'Jett's Carla Gugino Says Her World-Class Criminal Is 'Incredibly Good' at What She Does

John Russell
Preview Cinemax

The word thief doesn’t even begin to describe Daisy "Jett" Kowalski in Cinemax's latest thriller. More like world-class criminal, ex-con, risk-taker, master of disguise, bombshell, smartest person in the room.

"It's a character akin to something you might see Lee Marvin do in Point Blank, or a young Clint Eastwood," Carla Gugino says of her meaty role. "She is not a wronged woman trying to get revenge. She is a professional who loves what she does and is incredibly good at it."

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In the premiere, the fresh-out-of-prison Jett aims to clean up her act and make a life for her daughter, who's 6. This won't be easy, Gugino says: "She has no natural maternal instincts. She loves her daughter — she just doesn't know what to do with her."

Then an old friend makes her an offer she can't refuse. Seems crime boss Charlie Baudelaire (Giancarlo Esposito), Jett's mentor and sometime lover, needs her to steal a certain ring from a certain Russian. It's the proverbial one last job. "As we know, those never go the way you expect them to," the actress says, laughing. 

(Ben Mark Holzberg/Cinemax)

Headed up by creator and executive producer Sebastian Gutierrez — Gugino's director in multiple films, including 1999's Judas Kiss, and her real-life partner — Jett is certainly in the Cinemax wheelhouse of hard-hitting action. There are plenty of fast cars, big guns, and bad dudes … but also, she says, "elements of noir and playful, sexy banter."

Not to mention a female lead, which is certainly unusual for Cinemax. "It's been quite a while," Gugino says. Seven years, in fact, since Melissa George's 2012 drama Hunted. About time.

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JettSeries Premiere, Friday, June 14, 10/9c, Cinemax