Roxy Sternberg is no stranger to American television.
The West London native has had significant roles on the NBC miniseries Emerald City as well as Into the Badlands on AMC and Netflix’s Chewing Gum. But her ensemble part on the National Geographic science-fiction drama Mars could be just the thing to help make her a household name.
Sternberg plays Jen Carson, an operations foreman for the Lukrum mining colony. Throughout the six-episode series, which is now in its second season, Jen and her colleagues represent the often-maligned business side of scientific exploration. The show is set in 2042, but the themes are rather current. Making matters more complicated, Jen is dating molecular biologist Levi Fiehler (Cameron Pate), creating a Romeo and Juliet kind of vibe for the two factions.
“Anything can happen,” the 29-year-old actress told ESSENCE of the conflicts on Mars. “But ultimately, we all have our best interests at heart and may the best man win. There’s some intimacy that happens. And we’re entering Mars and they’ve been there seven years. We’re humans and at the end of the day, we have certain needs.”
Sternberg, whose mother is Ugandan and whose father is Polish and Russian, also appreciates that Mars embraces diversity and inclusion much the way science fiction has since Star Trek’s Nyota Uhura.
“It’s a true depiction of life,” said Sternberg, who practices Judaism and can read and write Hebrew. “In life, we exist in all shapes, colors and sizes and the more diverse it is, the more exciting it is and the more real it is.”
A graduate of Royal Holloway, University of London, Sternberg has been acting for six years and to appease her parents, got a degree in drama and theater studies so that “if that ‘acting malarkey’ didn’t pan out, I could always teach.”
But acting has worked out for the youngest of her parents’ two daughters and with any luck, she’ll come to America to work on location.
“Acting has taken me all over Europe to date. I have been to the States but not for work – for meetings,” she explained. “I haven’t worked in the United States yet. But fingers crossed, one day I would love to.”
The season finale of Mars airs tonight at 9 p.m. ET on the National Geographic Channel.