Canadian actress Laysla De Oliveira (Locke & Key) is the host of Special Ops: Lioness on Paramount+, a high-stakes and intense military thriller by Taylor Sheridan (co-creator of Yellowstone) and a stellar ensemble that includes Zoe Saldana and Nicole Kidman.
The series is based upon the actual Lioness program, which is a group comprised of women that are included in the Marines in the field and are often referred to as having the capability to conduct searches on females within Iraq as well as Afghanistan.
The film Special Ops: Lioness De Oliveira is Cruz, an actress who escapes an abusive and frightening relationship the literal sense of smashing through the doors of a recruiting center for Marines. When Cruz begins her military training, it is evident that she’s more powerful more efficient, quicker and smarter than her fellow recruits female and male and her abilities allow her to meet Joe (Saldana). Joe is recruiting women to join terrorist organizations through women who are “high-value individuals.”
However, when Cruz does her job to get to know the child of one the individuals, things take on a dangerous direction.
It’s not about males against women’s
To De Oliveira, born and raised in Toronto the opportunity to contribute to One of the projects Sheridan has worked on delighted her about being a involved in Special Ops: Lioness.
“Taylor Sheridan is an incredibly prolific writer. He creates these amazing powerful women. And when it is about Cruz she was written by him with such perfection,” De Oliveira told Yahoo Canada in an interview in Toronto. “She’s an individual who is extremely robust on the inside and is the ultimate bad-ss in a way but also extremely fragile and delicate.”
“So playing in that range I would say, is an amazing experience and was an experience that was artistically rewarding to complete.”
Special Operations: Lioness is quite quick to be in the action However, the physical aspect to Cruz is what caused De Oliveira “most nervous,” being required to endure several hours of daily training.
“The aspect with this kind of thing is that If you simply attend class and you show up everyday the class will be there at the right time,” She explained. “It was an amazing adventure with it and Cruz truly taught me how resilient I am.”
Although many people are quick to label women “strong” and “tough,” when it concerns the ways in which Sheridan created the women in his tale, De Oliveira highlighted that it’s actually about showing the various ways women, and especially men are able to show their strength.
“What I refer to as strong is not being the subject of a stereotype, or being used as a guideline for someone else’s story, typically the story of a man,” De Oliveira said. “What I like with our series is they’re physically strong, but they’re emotionally strong, and they’re extremely vulnerable, which is also strong, as is being capable of going there.”
“What I also love most about this show is that, even though there are three powerful females and amazing, strong women on the show It’s not about males against women. It’s about collaboration and I believe that’s the way the show should work.”
With a character as Cruz who has been through some significant traumas throughout her life, the ability to let go and let go of complex characters was an issue to the actress.
“This marks my first time of doing something that is physically and emotionally demanding over this long duration,” De Oliveira said. “I’ve had films where it’s been physically demanding but when you’re doing the film over seven years, the experience is fascinating because you begin to perform less in order to get into the persona.”
“But the flip side is that you’ll need to take on more work to separate from it. … It’s also very artistically rewarding that you can feel “hey, this character is realizing its potential.’ I’d like to bring someone on a trip. The beautiful aspect of acting: you can express the emotions and feelings you feel and be someone that people can be free or connect to you to any degree.”
Laysla De Oliveira ‘immediately started sobbing’ at Toronto premiere
On the 11th of July, De Oliveira got to present the premiere Episode of Special Ops: Lioness in her home town in Toronto in front of the large screen in Toronto’s TIFF Bell Lightbox, with her family members by her at her side. The actor said that the experience moved her to tears.
“I had watched it, however didn’t see the opening credits and that’s when I started crying,” De Oliveira said. “My mom was looking at me and said, ‘I’ll not be able watch this show when you’re crying all the duration.'”
“I finally put it all together. She was clutching my hand throughout the entire time. It was amazing. The experience of watching it on a large display with family members, being able to share the moment with those you cherish, and being able to mark such a special moment in the place you are born into is a truly amazing sensation.”
In reflecting on the things she’s been successful as an Canadian actor, who is now an important part in a television series featuring some of Hollywood’s most renowned actors, De Oliveira said she’s “still taking in” the reality of this however she is “nothing other than thankfulness” for the chance.
“I’m very grateful for the people who picked me for this role, Taylor Sheridan, the people who helped me during filming, Morgan [Freeman], Nicole [Kidman and Zoe [Saldana]” she added.
“I’m extremely grateful for those who came before me, such as Rachel McAdams. This is someone who I’ve really loved throughout my career. So it’s great to have the chance to follow the same trajectory.”