‘FBI: Most Wanted’: Roxy Sternberg on Aftermath of Barnes’ Relationship Shocker (Exclusive)

‘FBI: Most Wanted’: Roxy Sternberg on Aftermath of Barnes’ Relationship Shocker (Exclusive)

The latest episode of FBI: Most Wanted ended in quite a shocker. After Roxy Sternberg‘s Sheryll Barnes had been struggling to find time to bond with her wife, Charlotte, the FBI agent came home to find out that Charlotte had met someone else. Even before then, it didn’t help that Barnes was constantly leaving because of her job.

Sternberg exclusively spoke to PopCulture.com about Barnes’ relationship and the aftermath, which fans didn’t get to see much of as the episode had ended right after the reveal. This is only just the beginning of the storyline, and Sternberg doesn’t think it’s the end of Barnes and Charlotte.

PopCulture: Barnes’ job had put a strain on the relationship since she does always have to leave with just a moment’s notice, which isn’t really her fault. Do you think she blames herself for what’s happened with their relationship, or did she sort of anticipate that something like this could happen because of her job? 

Roxy Sternberg: There’s been so many moments that we have played on camera, so this must happen off-camera where we’re having a conversation, and then my phone rings, and I go, “I’m so sorry, I’ve got to take this.” And how many times can you deal with someone doing that to you? So I feel like she must have known that this was coming.

I think she has to blame herself, but there is one line in this episode where I say, “We signed up to this. This was something that you wanted, it wasn’t us.” So it’s like, again, it’s all blurry. “I thought that this was something you were happy with. I thought you were supporting me. I thought you were…” But we’ve got both very challenging jobs, and for some reason, mine has been the one that has destroyed our marriage. My wife, she can only put up with so much of me leaving in a moment’s notice, me not being around, me having to cancel things, not be there for the children’s birthday, but it’s all kind built up.

(Photo: Mark Schafer/CBS)

PC: Unfortunately, the episode did end with Charlotte admitting that she’s met someone. Since the episode ended right after the reveal, we didn’t get to see the immediate aftermath of it. Will that be something the next episode will touch on as well as throughout the remainder of the season?

Sternberg: Yes, absolutely. Next episode a little bit and the one after. They’re going to try and save this, which is amazing. When I read this as me, as Roxy, I actually cried. I got very upset and tried to change it, which one would do, which is what I think Barnes would do also as a character. She would try to save it. And so, as an actor and as a character, I’m rooting for this marriage, and I really hope you can save it.

PC:  Kind of going off of that, were you surprised at all with the storyline and how it came to be? It does highlight the very real situations that couples go through with this kind of job, even if it may not be the entire reason for the breakup.

Sternberg: It caught me off guard, 100 percent. We get our episodes a week before we shoot them. So it was very real. I got it, and I cried, and I tried to hold onto that same emotion. I wanted to save it. “Why would they do this to me? Why would these writers do this to us?” is what I was thinking. But it makes for great television. It shows a little bit of adversity, which, I think again, makes for great television and is great to play as an actor as well. So I understand why they did that. No one wants to see things that are just us skipping off, and that’s not what the show is about.

You go the distance of rainbows and unicorns, that’s not what it’s about. I think the adversity is what the audience loves, and I think that’s what we also love to play. So it caught me off guard. It made me want to fight for this love, and I really hope that they can. Like I said, we only get these episodes a week before, so I don’t even know what the writers have in store for us, and I quite like that. I like that because then I get to play it and for it to be real. I’m getting the information, and I’m delivering it. Basically, I’m playing it as I’m reading it.

PC: Barnes and Charlotte also have two kids together. What can we expect from that storyline and how the breakup will impact them?

Sternberg: I have no idea. From someone who grew up with parents who separated, I was older, my kids are quite young still on the show, but I think I was 11 or 12. It takes its toll on you as a baby, as a kid, as an adult. It’s just awful. I feel very sad for the children, and I really hope that we can sensitively bring them through this and always bearing them in mind at the end of the day. Barnes would like to save the marriage, but ultimately it’s about the children who’ve got to look after, protect them. So like I said, someone who’s come from a marriage which didn’t work, I would like to look after these children.

(Photo: Mark Schafer/CBS)

PC: Aside from getting them back together, is there anything else that you’re hoping comes out of the storyline and where you would like to see Barnes go from here?

Sternberg: I love the character stuff. I love the home life stuff. I think it would be nice for me as an actor to do. I would enjoy doing some more home life stuff of me fighting for our marriage. That would be an interesting, fun thing to play. Just building also, this vulnerability. It’s brought out a vulnerability in her at work as well. So playing the vulnerableness at work, getting closer to the characters at work as a result of my home life falling to pieces, something surely then my work life will feel stronger and I can lean on those at work. 

PC: Is there anyone on the team that you’re hoping she kind of gravitates toward as far as leaning her shoulder on throughout this whole thing?

Sternberg: There is one interesting character, I don’t want to spoil it, who I have already leaned on, which is really interesting, and I’m really enjoying playing it. We have this wonderful scene in a bar, but also, I think all of them. Nina and Barnes seem to have gotten off on a great foot and off to a great start.

And so I feel like there was this moment that we played there where she was beating herself up about the fact that she didn’t catch this bad guy. And I said, “No, you saved those children. You’re a great driver.” I love nice moments that we’ve been playing Nina and I, so I’d like to keep growing that. I feel like I would like to see more of Ray and Barnes and more of Hana and Barnes. My goodness, Hana and Barnes are the OGs. We’ve been that the last five years. I’d like to do more stuff, the two of us as well.

New episodes of FBI: Most Wanted air on Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET on CBS’ 2024 spring schedule.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.


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