“I really wanted to say his dialogue”: Taylor Sheridan Squeezed Nicole Kidman Into His CIA Show After Actress Was Originally Set to Work Only as a Producer 

Well, how could she say no to Taylor Sheridan after he created a role just for her?

Taylor Sheridan and Nicole Kidman


  • Nicole Kidman talked about how she got to play a part in Taylor Sheridan’s spy-thriller despite initially joining the team as an executive producer.
  • Kidman stated that one of the biggest reasons behind her saying yes to the role was because she wanted to say dialogues written by Sheridan.
  • While she played an undercover agent in the series, Kidman admitted that she would make a horrible spy in real life.
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Nicole Kidman is not one of the highest-paid actresses in the world for no reason. With her consistently incredible work in film and television, the actress has time and again proved that she can do anything and everything, no matter the genre. Whether it’s a thriller like Destroyer or a rom-com like Just Go with It, Nicole Kidman knows just how to do justice to her roles.

Just Go With it
Nicole Kidman in Just Go with It (2011)

She has also worked as a producer on many projects including Taylor Sheridan’s spy thriller, Special Ops: Lioness. The television series stars Zoe Saldaña in the lead role as Joe, a CIA officer in charge of the Lioness program. Nicole Kidman also has a supporting, yet pivotal role in the series, which was custom-made by Taylor Sheridan himself just so he could get the actress to come in front of the cameras for the show.

How Nicole Kidman Got to Be A Part of Special Ops: Lioness

Zoe Saldana and Nicole Kidman in Special Ops: Lioness
A still from Special Ops: Lioness (2023 – present)

The series is loosely based on a U.S. military program and follows the life of the agents on a “dangerous undercover mission to stop the next 9/11,” as per the show’s premise. While Zoe Saldaña plays the role of Joe, Nicole Kidman is responsible for bringing Kaitlyn Meade to life, who is a high-ranking officer in the Lioness program and also Joe’s superior.


Initially, Kidman joined the team of Special Ops: Lioness only as an executive producer but was later added to the cast by creator Taylor Sheridan. In an exclusive interview with ET, Kidman opened up about her role in the series stating that she was a huge fan of Sheridan’s work including Sicario, Hell or High Water, and of course, Yellowstone. Therefore, when Sheridan asked her if she’d like to be a part of Special Ops: Lioness as a producer, she couldn’t possibly say no!

While Kidman was content with working with the director solely as a producer, he surprised her by asking her if she’d like to be a part of the show’s cast as well.

“We loved [Yellowstone]. Loved it, watched it, ate it up but [I] was a huge fan of Taylor’s film work in terms of Sicario, Hell or High Water and so it was really exciting when he said, ‘I really want to do this with you as a producer.’ And then he said, ‘I can write you something that will be a supporting role… but you’ll be pivotal.’”

Kidman added that Sheridan’s dialogues and the fact that Saldaña and Laysla De Oliveira (Cruz Manuelos) were a part of the cast made her say yes to Sheridan’s proposal. Another reason was that she had never done a role quite like this one before.


“I really wanted to say his dialogue and I really wanted to be a part of it because of Zoe and Laysla and I’ve never done anything that was about the CIA or espionage. There’s such a muscularity with this show so that was new territory for me and exciting…

…I’m always looking for different ground to explore and be a part of and also to help propel — at this stage in my career and life — other women to the forefront. To throw my support behind because I really feel like when you have a bit of power you have to share it, transfer it, use it in a positive way.”

The show was met with mixed reviews upon its release and has an average score of 56% on Rotten Tomatoes. While many critics praised Saldaña for her performance, it looks like Kidman got the short end of the stick. In its review of the series, The Telegraph stated that Kidman was “the one thing that lets the show down” with her “frozen face” being a distraction. Yikes.

Nicole Kidman Could Never Be an Undercover Agent in Real Life

Nicole Kidman as Kaitlyn Meade in Special Ops: Lioness
Nicole Kidman in Special Ops: Lioness

Talking about whether she could make a good undercover agent in real life, Kidman stated that since her current job as an actress requires a lot of emotions, she couldn’t keep them under control if she ever worked as a secret agent.

“I didn’t choose it as a career, I’ll put it that way. I’d be pretty cr-p at it. As an actor, we live on our emotions. That’s what we use. That’s what we need and a lot of times we have to keep them completely available and sometimes not in check, whereas when you’re in this situation working undercover in the CIA, you have to keep those emotions in check…

…You have to be able to compartmentalize and you have to be able to just look forward and not think back and deliberate and emotionally respond so that was actually what intrigued me about playing this because it was moving into a psychological state that’s not my natural state.”

Well, it’s a good thing then that she is not thinking about changing occupations at the moment. But if she were, a secret agent would probably not be the best route to take. After all, who doesn’t know Kidman?


Season 1 of Special Ops: Lioness is available to stream on Paramount+.


Written by Mishkaat Khan

Articles Published: 1152

Mishkaat is a medical student who found solace in content writing. Having worked in the industry for about three years, she has written about everything from medicine to literature and is now happy to enlight you about the world of entertainment. She has written over 500 articles for FandomWire. When not writing, she can be found obsessing over the world of the supernatural through books and TV.