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Where You've Seen The Cast Of Monarch Before

Set against the backdrop of the country music industry, the new Fox drama "Monarch" centers on the Romans, a fictional family of music legends whose warm, devout public persona hides secrets, lies, and criminal acts. Albie and Dottie Roman rule over their Monarch record label and their three adult children with an iron fist inside a velvet glove, but a series of health scares and long-buried revelations cause that grip to loosen. Soon, eldest daughter Nicky dreams of taking her mother's place at the top of the country music food chain, while her business-minded brother Luke and the black sheep of the family, baby sister Gigi, make moves of their own.

Fox and series creator Melissa London Hilfers have worked hard to make "Monarch" feel like real life, with country stars such as Shania Twain, Tanya Tucker, and Little Big Town all cameoing as themselves early in the series. They've also worked to make real-life feel a little bit like "Monarch," even releasing a mockumentary about the Romans and bottling whiskey under Albie's in-universe brand name. The cast is stacked with bona fide stars, familiar faces, and talented newcomers, echoing the series' ecosystem of icons, strivers, and wannabes. Let's take a look at where you might have seen the cast of "Monarch" before.

Justin Kucsulain

In telling the sordid history of the Roman family, the show uses flashback sequences that feature other actors as younger versions of the main characters. Actor Justin Kucsulain plays the younger version of Albie in those flashbacks, as well as on the vintage magazine covers that the show uses to illustrate the Romans' rise to the top of the charts.

As shown on his personal Instagram, Kucsulain is a personal trainer and mixed martial artist. As such, many of his on-screen roles have seen him playing security guards, MMA fighters, and other assorted tough guys. He made his film debut with a small role in "Iron Man 3" in 2013 and a couple of appearances in short films that same year. Kucsulain has been seen on episodes of "Chicago P.D.," "The Walking Dead," and the Netflix family drama "Bloodline." He played a small role in the 2019 faith-based MMA film "The Favorite," and in 2022 he appeared in director Kevin Smith's horror anthology "Killroy was Here." In 2023, Kucsulain has a role in the ABC drama "Will Trent."

Eva Amurri

Alongside Justin Kucslain, actress Eva Amurri appears as the young Dottie, the other half of the Roman power couple. If Amurri bears a striking resemblance to Susan Sarandon, who plays modern-day Dottie, that is no coincidence — Amurri is Sarandon's daughter with Italian film director Franco Amurri. This isn't the first time Amurri has played a younger version of a character played by her mother. In fact, one of her first film roles was playing a nine-year-old Helen Prejean in "Dead Man Walking," the film for which Sarandon won an Oscar. She also played Sarandon's teenage daughter in the 2002 comedy "The Banger Sisters" and in 2008's "Middle of Nowhere."

However, Amurri has her own career beyond playing versions of her mother. She had recurring roles on the 3rd Season of the David Duchovny sex comedy "Californication" and the first season of the NBC sitcom "Undateable," while also appearing on episodes of "The Mindy Project" and "How I Met Your Mother," among many other series. Her film work has mostly been in small, independent projects, and she is arguably still best known for playing goth kid Cassandra in the 2004 evangelical satire "Saved!" starring Jena Malone and Mandy Moore. Beyond her film and TV work, Amurri is also a successful lifestyle blogger, starting the website Happily Eva After in 2015.

Martha Higareda

Conflict on "Monarch" doesn't just come from within the Roman family. As with any tale of royal intrigue, there are many outsiders who would want to wear the crown for themselves. Enter Catt Phoenix (Martha Higareda), a beautiful but duplicitous stage mother who will stop at nothing to ensure that her talented daughter Ana becomes a star. However, does Catt simply want the world for her child, or does she have history with the Roman family?

Mexican actor Higareda auditioned for a role in Alfonso Cuarón's breakthrough hit "Y tu mamá también" at age 14 but was unable to accept a role in the explicit drama due to being underage (via Quien). Instead, she made her film debut several years later in the Mexican drama "Amar te duele," and her English language film debut in 2003 at age 20 in John Sayles' "Casa de los Babys." 

Since then, Higareda has split her time between Spanish and English projects, appearing in the direct-to-video "Smokin' Aces 2" in 2010 and the Disney sports film "McFarland, USA" opposite Kevin Costner in 2015. On television, she's made a name for herself as the lead in the Mexican telenovela "Enamórate," which ran for 125 episodes in 2015. Stateside, she's likely best known for her appearances on USA's "Royal Pains," the USA adaptation of "Queen of the South," and Netflix's 2018 sci-fi series "Altered Carbon."

Emma Milani

Newcomer Emma Milani stars as Ana Phoenix, Catt's 17-year-old daughter. After going viral on TikTok with a Spanish language cover of an early Albie Roman hit, Ana gets the chance of a lifetime to record at Monarch. She is undeniably talented and seemingly born to be a star, but can this wide-eyed teen survive in the cynical world of her mother and the Romans?

"Monarch" marks Milani's first major television role. Previously she appeared in the 2020 Lifetime movie "Dying to Be a Cheerleader" and featured in a storyline in the Snapchat puzzle show "Solve" that same year. In 2018 she appeared in the video for the Johnny Orlando and Mackenzie Ziegler single "What If," and in 2017 she released a single of her own titled "My Own Language," though it appears to no longer be available on streaming services. Previous to her music career, Milani also appeared in the UCLA short film "Caruso" and in a segment from the comedy short "Hollywood Halloween." 

Faith Prince

The Roman family origin story tells us that Albie and his parents were just poor Texas cotton farmers working for the wealthy Cantrell family. When tragedy struck, leaving Albie essentially an orphan, he was unofficially adopted by the Cantrells and became a member of their famous family band, fronted by young Dottie. Dottie's sister Nellie, however, thought that she was going to be the leader of the band until getting overshadowed by her ambitious sister. Today, Nellie (Faith Prince) works for Monarch and loves her family, particularly her niece Gigi, but still harbors some resentment toward Dottie.

Prince has been a star of the stage and screen for nearly four decades. In 1992 she won a Tony award for her role in the Broadway revival of "Guys and Dolls" and has toured in productions of "The King and I," "Annie," "The Little Mermaid," and countless others. In addition to her Broadway work, Prince also drew rave reviews for her cabaret and musical comedy shows (via Variety). 

On-screen, she appeared in Berry Gordy's "The Last Dragon" and had recurring roles on "Spin City," "Now and Again," and the Hank Azaria dramedy "Huff." She has also guest starred on an episode of "Emily in Paris" and played Melissa Joan Hart's mother in the 2020 Lifetime holiday movie "Dear Christmas."

Adam Croasdell

British actor Adam Croasdell has a recurring role as Nicky's husband Clive Grayson. An out-of-work actor who has married into the world-famous Roman family, Clive struggles with his career and feels overshadowed not just by his wife but also by their adopted son Ace (Filipino singer Iñigo Pascual), who hopes to follow in his famous grandfather's footsteps.

Croasdell's most recognizable role is ironically one that he would not be recognized from, performing motion capture for James Bond in the 2010 video game "James Bond: Blood Stone." He also played 007 on-screen in the web comedy series "Bondjamesbond," about a struggling garage band that somehow conjures a real-life Bond out of thin air. Croasdell's voice work can be heard in games like "Fallout 76" and "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare," as well as in animated series such as "Doc McStuffins" and the Netflix adaptation of "Castlevania." 

On-screen, Croasdell is perhaps best known for a stretch in 2009 and 2010 on the long-running BBC series "EastEnders" or for playing vampire cult leader Eccarius on Season 2 of AMC's "Preacher."

Meagan Holder

Kayla Taylor-Roman (Meagan Holder), Gigi's wife, is a successful Austin record producer in her own right. Despite being married to their youngest daughter, she is welcomed into the Roman family, perhaps even a bit too much. Luke Roman, the middle child who runs the Monarch business, wants her to work for them, but so far Kayla has stayed independent. Is she simply wary of mixing business and family, or does she have a darker secret that keeps her away from working with the Romans — a secret that could change her relationship with Gigi forever?

Holder made her on-screen debut in 2009, appearing in an episode of The CW's "90210" reboot and in the direct-to-video sequel "Bring It On: Fight to the Finish" starring Christina Milian. Since then, she has made guest appearances on shows like "Rizzoli & Isles" and "Key and Peele," in addition to securing recurring roles on the Sarah Michelle Gellar identical twin drama "Ringer" and the Fox baseball series "Pitch." On film, she has a small role in Clint Eastwood's 2014 adaptation of the hit musical "Jersey Boys" and appears in the 2022 crime drama "One Way" opposite Kevin Bacon. In addition to "Monarch," Holder appears in "The Happy Worker" starring Thomas Haden Church, also released in 2022.

Beth Ditto

Gigi Roman has always been a bit of an outcast in the family. The youngest of Albie and Dottie's children, she has grown up in the shadow of not just her famous parents but her older sister Nicky, who has always been thought of as the heir apparent to the Roman legacy. Still, Gigi is just as talented as her sister, if not more so, and as the series begins she is tired of letting other people steal her spotlight.

Beth Ditto is a relative newcomer to acting. Her biggest role prior to "Monarch" was as Bets Gomes on the 2019 Showtime series "On Becoming a God in Central Florida." However, Ditto has been preparing to play Gigi for nearly her entire life as a singer and songwriter, most notably as the frontwoman of the indie rock band Gossip. Gossip formed in Washington state in 1999 and released their first studio album, "That's Not What I Heard" in 2001. 

Over the years, they have toured with acts like Sleater-Kinney and in 2007 joined Cyndi Lauper's True Colors Tour alongside other LGBTQ-focused acts like Rufus Wainwright and Margaret Cho. Gossip broke up in 2016 (via Pitchfork) but reunited in 2019 for a tour marking the ten-year anniversary of their album "Music for Men" (via NME). The band has been on hiatus since the end of the tour in 2020.

Joshua Sasse

As middle child Luke Roman, Joshua Sasse plays the responsible one in the family. The family's sole non-musician, Luke handles all the business for Monarch and the Romans, an important job that often puts him at odds with the rest of the family — particularly his father, Albie. Despite (or perhaps because of) the distance between father and son, Luke has always been his mother Dottie's favorite. However, Luke, like the rest of the Romans, has demons of his own, and as CEO, his decisions carry a lot of weight.

Born into an aristocratic English family, Sasse was at first better known for his brief relationship with pop superstar Kylie Minogue than for his acting resume. He had a recurring role in the DirecTV original series "Rogue" starring Cole Hauser and Thandiwe Newton before landing the lead in Dan Fogelman's musical comedy series "Galavant" in 2015. The show earned strong reviews and good ratings in its first season, but Variety reports that viewership dipped in Season 2, leading to its cancelation. 

Sasse landed on his feet, however, co-starring with Tori Anderson in the short-lived end-of-the-world comedy "No Tomorrow." In 2021 he strapped a French accent for the Hallmark original movie "Her Pen Pal" opposite his "Galavant" co-star Mallory Jansen.

Trace Adkins

Country music star Trace Adkins flexes his acting muscles in "Monarch" as Albie "The Texas Truthteller" Roman. A proud, protective father, Albie plays at being the head of the family, though everyone knows that Dottie is the real power on the throne. His story is one of sacrifice and being a self-made man born into poverty with only his music to guide him. But the real story behind Albie's fame and fortune is more complicated than that — it's only natural that someone nicknamed "Truthteller" would have some secrets to keep. As those secrets threaten to be revealed, viewers will see how far Albie is willing to go in order to protect his family and his legacy.

Known for his deep voice and hits like 2005's "Honky Tonk Badonkadonk," Adkins has been a country music mainstay since his very first album, "Dreamin' Out Loud," was released in 1996. Most of his on-screen and voiceover work has played to his image as a homespun good ole boy on shows like "King of the Hill," the Civil War miniseries "To Appomattox," and in films like "Trailer Park of Terror" and "An American Carol." 

Beyond acting, Adkins has been a spokesman for the Flying J gas station chain (via Taste of Country), appeared on two episodes of "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives" and was a contestant on the 2008 season of "The Apprentice." He lost that season but returned in 2013 to win "All-Star Celebrity Apprentice."

Anna Friel

Nicolette "Nicky" Roman is beautiful and talented, just like her mother Dottie. Ever since she was a teenager, she's been poised to take the mantle of the queen of country music, but as the years have gone on, Dottie has never stepped aside, and Nicky has been forced to live in her shadow. When secrets come to light that threaten to ruin the Romans, Nicky steps in to protect her family, but her intentions are not entirely altruistic. If the Romans are going to survive, they are going to survive with Nicky on top.

Like her on-screen counterpart, British actor Anna Friel has been in show business since she was a teenager, playing "Monty Python" star Michael Palin's daughter in the 1991 UK miniseries "G.B.H." She spent her teen years on shows like "Coronation Street" and the long-running drama Liverpool drama "Brookside." Friel got her American television breakthrough in 2007, starring in Bryan Fuller's cult supernatural mystery series "Pushing Daisies" opposite Lee Pace. 

Since then, she has split her time between British and American series, starring in "American Odyssey" for NBC in 2014 and the Irish miniseries "Deep Water" in 2019, among many others. Friel is also a celebrated stage actor, winning a Drama Desk award in 1999 for her performance in Patrick Marber's "Closer."

Susan Sarandon

"Queen of Country Music" is not a title given lightly, nor given away without a fight. Dottie Cantrell Roman has been a star her entire life, earning the often begrudging respect of the entire country music industry. She has a life that anyone would want, and that plenty of people around her do want. When long-buried secrets come out, along with a devastating health scare, Dottie moves to protect her legacy from anyone who might threaten it, whether that's pretenders to the throne or members of her own family.

This highly musical role is something of a homecoming for Oscar winner Susan Sarandon, whose breakthrough film role was as 1950s good girl Janet Weiss in "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Sarandon has remained a Hollywood A-lister for over five decades, turning in powerful work in everything from "The Hunger" to "Bull Durham" to the John Turturro-directed indie musical "Romance & Cigarettes." In 1996 she won the Academy Award for Best Actress as Sister Helen Prejean in Tim Robbins' death row drama "Dead Man Walking." 

However, Sarandon has proven just as adept with comedy over the years, whether it's playing a Russian ballet teacher on "The Simpsons" or Andy Samberg's lovelorn mother on "Saturday Night Live." Known almost as well for her outspoken political beliefs as for her acting, one wonders what spirited conversations she might have had on set with conservative TV husband Trace Adkins.