These lionesses shoot to kill: Nicole Kidman runs a crack team of female undercover assassins in a new spy thriller
- A-lister Nicole Kidman is the star of new eight-part drama Special Ops: Lioness
- READ MORE: Nicole Kidman cuts a glamorous figure in a black sheer top
If you love gritty spy dramas such as Homeland, then Special Ops: Lioness is a must-watch.
Inspired by a real CIA operation, this nail-biting series on Paramount+ follows the lives of a special division of the spy agency made up of female operatives who try to bring down terrorist organisations from within by befriending the wives and daughters of targets.
The eight-part espionage thriller has been written by Taylor Sheridan, the creator of gripping modern Western Yellowstone (and its two spin-off series) and mobster show Tulsa King, starring Sylvester Stallone.
For Special Ops: Lioness, he’s secured a stellar cast including Nicole Kidman, Zoe Saldana (Avatar and Guardians Of The Galaxy) and Morgan Freeman.
Originally, Nicole was just approached to be a series producer, but she asked for an acting role because she wanted to ‘speak Sheridan’s dialogue’.
Inspired by a real CIA operation, this nail-biting series on Paramount+ follows the lives of a special division of the spy agency made up of female operatives
The Oscar-winning actor plays CIA senior supervisor Kaitlyn Meade, who, according to Nicole, ‘is able to compartmentalise, to lead and to make decisions under enormous stress, with very little sleep’.
Kaitlyn is caught in the middle between Freeman’s chastising US Secretary of State Edwin Mullins and the director of the Lioness division Joe, played by Saldana.
They recruit Marine Cruz Manuelos (Canadian actor Laysla De Oliveira) to go undercover and make friends with the daughter of a billionaire in the Middle East who they believe is funding terrorism.
‘There’s power in having a female identity,’ Nicole said. ‘They have access in a different way than a lot of men who work undercover.’
Laysla starts out brandishing guns in battle scenes, but swaps military gear for tiny bikinis and designer handbags as her character tries to infiltrate a group of wealthy young women who spend their time shopping and clubbing.
‘I felt like I was on two different shows,’ Laysla said of her role. ‘But that’s what the undercover world is like.’
Nicole Kidman runs a crack team of female undercover assassins in a new spy thriller. Pictured at the premiere on 11 July
Alongside the high-adrenaline action scenes, the series highlights how the Lioness leaders motivate their agents on risky missions and how their work impacts on their personal lives.
Zoe Saldana notes that these military women must be selfless at work and at home: ‘They carry it with so much grace and love and sacrifice.’
Zoe is adamant there’s no preachy feminist agenda though. ‘There’s no talk of women versus men and how women do it better,’ she said.
‘I wanted to shed light on a world that women do inhabit. They don’t necessarily get their stories told, and this is their reality.’
- Special Ops: Lioness, from Sunday, Paramount+.
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