Taylor Sheridan appears to be taking a page out of Christopher Nolan’s book by using actors he has already worked with in his new Paramount+ television series, Special Ops: Lioness. Sheridan is most known for co-creating the Paramount Network television show Yellowstone, in addition to solely creating the hit series’ prequels — 1883 and 1923. Yellowstone has undoubtedly been one of the top shows on television since its second season premiered in 2019 (its first season received mixed reviews from critics before turning things around for season 2). Paramount has numerous spinoffs planned for this world Sheridan created, meaning Yellowstone has a bright future.
Following Yellowstone’s success, Sheridan obtained a lengthy deal with ViacomCBS and MTV Entertainment Group that is expected to last through 2028. The filmmaker will continue to create new projects for the company under the contract, one of them being Special Ops: Lioness, which premiered on July 23, 2023. The show follows a Marine, played by Laysla De Oliveira, to befriend the daughter of a suspected terrorist. The cast of Special Ops: Lioness also includes Zoe Saldaña, Nicole Kidman, Morgan Freeman, and Jill Wagner. But after watching the pilot of Sheridan’s latest series, Yellowstone fans should have spotted a handful of familiar faces.
5. Dave Annable
Dave Annable is one of the series regulars in Special Ops: Lioness, but he first appeared in Taylor Sheridan’s highly regarded Paramount Network show, Yellowstone. The actor only appeared in four episodes, but his role was still important. Annable played Lee Dutton, the oldest son of John Dutton (Kevin Costner’s character) in Yellowstone. Sadly, Lee died during the pilot episode when Robert Long shot him, so his time in the show was short-lived. But his character’s memory remains, and his death had a significant impact on later episodes.
Although Annable’s character died during the first episode of Yellowstone, the actor left a great enough impression on Sheridan for the filmmaker to want to cast him for Special Ops: Lioness. Annable plays Neil, Zoe Saldaña’s character’s husband in the Paramount+ series. While Saldaña’s Joe is off trying to save the world, Neil takes care of their two daughters, which undoubtedly puts a strain on their relationship. Outside of Yellowstone and Special Ops: Lioness, Annable has appeared in Brothers & Sisters, 666 Park Avenue, Red Band Society, This Is Us, and Walker.
4. LaMonica Garrett
Before starring as Tucker in Special Ops: Lioness, LaMonica Garrett played the main role of Thomas in the Yellowstone prequel 1883. Thomas is a Pinkerton agent and former United States Army sergeant from a Buffalo Soldier regiment who aligns with Shea Brennan, played by Sam Elliot, to guide the group traveling from Texas to Montana. Garrett played an integral role in Taylor Sheridan’s series and gave a magnificent performance, which undoubtedly led to him getting cast in Special Ops: Lioness.
Garrett portrays Tucker, a member of Joe’s team, in Sheridan’s new Paramount+ series. Besides 1883 and Special Ops: Lioness, fans might recognize the actor from his role as the Monitor and the Anti-Monitor in the Arrowverse on The CW. Garrett also previously appeared in Sons of Anarchy, Suits, Designated Survivor, The Last Ship, and The Terminal List.
3. James Jordan
James Jordan first appeared in Taylor Sheridan’s Yellowstone before joining the cast of Special Ops: Lioness on Paramount+. Jordan plays Steve Hendon, a Livestock Agent for the Montana Livestock Association in Yellowstone. Steve works closely with the Duttons and other cattle ranchers in the Paramount Network series. Funnily enough, Jordan also appeared in the Yellowstone prequel 1883 as Cookie, a cook for the Texas-Oregon Caravan. So Sheridan liked the actor enough to cast him in three projects.
In Special Ops: Lioness, Jordan plays a completely different role than his parts in Yellowstone and 1883. The actor portrays a member of Joe’s team whose name is Two Cups if that is any indication of who he is. Yellowstone and Special Ops: Lioness fans might also recognize Jordan from his roles in Veronica Mars, True Blood, and Mayor of Kingstown.
2. Austin Hébert
Austin Hébert only appeared in one episode of Taylor Sheridan’s Yellowstone, but his performance was evidently enough to convince the filmmaker to cast him in Special Ops: Lioness. Hébert played Peter, a Turek Natural Gas employee who murdered Sila and almost killed Monica Dutton in Yellowstone. Monica broke down on the side of the road on purpose, and he picked her up before taking her to a secluded field to kill her. However, Mo shot and killed Peter before he could.
In Special Ops: Lioness, Hébert plays Randy, another member of Zoe Saldaña’s character’s team. Aside from the two Sheridan projects, Hébert has appeared in many other television series and movies. The actor starred in True Blood, Longmire, Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, 12 Strong, Unbelievable, Ray Donovan, Above Suspicion, Shot in the Dark, and Ray Donovan: The Movie.
1. Stephanie Nur
Stephanie Nur is the final Yellowstone actor to appear in the 2023 Paramount+ spy thriller television series Special Ops: Lioness. Before creator Taylor Sheridan cast Nur as Aaliyah Amrohi in Special Ops: Lioness, the actor played Melodi in the Yellowstone prequel, 1883. Melodi appeared in two episodes of the spinoff and was a prostitute Shea Brennan encountered at the White Elephant Saloon in the Hells Half Acre district of Fort Worth, Texas. She attempted to persuade him to hire her for her services but failed after bringing up traumas from his past.
Following her role as Melodi in 1883, Sheridan had her in mind for the character of Aaliyah Amrohi in Special Ops: Lioness. Aaliyah is the daughter of a suspected terrorist who Laysla De Oliveira’s character, Cruz Manuelos, is ordered to befriend as the Central Intelligence Agency closes in on Aaliyah’s billionaire father. The CIA wants to infiltrate the terrorist operation and bring it down from within, and their only hope is seemingly Cruz. Other than her work in 1883 and Special Ops: Lioness, Nur has also appeared in Cracks in Concrete, The Quest, Four Women and a Funeral, and North of the 10, and she is expected to have a role in My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3.