Whatever Happened To The Cast Of Nikita?

The CW experienced some early growing pains after rising from the ashes of UPN and The WB in 2006. The fledgling network appeared to strike gold with "The Vampire Diaries" in 2009, but what executives really wanted was an action show with a strong female lead, and their wishes would soon be answered. 

"We wound up with a script we were so excited about," Dawn Ostroff, The CW's president of entertainment, said at a network event in 2010. "It's hard to get a script that you feel proud of, that's smart and really credible and doesn't feel like it's sort of going off in a goofy way." That pretty much sums up the appeal of "Nikita," which premiered to critical acclaim and went on to become a favorite with viewers.

Based on Luc Besson's seminal action thriller "La Femme Nikita" (which he then turned into the 1993 Bridget Fond vehicle "Point of No Return," as well as the 1997 – 2001 Peta Wilson-starring TV adaptation), "Nikita" is the tale of a highly-skilled woman out for revenge against Division, the secret government-funded organization that trained her. It differs from Besson's film and television series in that it begins three years after Nikita has escaped, making it a "unique take" on the well-known story, producer Craig Silverstein said in 2010. The show ran for four seasons between 2010 and 2013, and it's become a cult hit, but what has become of the cast? Let's take a look at all the hits they've been a part of in the years since ... as well as the misses.

Shane West played a DC supervillain

Shane West played Michael Bishop in "Nikita," a former Division agent who falls for the eponymous rogue assassin. He debuted in a 1995 episode of the CBS drama "Picket Fences" and popped up in several big shows in the years that followed. He was in a memorable episode of "Boy Meets World" and later appeared in "Buffy The Vampire Slayer," but his breakout role was on the big screen. West became a star when he shared the screen with Mandy Moore in the 2002 coming-of-age romance "A Walk to Remember," a surprise box office hit. He was grateful for the success, but he was determined not to get typecast as a teen movie actor.

After a spell on "ER" as rocker-turned-doctor Ray Barnett, West "took some chances on a few movies that didn't really blow up," he told E! in 2021. "It was only a couple of years after I did that where 'Nikita' came along," he added. "The fact that they were interested in me, at 30 years old, to play the main love interest [...] was pretty great." After "Nikita," West showed up on "Salem" and later played Eduardo Dorrance (a.k.a Bane) in the DC show, "Gotham." More recently, he starred as a sheriff in the indie sci-fi thriller "No Running," the story of a Black teen who becomes a suspect when his girlfriend vanishes in strange circumstances. The film premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in June 2021.

Tiffany Hines grew up on Bones

Tiffany Hines first appeared on our screens in 2006, when she played a character named Natalie in two episodes of "Grey's Anatomy" and showed up on NBC's superhero drama "Heroes." She also made her debut as Birdie Scott in the teen surf drama "Beyond the Break" that year, a role she would hold down for three years. When that show wrapped in 2009, Hines was experienced enough to bag the role of Jaden in "Nikita," a major character in the first season of the show (spoiler alert: she was killed in the penultimate episode). Hines is still best remembered as Jaden, one of the many doomed kids recruited by Division.

"She's very hard and very okay with the idea of being an assassin," the actor told TV Fanatic in 2010. "She has no moral qualms about it whatsoever. This is like breathing to her." Jaden saw herself as "the next Nikita" according to Hines, but the story didn't pan out like that. With Jaden dead and gone, The CW offered Hines another role: Kat on "90210." She accepted, but she took a break from that show when the opportunity to reprise the role of Michelle Welton on "Bones" came along. "She's been a child for so long, and now she's growing into this young adult woman," Hines told Maximo TV in 2012.

She would return to "Bones" several times, most recently in 2017. Other notable post-"Nikita" credits include Didi Miller on "Devious Maids" and Kelly Baptiste on "Damien."

Devon Sawa returned to horror

The life of young Vancouver native Devon Sawa was changed forever when he landed the part of human-form "Casper" in the 1995 adaptation of the classic Harvey Comics character. He didn't have much screen time, but Sawa captured the imagination of viewers and still finds himself regularly discussing the film with fans to this day. He went on to appear in the likes of "Idle Hands," "Final Destination," and even played the title character in the music video for Eminem's "Stan," but he got to the point where "it was more about clubs or parties," he told E! in 2021. "It wasn't really about the work anymore, I was just burnt out."

By the time he auditioned for the role of Division cleaner Owen Elliot on "Nikita," he had fallen off the radar. "People hadn't seen me in a while [...] and the 'Nikita' people were the first to step up and take a shot at me," Sawa told Movieline in 2012. "It was supposed to be for two episodes." By Season 3 he was a regular, and his career was back on track. He went on to star in ABC's sci-fi drama "Somewhere Between," and has returned to the horror genre in recent years, starring in the critically-acclaimed film "Hunter Hunter" and "Chucky," the SyFy series based on the "Child's Play" movies. "I remember being about 10 and renting that film," Sawa said in a June 2021 interview. "My agents suggested 'Chucky' and I screamed 'Yes.'"

Dillon Casey overcame a debilitating drug habit

Dillon Casey was still relatively green when he landed the part of Navy Seal and Oversight agent Sean Pierce on "Nikita." He had been acting since the early '00s, but only had a handful of minor TV credits (most notably MTV's supernatural series "Valemont") and small films under his belt when he debuted as Pierce in the Season 2 premiere, "Game Change." The military man began to take issue with Division policies and was ultimately killed during the mutiny in Season 3, something that didn't come as a surprise to Casey. "I joined a show about assassins and spies and killers," he told TV Line in 2013. "I knew somebody had to go."

Casey went on to play Will Daniels in Marvel's "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.," but it would be the last role he'd get for a while. He had been hiding an opioid addiction for some time, and when questioned about his "glazed" eyes by a director on set, he blew up, blaming the camera setup. He later told the Toronto Star that he knew he'd crossed a line. "I was a 31-year-old man crying and yelling at work," he said. "This was bottom and there was no coming back." 

Only, there was. He managed to kick the habit and get his career back on track with roles in "Designated Survivor" and "Defining Moments," Burt Reynolds' final film. In 2020, Deadline revealed that Casey had joined the cast of the Netflix sci-fi series "Another Life."

Ashton Holmes joined a critically acclaimed Amazon show

Ashton Holmes appeared in a string of big TV shows in the early part of his career ("Cold Case," "Ghost Whisperer" and "Boston Legal" to name a few), but it was his turn in David Cronenberg's "A History of Violence" that first got him noticed. He played the son of Viggo Mortensen's Tom Stall (a family man with a dark, hidden past) in the critically acclaimed film, which opened doors to more substantial roles. He played PFC Sidney Phillips in HBO's epic war drama "The Pacific" in 2010, and would make his first appearance as Division field agent Thom that same year.

Thom was only around for the first 11 episodes of "Nikita," but he brought a much-needed voice of reason to the show in those early stages. Unlike many of his fellow agents, he doesn't enjoy killing, which made his accidental death all the more tragic — he was shot and killed by love interest Alex (Lyndsy Fonseca). His exit came as a shock to fans (showrunner Craig Silverstein warned viewers that it was a sign of things to come), but it wasn't the end of the road for Holmes by any means. 

He has since gone on to land recurring roles on BET's "Being Mary Jane" and Amazon's hit show "Bosch," and he got to star in a film with Bruce Willis. "I've always been a fan of his work," Holmes told Splash Report in 2018 while promoting the action flick, called "Acts of Violence."

Noah Bean made contacts on Nikita

Noah Bean's Ryan Fletcher, a CIA analyst who finds himself wrongfully accused of a political assassination in "Nikita," slowly became a fan favorite. He's captured by Chilean rebels after being set up but is rescued by Nikita, and, realizing that Division is behind it all, he joins the fight against the shady, assassin-training government group. Bean was mostly known for his TV work before "Nikita" (he recurred on NBC comedy "Ed" and TNT crime drama "Dark Blue," and guested on "Medium" and "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia"), and it's been that way since the show came to an end.

Bean's next role was that of Aaron Marker in SyFy's small screen adaptation of "12 Monkeys," loosely based on the Terry Gilliam film of the same name. The series was put together by "Nikita" writers Terry Matalas and Travis Fickett. "That's how I first got hold of a script," Bean told Assignment X ion 2015. "They were up there producing one of their episodes in our fourth season and I saw it hanging out of their bag, and I said, 'What's that?' And then they said, 'Well, why don't you take it and give it a read?'"

He played his musical doppelganger David Bowie in an episode of the Bobby Cannavale-led drama "Vinyl" ("Bobby's kind of always had a joke with me that I look so much like Bowie," Bean told Business Insider in 2016), and, more recently, he's been seen as Jeffrey Hudson in Fox's "9-1-1."

Xander Berkeley was in The Walking Dead

Xander Berkeley spent a decade in theater before making his onscreen debut in 1981's "Mommie Dearest," and the transition wasn't exactly smooth. "I was horrified when I first saw myself on camera," he told Exit 6 Film Festival in 2021. "I looked like an insect on an LSD from another dimension." He eventually got more accustomed to watching himself, going on to notch hundreds of credits in the decades that followed, plying his trade in the likes of "Terminator 2: Judgment Day," "Candyman," "Apollo 13," "Air Force One," and Steven Spielberg's "Amistad," all before "Nikita." 

Berkeley played Percival "Percy" Rose, the first director of Division. "He may seem like 'the bad guy' in some people's minds, but I see him as a very positive thinker," he told Collider in 2012. "He sees things subjectively from his own perspective, as we all do, and believes his self-interest is for the greater good."

Nowadays, Berkeley is best known as Gregory from "The Walking Dead," the one-time leader of the Hilltop Colony. He was usurped by Maggie (Lauren Cohan), who executed him following a failed coup in the Season 8 premiere. It didn't come as a surprise to Berkeley, who had read the comics in advance. "I was always looking forward to the hanging, because it was death that I had yet to experience, and I've made my living dying," he told The Hollywood Reporter in 2018. He returned to The CW in 2021 a few years later for the short-lived drama "The Republic of Sarah."

Melinda Clarke co-hosts an O.C. podcast

The role of Amanda Collins, a co-founder of Division and its resident psychologist, was played by Melinda Clarke, who was perfectly cast as the show's master manipulator. The California native got her start on the long-running soap opera "Days of Our Lives," appearing in over a hundred episodes between 1989 and 1990. She spent a good few years surviving on bit-parts after leaving "DOOL," but she started to land some meatier roles towards the end of the '90s, popping up in "Seinfeld" and two episodes of the cult favorite "Xena: Warrior Princess." She also won the role of CIA Agent Jessica Priest in "Spawn," the first (but not to be the last) adaptation of Todd McFarlane's classic comic.

Clarke returned to TV with recurring roles in the action series "Soldier of Fortune, Inc," crime drama "The District," and the cultural phenomenon that was "The O.C.," in which she played the mother of Mischa Barton's Marissa Cooper. While Julie Cooper is one of her best known roles, fans of "Nikita" would argue that her turn as Amanda Collins defined her career. She went on to play Oswald Cobblepot's step-mother Grace Van Dahl in "Gotham," and she also popped up in The CW's "The Vampire Diaries" as Kelly Donovon on numerous occasions, most recently in the show's penultimate episode in 2017. She's best known for her podcast nowadays, which she hosts with former co-star Rachel Bilson (Summer Cohen).

Aaron Stanford is in HBO's Perry Mason reboot

Aaron Stanford already had a Hollywood blockbuster under his belt by the time the role of Nikita's tech man Seymour Birkhoff came along. After making his debut in 2002's "Tadpole," a creepy comedy in which he stars as a 15-year-old boy who falls for his stepmother (Sigourney Weaver), Stanford secured the role of John Allerdyce (a.k.a Pyro) in "X-Men 2," and he loved switching lanes to play a bad guy. "It's fun playing villains," he told Black Film in 2006. "It's people who are not held by any moral constrains or any constrains for that matter. It's a chance to be completely off the leash and do things that you never could in real life."

He reprised his Marvel role in the follow-up "X-Men: The Last Stand," released a few years before The CW came along with "Nikita." Like Noah Bean, Stanford stuck with "Nikita" writers Terry Matalas and Travis Fickett after the show ended, joining them on SyFy's "12 Monkeys," the duo's next project. "We knew each other well, and we worked well together on the show," Stanford would tell Collider in 2015 of the reunion. "The episodes that they wrote were always my favorites, so I knew what they could do and I knew what their tastes were." He starred in "12 Monkeys" until 2018, when he landed a role in AMC's "Fear the Walking Dead." More recently, Stanford has popped up in HBO's rebooted "Perry Mason" series, as well as the CBS procedural "FBI: Most Wanted."

Lyndsy Fonseca is in Disney's Turner and Hooch remake

Lyndsy Fonseca grew up in dance studios across California, and the invaluable experience she gained in those years came in very handy for "Nikita." The actor was homeschooled on the set of her first show — the CBS soap opera "The Young and the Restless," on which she played Colleen Carlton between 2001 and 2005 — and has been working regularly in Hollywood ever since. She landed the unique role of Ted Mosby's future daughter Penny on "How I Met Your Mother," and before long she had grown out of kiddy roles. 2010 proved to be a huge year for Fonseca, who made her first appearance as Katie Deauxma in "Kick-Ass" and debuted as Alexandra Udinov in "Nikita."

"I knew how lucky I was in the moment, but even more now in reflection, I think honestly the biggest takeaway from that show was being able to do all of those fight choreography sequences," she said of her time on "Nikita" during a 2021 interview with the Observer. "As a former trained dancer, it was an absolute delight." She went on to star as a sex worker in the 2015 rom-com "The Escort," and she also played automat waitress Angie Martinelli in Marvel's "Agent Carter." In 2020, she joined the cast of Disney's "Turner and Hooch" TV reboot. "I thought it was something that I was ready for, especially being a new mom," she said. Her husband is none other than her "Nikita" co-star, Noah Bean.

Maggie Q is still kicking butt

"La Femme Nikita" is Luc Besson's highest rated film for a number of reasons, but perhaps chief among them is the committed performance of Anne Parillaud. The producers of The CW's remake knew they needed someone equally as talented, but it was going to be a challenge. 

"Before we knew who Nikita was going to be, we all talked about how impossible it was going to be to cast this role," producer Craig Silverstein told Collider in 2010. "It had to be someone who was beautiful, who could fight, who you could believe holding a gun and who you believed was smart, in order to plan everything that she was doing." When someone suggested Maggie Q, Silverstein and director Danny Cannon instantly agreed that she ticked all the boxes.

Q was already established at the time, having appeared in "Mission: Impossible III" and "Live Free or Die Hard." While she's still best known for her turn as The CW's rogue assassin, she has been active in Hollywood since. She went on to play Dauntless faction member Tori Wu in the "Divergent" film series and then moved back to TV with "Designated Survivor," playing former FBI agent Hannah Wells in the Kiefer Sutherland thriller series. Q returned to action-heavy assassin territory for 2021's well-received "The Protégé," starring alongside Samuel L. Jackson and Michael Keaton. "I just want to play women that women like and want to be," she told ComingSoon while promoting the movie.