Lifestyle - July 18, 2023


Put on an evening in London, in the breathtaking setting of the Tate Britain, two Hollywood icons of the calibre of Nicole Kidman and Zoe Saldaña present Special Operation: Lioness, a Paramount+ series in which they star and produce. Also in the cast is another film legend, Morgan Freeman, who plays agent Edwin Mullins. The series is conceived by Taylor Sheridan, former creator of Yellowstone, and will follow an undercover CIA team – Zoe Saldaña, Laysla De Oliveira and Nicole Kidman – embedded in international criminal networks.

Between classic works of art and contemporary installations, Kidman poses for photographers, mesmerising those present. Together with Saldaña, in front of a small group of invited guests and celebrities, they talk about this thriller series with a good dose of espionage – of which they are also producers – starting from an angle in which the protagonists are the stories of women fighting, confronting each other and trying to balance two distant realities.



The Plot

Special Operation Lioness will debut with two episodes on Sunday 23 July – as well as in Italy – in the US and all Paramount+ international markets exclusively on the service. Inspired by a real US military programme, OS Lioness follows the life of Joe (Saldaña) as he tries to balance his personal and professional life as the CIA’s point man in the war on terror. The Lioness programme, overseen by Kaitlyn Meade (Kidman) and Donald Westfield (Kelly), enlists a fierce Marine Raider named Cruz (De Oliveira) to operate undercover with Joe among the powerful state terrorists in an attempt to foil the coming 9/11.





Interview with Zoe Saldaña


What won you over about your character and the project in general, so much so that you also wanted to be a producer?

Taylor called me and introduced me to the pilot in 2020. I couldn’t stop reading it, it was a crazy, powerful story. I talked to him about it and he told me that Nicole Kidman was going to be a producer, which made me think it might be a good project for me to jump into. He asked me to be a producer and I realised it was an opportunity I could not pass up. It took me a year to be ready, there were so many projects in the pipeline. I was in Italy in 2021 and I wrote him that I was ready to start. And I threw myself into it. My character intrigued me, people in the army, at that level, have an intense life and I was curious to explore it.


Let’s take the concept of lionesses out of this context, who are lionesses in the real world?

The women who raised me. My mum, my sisters, my friends. Those women I have always surrounded myself with, with whom there is an exchange. They have qualities that I may not have and at the same time I can perhaps guide them with my advice. I am surrounded by lionesses, really, I feel it.


You recently celebrated 10 years of marriage to an Italian man, what does it mean to ‘marry Italy’?

I am married to a person from a very similar culture to mine, I am Latin. With the difference that every day is really being Italian. We are constantly in this mood of Italian life, but at the same time my husband is an immigrant away from his country. He loves living in the States, he loves his American children and his American wife, but most of all he loves the fact that I am Latina. We both put family first, we value faith, and art!


Also fashion, you have some great looks on the last red carpets. What is your relationship with fashion?

My father was a fashionable man, I remember his perfume and he never left the house without looking impeccable. My mother was a seamstress and my grandmother too, she worked for Halston. So I grew up with the sound of the sewing machine, my respect for fashion starts from behind the scenes. I love how the history of the great maisons continues over the years, like Chanel or Fendi. Looking fabulous on the red carpet is just the icing on the cake, my love for fashion goes much deeper.



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