Wrenn Schmidt

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Wrenn Schmidt
Wrenn Schmidt 2016-03-25 01.58 (cropped).jpg
Schmidt in 2016
Melinda Wrenn Schmidt

(1983-02-18) February 18, 1983 (age 37)[1][2]
Alma materSouthern Methodist University
(B.F.A. Theatre Studies, 2005)

Melinda Wrenn Schmidt[3][4] (born February 18, 1983)[1][2] is an American actress. She is best known for her television roles as Julia Sagorsky in the period drama series Boardwalk Empire (2012–2013), as KGB handler Kate in the spy drama series The Americans (2014), as Dr Iris Campbell on the thriller series Person of Interest (2014–2016) and as Megan Holter in the horror series Outcast (2016–2018).[5] Her film roles include the horror film Preservation (2014), the biographical drama I Saw the Light (2015), the war film 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi (2016) and the romantic comedy, The Good Catholic (2017).

Early life and education[edit]

Schmidt was born in Lexington, South Carolina. Her father is a biology professor, and her mother is a former dietician.[6] She comes from mixed European heritage; German from her father, but also English, Scotch-Irish, Polish, and Austrian, among others.[7] She attended the residential high school South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts & Humanities in Greenville, graduating from their inaugural drama class in 2001.[8] She then attended Southern Methodist University's Meadows School of the Arts in University Park, Texas, graduating summa cum laude in 2005 with a B.F.A. in theatre studies and history.[9] She had a part in the George F. Walker play, Heaven, at Dallas' Kitchen Dog Theater in 2003.[10] Schmidt moved to New York City to intern with an off-Broadway theatre company, and worked three jobs as she began auditioning for acting roles.[11][12]


Schmidt was first cast in Crazy for the Dog in 2006 by the Jean Cocteau Repertory.[13] She served as an understudy in a national tour of Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, starring Bill Irwin and Kathleen Turner, directed by Anthony Page.[9] The role led to her finding a talent agent, and to her first television appearances on NBC's Law & Order and CBS' 3 lbs in 2006.[11][12] She appeared in the title role of Sive at the Irish Repertory Theatre in 2007, and was then an understudy in a revival of Come Back, Little Sheba on Broadway.[7][14] In 2009, Schmidt appeared off-Broadway at the Harold Clurman Theatre as Cleopatra in Caesar and Cleopatra, at the Cherry Lane Theatre in Jailbait, and regionally in Proof at Cape May Stage.[15][16][17]

Schmidt made her film debut in the 2010 documentary Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer, portraying a prostitute who refused to appear on camera.[18] She had parts that year on NBC's Mercy, and in the play Phantom Killer, about the 1946 Texarkana Moonlight Murders.[19] Schmidt made her feature film debut in Our Idiot Brother, a comedy-drama starring Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, and Zooey Deschanel, which premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. She was also cast in the play Be a Good Little Widow at Ars Nova, and in Teresa Deevy's Temporal Powers at Manhattan's Mint Theater in 2011.[20][21] In 2012, Schmidt became a regular on the HBO Prohibition-era crime drama, Boardwalk Empire, playing Julia Sagorsky. She also played Ruth Atkins in the Eugene O’Neill play, Beyond the Horizon, at the Irish Repertory Theatre.[22]

Schmidt returned to the Mint Theater in 2013 to play the title character in Teresa Deevy's Katie Roche, and starred opposite John Turturro as Hilde Wangel in Henrik Ibsen's The Master Builder at the Harvey Theater.[7] She had a number of recurring roles on television in 2014. She played Kate, a KGB handler, on the FX series, The Americans, for six episodes. She also played Jenna Olson on FX's Tyrant, and Dr. Iris Campbell on Person of Interest.[23][24] Schmidt starred alongside Aaron Staton and Pablo Schreiber in the 2014 horror-thriller film Preservation, which was directed by Christopher Denham and premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival.[25] She then appeared in the 2015 Hank Williams biopic film I Saw the Light, starring Tom Hiddleston and Elizabeth Olsen. She played Bobbie Jett, who had a short-lived relationship with Williams, and gave birth to their daughter, Jett Williams.[26]

In 2016, Schmidt had a role opposite John Krasinski in the Michael Bay film, 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi, which portrays the 2012 Benghazi attack in Libya. She also joined the cast of the Cinemax drama series, Outcast, based on a Robert Kirkman graphic novel about demonic possession.[27] Schmidt appeared with Danny Glover and John C. McGinley in the independent romantic comedy, The Good Catholic.[28]



Year Title Role Notes
2010 The Necklace Elizabeth Short
2011 Javelina Katie
2011 Our Idiot Brother Beth
2013 How to Follow Strangers Shelly
2014 Preservation Wit Neary
2014 Mary and Louise Marlene Dietrich Short
2015 I Saw the Light Bobbie Jett
2016 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi Becky Silva
2016 The Good Catholic Jane Completed


Year Title Role Notes
2006 Law & Order Jill Cariglia "Release"
2006 3 lbs Female Student "Heart Stopping"
2010 Mercy Sarah "Can We Talk About the Gigantic Elephant in the Ambulance?"
2010 Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer Angelina Documentary
2011 Body of Proof Rena Talbot "Missing"
2012 Blue Bloods Anna Goodwin "Mother's Day"
2012-13 Boardwalk Empire Julia Sagorsky Harrow Recurring role
2014 The Americans Kate Recurring role
2014 Tyrant Jenna Olson Recurring role
2014 Unforgettable Vicki Wilson "Admissions"
2014-16 Person of Interest Dr. Iris Campbell Recurring role
2016 Outcast Megan Holter Main role
2018 The Looming Tower Diane Marsh Main role
2018 Elementary Ellory 2 Episodes (You've Come a Long Way, Baby; The Last Bow)
2019 For All Mankind Margo Madison Main role


  1. ^ a b Schmidt, Wrenn [@wrennschmidt] (February 19, 2014). "Wrenn's reply to Pat Tinny's birthday greeting" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  2. ^ a b Ferber, Taylor (August 12, 2016). "'Why 'Outcast's Rape Storyline Is Important & Personal For Actor Wrenn Schmidt". Bustle. Retrieved December 30, 2016.
  3. ^ "Honors Day Convocation" (PDF). Southern Methodist University. April 25, 2005. Melinda Wrenn M. Schmidt
  4. ^ Melinda Wrenn Schmidt
  5. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (October 2, 2018). "Robert Kirkman's 'Outcast' Officially Dead at Cinemax". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 2, 2018.
  6. ^ Ferber, Taylor (August 5, 2016). "'Outcast' Star Wrenn Schmidt Explains Her Decision To Go Nude & The Double Standard That Comes With It". Bustle. Retrieved August 5, 2016.
  7. ^ a b c Grode, Eric (May 2, 2013). "That Period Look, Ringlets and All". The New York Times. Retrieved October 28, 2014.
  8. ^ "Wrenn Schmidt (2001, Drama) listed in the Top 10 actresses to watch in 2013". South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities. 2013.
  9. ^ a b Van Deuren, Ally (November 10, 2014). "'Tyrant' Star Wrenn Schmidt Shares Her Experiences from SMU Meadows". Southern Methodist University. Retrieved June 3, 2016.
  10. ^ Liner, Elaine (February 27, 2003). "Sour Hereafter". Dallas Observer. Retrieved June 8, 2016.
  11. ^ a b Valitchka, Jac (July 14, 2014). "Stage Coach". Town. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
  12. ^ a b "Ones to Watch: Breaking An Ankle Is Good Luck For Actress". SMU Magazine. 2007. Retrieved June 7, 2016.
  13. ^ Hunka, George (June 10, 2006). "'Crazy for the Dog,' a Study in Sibling Secrecy and Strife". The New York Times. Retrieved June 7, 2016.
  14. ^ James, Caryn (September 28, 2007). "A Memory From a Long-Gone Recent Past". The New York Times. Retrieved June 7, 2016.
  15. ^ Hampton, Wilborn (January 23, 2009). "Two Views of Julius Caesar: As Victor and as Victim". The New York Times. Retrieved June 8, 2016.
  16. ^ Hetrick, Adam (February 27, 2009). "O'Connor's Jailbait to Play Cherry Lane's New Off-Broadway Venue in March". Playbill. Retrieved June 8, 2016.
  17. ^ "Cape May stage offers 'Proof'". Cape May County Herald. September 22, 2009. Retrieved June 8, 2016.
  18. ^ Anderson, John (September 11, 2010). "Review: 'Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer'". Variety. Retrieved June 7, 2016.
  19. ^ Stasio, Marilyn (February 1, 2010). "Review: 'Phantom Killer'". Variety. Retrieved June 8, 2016.
  20. ^ Rooney, David (May 2, 2011). "Learning to Grieve in a Grown-Up World". The New York Times. Retrieved June 8, 2016.
  21. ^ Genzlinger, Neil (August 29, 2011). "A Couple's Big Break That's Not So Lucky". The New York Times. Retrieved June 8, 2016.
  22. ^ Brantley, Ben (February 26, 2012). "O'Neill's 'Beyond the Horizon' at Irish Repertory Theater". The New York Times. Retrieved June 7, 2016.
  23. ^ Jacobsen, Kevin (March 5, 2014). "'The Americans' Season 2 Spoilers: 'Boardwalk Empire' Star To Play 'Polar Opposite' of Claudia?". Enstarz. Retrieved October 28, 2014.
  24. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (June 13, 2014). "Wrenn Schmidt To Recur On FX Series 'Tyrant', Angela Bettis On USA's 'Dig'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 28, 2014.
  25. ^ Barone, Matt (June 13, 2014). "Tribeca: The Dark Thrills of Watching a "Boardwalk Empire" Actress Shank Someone with a Beer Bottle". Complex. Retrieved October 28, 2014.
  26. ^ Dunkerley, Beville (October 16, 2014). "Hank Williams Movie Casts Four New Roles". Rolling Stone. Retrieved October 28, 2014.
  27. ^ McNamara, Mary (June 3, 2016). "Cinemax drama 'Outcast' shifts apocalypse from zombies to demons". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 5, 2016.
  28. ^ McNary, Dave (January 12, 2016). "Danny Glover, John C. McGinley Joining Romantic Comedy 'Good Catholic'". Variety. Retrieved June 8, 2016.

External links[edit]