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Here's Why You Recognize Sissy From The Umbrella Academy

It's been a long, torturous wait, but season 2 of Netflix's smash hit anti-superhero saga The Umbrella Academy is finally here. And the time-hopping second season's arrival has brought with it more action, more intrigue, and more familial squabbling than you can shake an, ahem, umbrella at.

Of course, fans of Netflix's The Umbrella Academy adaptation can tell you hyper-stylized action, bold narrative twists, and simmering sibling snark were the order of the day in the show's inaugural season. That season (adapted from an award-winning series of graphic novels from Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá), found a fractured family of super-powered siblings re-united after the death of their adoptive father, and ultimately tasked with saving the world from impending doom.

Without spoiling too much, we'll just say they didn't entirely succeed in that noble endeavor, and The Umbrella Academy's shocker of a season 1 finale left many a fan wondering not just where, but when the Hargreeves' clan would reconvene their heroic activities. Those questions are finally being answered in the critically-lauded season 2, even if the season has raised quite a few more. It's also brought a slew of new characters into the Hargreeves' various orbits, some of whom never actually appeared in the pages of Way and Bá's books. 

While even hardcore The Umbrella Academy fans won't recognize the characters, there's a good chance everyone will recognize the actor portraying one of them. That character is named Sissy, and she finds her story more than a little bit intertwined with that of Elliot Page's troubled Vanya on season 2 of The Umbrella Academy. As for the actor who plays Sissy, her name is Marin Ireland, and it's almost impossible you haven't seen her face before.

Here's why you recognize Sissy from The Umbrella Academy.    

Marin Ireland played the good daughter in The Irishman

With the streaming age opening all sorts of new doors for film and television productions, it's becoming rarer and rarer to find an actor or filmmaker who hasn't worked with one streamer or another. Not surprisingly, The Umbrella Academy is far from Marin Ireland's first go 'round with Netflix. And as it happens, Ireland's first Netflix gig was also a first for one of the greatest filmmakers that has ever lived.

Said filmmaker is the legendary Martin Scorsese, and the film in question is his Oscar-nominated 2019 gangster epic The Irishman. Spanning several decades in the life of infamous mob enforcer Frank Sheeran, The Irishman saw Robert De Niro in top form in the title role, and surrounded by an all-star supporting cast including the likes of Joe Pesci, Al Pacino, Harvey Kietel, Ray Romano, Jesse Plemmons, and more. 

As the film is largely centered around the various nefarious doings of De Niro's character and his cohorts, much of The Irishman is a male-centric affair. There is, however, a not insignificant portion of the film dedicated to Sheeran's home life, and his relationship with his daughters. While Anna Paquin's almost completely non-verbal Peggy is the focus of much drama throughout, Sheeran's other daughter Dolores essentially becomes the voice of the Sheeran women late in the film. 

Yes, that was Marin Ireland facing off against Robert De Niro as the older version of Dolores in The Irishman. And yes, she more than held her own against one of cinema's legit titans with a performance fueled as much by icy resolve as it was heartrending empathy.      

Marin Ireland joined the family business on Sneaky Pete

While Marin Ireland didn't garner enough attention for her stunning performance in The Irishman, that may be because the film just didn't give her character quite enough to do in the end. That's a shame, because the actor has more than proven herself capable of commanding the screen over the years. For proof of that fact, we'd point you to Ireland's dexterous turn in another streaming venture, Amazon Studios' smoldering con man drama Sneaky Pete.

Created by Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) and David Shore (HouseThe Good Doctor), Sneaky Pete followed the story of a longtime con artist (Giovanni Ribisi) who pulls his biggest con yet when (in hopes if hiding out from a vicious gangster) he assumes the identity of his former cellmate and weasels his way into the man's family run bail bonding business. Once inside, he finds that family business comes with unforeseen perils of its own.

Though Sneaky Pete was one of the first Amazon Originals to find favor with audiences and critics, the series was cancelled after a three-season run on the Prime streaming platform. But for nearly every episode of the series, Marin Ireland appeared opposite Ribisi as his smart but timid "cousin" Julia, who ran into many a problem of her own throughout Sneaky Pete's 30 episodes. Over the course of the show's three seasons, Julia's storylines were frequently among Sneaky Pete's most intriguing, with Ireland delivering a mesmerizing, emotionally nimble, often bleakly humorous performance in a role (and a series) that really deserved a lot more attention than either ever received.

Marin Ireland played Chris Pine's feisty ex in Hell or High Water

On the topic of memorable yet tragically overlooked supporting roles, we can tell you Marin Ireland has quite a few more on her resume. While many have come in the realm of TV land (see also: Mildred PierceThe Good WifeMasters of Sex, and The Good Doctor), just as many have come on the big screen. If you're having trouble placing some of them, we can tell you Ireland's cinematic oeuvre has largely been of the fiercely independent nature with titles like The Family Fang (opposite Jason Bateman and Nicole Kidman), The Phenom (co-starring Ethan Hawke and Paul Giamatti), Piercing (with Christopher Abbott and Mia Wasikowska), and 2019's grossly overlooked Light From Light (alongside Jim Gaffigan) to her credit.

Impressive as those credits are, one of Ireland's most memorable big screen appearances came in an under-the-radar 2016 indie that ended up becoming one of the year's breakout crowd pleasers. That film was the Jeff Bridges and Chris Pine-starring West Texas crime flick Hell or High Water, a pulse-pounding cops and robbers thriller that became a hit with critics and audiences before earning a handful of Academy Award nominations.

Marin Ireland didn't have a ton of screen time in Hell or High Water, as the film notably focused on the cops and robbers aspects of its narrative and she played neither. Her character did, however, have specific ties to one of the would-be outlaws in the film as she played the ex-wife of Chris Pine's Toby Howard. And while Ireland only appeared in a couple of scenes in Hell or High Water, she stole every one she was in with her fiery turn as the world wary, non-nonsense Debbie Howard — so much so that we really wanted to see more of her throughout the film. 

Marin Ireland was an enemy within on Homeland

Marin Ireland really really has accumulated an extensive list of notable television appearances in her almost 20-year career as an actor. But if there's one that continues to stand out from the pack, it's got to be her five-episode arc as Aileen Morgan on the first season of Showtime's action-packed, Emmy-winning political thriller Homeland.

That series found Claire Danes stepping into the starring role of a bipolar CIA agent who becomes convinced a recently released POW has, in fact, been turned by enemy forces and is planning to carry out a terrorist attack on American soil. While that plot line carried on for several of Homeland's eight-season tenure on Showtime, Marin Ireland featured prominently in a season 1 subplot that found her character, Aileen Morgan, deeply embedded in a dangerous al-Queda sleeper cell.

It also found her her playing wife-slash-accomplice to dubious al-Queda insider Raqim Faisal (Omid Abtahi). We first met the duplicitous couple in episode 3 of Homeland's first season, posing as the buyers of a house which may become ground zero for an assassination attempt. Things quickly get complicated for Aileen and Raqim, with both eventually paying the ultimate price for their actions. But as far as five-episode arcs on long-running series go, both Ireland and Abtahi more than left their mark on Homeland.

Ireland's work in particular continues to rank as one of the more momentous guest appearances on a show that had its fair share over the years, with the actor doling out doses of charming naivete and hard-hearted resolve in such equal measure it's not so hard to imagine how she ended up where she did — even as it's not so easy to sympathize with the caustic world view of her characters.