veteran struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) because of her time in Afghanistan and the death of her childhood sweetheart.

Now, she has a gambling problem and barely makes ends meet, but she has found a niche working as a private investigator in Portland, Oregon - a city nicknamed Stumptown - specialising in messy cases the police cannot touch.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 12, 2020, with the headline 'From sitcom queen to tough private eye'. Subscribe