On MTV’s Teen Wolf, Marisol Nichols is raising Cain as the Desert Wolf, the legendary assassin who happens to have a familial tie to one of the show’s key characters. But that’s not the only place she’ll be leaving her mark – she’s also a busy woman off-screen, too! LA Fan Cultures Examiner spoke with her recently to talk about her arrival in Beacon Hills and her work outside of it.
Teen Wolf isn’t the first show where Marisol has played a tough woman; she’s well known for her role as CTU boss Nadia Yassir on 24, and has also had leading roles on The Glades, Blind Justice and GCB. Why does she think she keeps getting kick-butt roles?
“It would be nice if people came to me and go we need a bad-ass, let’s hire Marisol,” she laughed. “I don’t know if I’m at that level yet but when I do audition, I feel I earn it and get it. I would say I’m a pretty no-bullshit kind of girl. I don’t like a lot of BS, and I think that probably helps me when I’m playing those type of characters.”
But the Desert Wolf had a long reputation well before she was cast, and she’s now bringing that to life. “It’s interesting, because this character has already been established and I’m walking into it,” she continued. “The other part of me is like, I’ve got a lot less work to do, it feels like, because it’s already been there – so it’s really a catch-22. In some ways it’s awesome and in some ways it’s a little daunting.”
Though she’s yet to start slicing her way through the show, Marisol told us she’s already fit in with Teen Wolf‘s well-known fan base. “The best part was in the fan reaction to the character,” she said. “I mean I’ve appeared once, just a introduction of the character, and I have to say that Teen Wolf fans are pretty amazing. They’re incredibly supportive and they love their show. [I got] a warm welcome, even though I may be a bad guy.”
Before that series starts up again, you’ll be able to find her on a pair of CBS procedurals. “I’m going back to NCIS, which is really nice being invited back there since I love that group of people,” she explained. “And luckily enough, I started doing Criminal Minds, as head of the LA FBI division.”
Or try discovering a hidden gem in her back catalogue. “There’s a film I did called Felon, it was with Stephen Dorff and Val Kilmer,” she added. “I was the female lead and it’s a prison drama, it’s probably the film that I’m the most proud of. It’s a really great film. That would be the one thing where I’m like, ‘Oh my God, why didn’t more people see that?'”
Outside of the entertainment world, Marisol recently launched her own non-profit organization called Foundation for a Slavery-Free World. “For the last three years, I’ve sort of dedicated my down time to doing what I can in the issue of human trafficking,” she told us, “so I have traveled back and forth to D.C. a number of times.
“I’ve met with some incredible organizations, I’ve met with Homeland Security, I’ve met with different Senators and Congressmen, just incredible organizations that are doing work on this issue. And then I’ve been producing these events – I’m doing another one on September 21 – where basically we reward organizations that do incredibly heroic work in the area of human trafficking.”
So she cuts a pretty cool figure off-screen, too. But where would Marisol rank the Desert Wolf on the list of bad-ass characters she’s played? “I think once I get fanged, she’ll be at the top of all coolness ever because I’ve never played a character that had fangs,” she said. “I’m assuming she gets fangs and really cool eyes. I’ll be excited for that.
“But even right now, she’s pretty up there,” she added. “I mean, the Desert Wolf, does it get more bad-ass? Half-coyote, half-werewolf. It’s awesome.” Especially considering who’s playing her.