‘Kingdom’ Newcomer Natalie Martinez on Her Character’s Entrance: ‘She’s a Pretty Badass Chick’

“Alicia is full of surprises. You think you know her, but I think she’s going to end up surprising everyone,” actress tells TheWrap during exclusive set visit

Last Updated: October 20, 2015 @ 2:16 PM

When “Kingdom” returns Wednesday for Season 2 on  Audience Network on DirecTV and AT&T U-Verse, it will do so with the addition of Natalie Martinez‘s Alicia Mendez.

“She’s a good fighter. Very raw talent,” Martinez told TheWrap’s executive editor Joseph Kapsch during an exclusive set visit. “She doesn’t have the guidance and stuff. She has never been able to mold herself into a fighter … She doesn’t have a great record.”

Alicia is recruited to the mixed martial arts gym Navy St. by Lisa (Kiele Sanchez), who runs it with her boyfriend Avery (Frank Grillo).

“For my character, this is huge. This is finally my opportunity to really do something,” Martinez said. “Alicia is full of surprises. You think you know her, but I think she’s going to end up surprising everyone … She’s a pretty badass chick.”

Fresh off her role starring opposite Ryan Phillippe on Season 1 of ABC’s “Secrets & Lies,” Martinez said the opportunity to play such a strong female character demonstrates how far Hollywood has come in terms of diversity and equality.

“Everybody is so open to having female leads, and having females play strong characters,” she said. “I think we’ve kind of gotten past that. Now we’ve also gotten past ethnicity. Where it doesn’t really matter what color or where you’re from. As long as you can do this and we believe you in it, that’s you.”

“Being this female fighter in this amazing show and Ronda Rousey being this huge icon right now, it’s great. It’s perfect timing.”

“Kingdom” Season 2 debuts Wednesday, Oct. 14 at 9 p.m./8c on the Audience Network for DirecTV and U-Verse customers.