With a powerhouse duo of Zoe Saldaña and Nicole Kidman, Paramount+ doesn’t need much else to sell the upcoming spy series, Special Ops: Lioness. However, since the show is from Yellowstone creator Taylor Sheridan it’s guaranteed to get a lot of attention, anyway. And now Vanity Fair has our first look at the show, which is also led by actress Laysla De Oliveira.
Lioness is based on an actual CIA program, and centers on a young Marine recruited to befriend a terrorist’s daughter to take down the organization from within.
Saldaña, who plays Joe, a station chief overseeing an all-female spy unit, was reluctant to join the series, feeling somewhat intimidated by working on a Sheridan project. That’s shocking considering her blockbuster experience on Avatar, Star Trek, and of course, Guardians of the Galaxy.
“He sent me a pilot he wanted me to read, and if I responded well to it, he really wanted to continue writing this character around me,” Saldaña said. “When you get a call from someone like Taylor Sheridan…. You work really hard, expecting those calls. And when you get those calls, you don’t believe them. I’m known for being the queen of sabotaging myself. I told him that I just wasn’t ready,” the actress continued. “I was scared shitless, in other words. I was just like, ‘I’m going to fail. I just do science fiction. I don’t do this.’”
“It was Taylor Sheridan. Nicole Kidman was already attached to produce, and she was going to play a part in it as well. So obviously, that was a dream for me.”
You can read a lot more about the series, plus the roles played by Kidman, De Oliveira, and co-stars Morgan Freeman and Michael Kelly.
Lioness premieres on Paramount+ this summer.