Nicole Steinwedell by Sonja Flemming/CBS Nicole Steinwedell by Sonja Flemming/CBS

Does Nicole Steinwedell have the mettle to stand tough alongside the likes of Jonas Blane & Co.? TVGuide.com invited The Unit's newest cast member to make a case for intelligence officer Bridget Sullivan being worthy of becoming the team's fist female member. Plus: What it was like flirting up a storm with Dawson's pal Pacey. The Unit returns Sunday at 10 pm, on CBS; for more scoop, read Regina Taylor's TVGuide.com blog.) - Matt Mitovich

TVGuide.com: When we meet Bridget on Sunday, has she been working with the Unit for some time?
Nicole Steinwedell:
She's been undercover for 18 months, so she's never worked with them before, just by correspondence. She's first meeting the guys.

TVGuide.com: The Unit can have female team members?
Steinwedell:
It can, indeed. We have a technical advisor join the show this year who just retired from Delta Force. He was able to share with the writers, "You bet your booty we have women in the unit." And they are the most effective operatives, for two reasons: Not only are the good for recon or undercover work because they're women and it's not expected, but also a woman's mind works differently, and that's always a value. My grandfather was a colonel in the Army and my parents were both marines, so for me to go on this show and have it be legitimate was reassuring.

TVGuide.com: Your character bio describes Bridget as "constantly surprising." How so?
Steinwedell:
Like you suggested, women aren't supposed to be in the Unit, or people underestimate their strength or fortitude. She illustrates the "constantly surprising" in the first episode by being resourcefulness in the line of duty and under pressure. She keeps on surprising them with her education and her ability to help out in certain situations.

TVGuide.com: Brains are nice and all, but do you get to kick any butt in early episodes?
Steinwedell:
Oh yeah. She's got brawn, too. She's able to handle the heat in a combat situation, which is why at the end of Episode 1 she's invited to join the team.

TVGuide.com: How is her love life?
Steinwedell:
We don't know yet. She's very professional with the boys. Obviously, in any professional situation there's a certain amount of tension between the opposite sex especially if they're attractive. But you don't cross that line because it's important not to.

TVGuide.com: Do the Unit wives know of Bridget's existence?
Steinwedell:
They do by Episode 2. And in that episode, I'm with the wives for the entire time. I take care of them and relay the Colonel's wishes to the women. The writers named my character Bridget because she's going to be a "bridge" between the men and the women. So I'm lucky, I get to act with the guys and the girls.

TVGuide.com: She doesn't raise any of the ladies' hackles?
Steinwedell:
Not as of yet. There's a raised eyebrow or two and some "We don't trust you yet," but so far, no major drama.

TVGuide.com: You cut your teeth on Dawson's Creek. How has it been seeing some of your former cast mates go on to do the things they have done?
Steinwedell:
Oh, it's been interesting. That was my first job in Hollywood and I had watched Dawson's Creek in high school, so it was sort of surreal. Joshua [Jackson] was incredibly sweet to me, and very helpful one educating me on how to work with things. I was so new, it was ridiculous - I was such a dork! And it was so great because he's super-tall. I'm 5' 11", so I didn't feel like I had to crouch down and be petite. I could stand up next to him and flirt to my heart's content! [ Laughs]