Where You Know The Cast Of Monarch From

The September 2022 release of country musical series "Monarch," has stirred up a lot of buzz. The series stars Academy Award winner Susan Sarandon as Dottie Cantrell Roman and country music star Trace Adkins as her husband "Texas Truthteller" Albie Roman, King and Queen of Country Music.

The Romans are the creators of a country music dynasty, and this power-hungry family will do whatever it takes to ensure their place as country music's royal family, per Entertainment Weekly. In the series trailer, Sarandon says, "I never wanted to just be a star ... I wanted to create a dynasty" — but it seems that dynasty was all built on a mountain of controversy. With a vibe that feels like "Nashville" meets "Succession," the trailer promises sex, secrets and shotguns — and somebody appears to be shoveling dirt on a makeshift grave. 

"If there's a Hell, I booked my ticket years ago," says Sarandon in another clip. Yeah, that sounds about right. There will be plenty of country music legends popping up as guest stars, including Tanya Tucker, Martina McBride, Little Big Town, and Shania Twain. As for the rest of the cast, it's quite an eclectic mix of actors, singers, fresh faces, and familiar favorites. Let's take a look at where you know the cast of "Monarch" from. 

Susan Sarandon is Hollywood royalty

Susan Sarandon plays Dottie Cantrell Roman, the "tough as nails" Queen of Country Music, on "Monarch." Who better to take on that role than a woman who has already risen to the ranks of Hollywood royalty? Though she is famous for mostly dramatic roles, many remember her flair for musical comedy as Janet in the cult classic, "The Rocky Horror Picture Show," one of her first films. For others, driving off a cliff with Geena Davis in "Thelma & Louise" was the film that impacted them the most.

The star told The Hollywood Reporter in 2021, "When we were filming 'Thelma & Louise' thirty years ago, we had no idea the kind of cultural impact it would continue to have for decades." On the set of "Bull Durham," Sarandon met her future partner Tim Robbins (they've since parted ways), starring alongside as Annie, a smart, seductive baseball groupie. In 1996, Sarandon won an Academy Award for her role as Sister Helen, a nun who befriends Sean Penn on Death Row in "Dead Man Walking."

"I fell in love with Sister Helen because of the mistakes she made," Sarandon told Marie Claire. About starting her film career in her 40s, the "Witches of Eastwick" star opened up to The Evening Standard in 2018, "I was told you were done by the time you're 40 and you definitely shouldn't talk about having children, because that made you less sexy." Thankfully, these days, Sarandon seems like she's anything but done.

Trace Adkins has been ruling country music charts

Country music star Trace Adkins plays Dottie's husband Albie Roman in "Monarch," the other half of the power couple. The Grammy nominee had 15 singles in the Top 10 on Billboard's Hot Country Songs, and he is no newcomer to acting. The "You're Gonna Miss This" singer co-starred in 2014's faith-based comedy "Moms' Night Out," alongside "Grey's Anatomy” alum Sarah Drew and "Everybody Loves Raymond's" Patricia Heaton. In the film, Adkins plays a tough guy with a sensitive side on a mission to find a missing child.

"I just like that dichotomy, the contrast between the tough guy and the sappy old drooling teddy bear," he told Taste of Country. "It's really not a stretch." The "Ladies Love Country Boys" crooner also starred in 2019's Old West drama "Badland." In 2021, Adkins kept his cowboy hat on, playing the outlaw Captain Hensley in "Apache Junction." "My love of Western films and the storied history of the Old West was passed along to me from my dad," he told Entertainment Tonight.

As for paying the bills, Adkins likely won't be giving up on his music career anytime soon. In the meantime, the "Just Fishin'" singer says he's learned how to manage expectations. "The best acting job I do is when I get to the set and the first couple days I'm on the set, convincing the director I know what I'm doing," he admitted to Advance Local in 2013. "Once I pull that one off, the rest of it's easy."

Anna Friel is glad she turned down a record deal

Anna Friel plays Nicolette "Nicky" Roman on "Monarch," destined to protect her family while pursuing her own path as a country music star. The English actor got her start in theater as a teen in London before moving on to TV and film roles. One of her earliest gigs was at age 16, on a British soap opera called "Brookside," which included a lesbian romance that caused quite a stir, per BBC.

Fans will remember Friel as Lee Pace's childhood crush on ABC's quirky dark comedy "Pushing Daisies." "I love that they wanted each other so much but couldn't ever quite get together," she told Collider. In 2016, she landed the titular role in "Marcella," a gripping crime thriller on Netflix. Around the same time, Friel filmed her part in the Starz anthology series, "The Girlfriend Experience." "I'm playing a lesbian again," she joked to Red.

As for her singing talents, "The Box" star recalled to the Mirror that Simon Cowell offered her a recording contract after "Brookside" and she turned him down. "I actually saw him in New York seven years later, he called me over and said, 'Well done, you said no.' So sometimes no is a powerful word. I don't know where I would have been right now. I'm sure it would have been a shorter career." We're not so sure about that. Take a listen to the Brit's vocals in a new song promoting "Monarch" called "American Cowgirl," and you might agree.

Joshua Sasse plays another charming prince on Monarch

Joshua Sasse takes on the role of Luke Roman, the CEO of the family's business, Monarch Entertainment, and the son of Dottie and Albie, per Showbiz Junkies. Sasse played another dashing prince in his breakout role in ABC's medieval musical comedy series "Galavant" in 2015. "My presiding memory is learning to joust bareback beneath these castle walls on a summer's day in Wales ... that was a very cool thing to call work," he told We Got This Covered.

Sasse starred alongside Tori Anderson on the comedy-drama series "No Tomorrow" as Xavier Holliday, a free spirited thrill-seeker who believes the world is about to come to an end. Speaking to Seat 42F, Sasse said he was intrigued by the concept of the show. "There's so much fun to be had. When I looked at the script, I thought: what bigger decision can you make other than 'who am I going to be living with at the end?,'" he explained.

He also appeared with Thandiwe Newton in "Rogue" and as DJ Jazzy Jeff on the comedy "The Neighbors.” The British actor started out working in theater, starring in "Mamma Mia!" in London's West End before landing TV and film roles. "I like entertaining people," the actor shared with We Got This Covered. "Theater and performing were always a form of catharsis for me, and I always liked the thought that I was doing that for other people; I think that's why I do it, really."

Beth Ditto says she's 'good at talking'

Beth Ditto plays Nikki's younger sister Gigi Taylor-Roman on "Monarch." Ditto is a relative newcomer to acting, but the recording artist and former member of the indie rock group Gossip has been performing on stage for quite a while, per Pitchfork. Her first on-camera role was in the 2017 film, "Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot," which stars Joaquin Phoenix and Jonah Hill.

Ditto, who grew up in Arkansas and lived in a trailer park, connected to the character as soon as she picked up the script. "The description had said 'redneck loud woman' and I was like: 'Oh! I was related to all those women. I can do this!,'" she told The Guardian in 2018. In the film, director Gus Van Sant included one of Ditto's childhood stories. "I think he liked it because it was real. I mean, it wasn't really acting. That's the thing, I don't think I can act. I think I'm just really good at talking."

The "Fire" singer also appeared with Kirsten Dunst in Showtime's dark comedy, "On Becoming a God in Central Florida," a film about a woman, Krystal Stubbs, who gets caught up in a multi-billion dollar pyramid scheme. In a 2019 interview with MEAWW, Ditto said she understood what might have motivated someone like Krystal to do what she did. "Being where I'm from, there is a similar kind of culture in the way that it is very country. There aren't that many options when it comes to places to work."

Meagan Holder is 'pitching' perfectly these days

Meagan Holder plays music manager Kayla Taylor-Roman, Gigi's spouse on "Monarch." The Southern California native played Kelly on TV One's "Born Again Virgin," and she took on the role of Evelyn Sanders in the Fox drama series "Pitch," the story of a young pitcher who becomes the first woman to play Major League Baseball. After graduating from Cal State Fullerton's drama program, Holder studied at Chicago's Second City, the largest school for training professionals in the art of improv.

All of that training helped her knock her audition for "Pitch" out of the park, after series creator Dan Fogelman ("This is Us") asked her to just improvise lines with series' lead Kylie Bunbury. "We did that every day in college," Holder told The Orange County Register. In the 2021 TV movie "A Chestnut Family Christmas," Holder plays Nina, a woman who pretends to be wealthy to impress her family. Speaking to "Vegas Film Critic" Jeffrey K. Howard about her not-so-nice character, she said, "There's just so many things on the list of naughty ... If Santa forgives Nina, that's really nice of him this year." 

In her interview with The Orange County Register, the "Girlfriends of Christmas Past," star recalled that growing up, she loved watching old movies, especially ones featuring actors like Katherine Hepburn. "I was drawn to the old Hollywood woman who was strong but a little bit funny."

Adam Croasdell isn't a struggling actor

Adam Croasdell plays Nicky's husband Clive Grayson, a struggling British actor, on the musical series. In real life, he is a British actor who was born in Zimbabwe, per Spling. Across the pond, he's worked on several TV series, including "Peak Practice," "The Chase," and "EastEnders." In the U.S., Croasdell is known for his recurring role as Young Ducky on "NCIS," and as Lord Bothwell in the CW historical drama "Reign."

He played a vampire in the supernatural adventure series "Preacher," working with creators Seth Rogan, Evan Goldberg and Sam Catlin. Speaking to Trainwreck'd Society in 2019, Croasdell said that while shooting the series in New Orleans, he got to do a lot of amazing things, like "flying, transforming into animals, mesmerizing people, as well as having some very kick-a** fights." He added, "The set was a very creative one, and we were working in a city where, fittingly, anything goes."

Croasdell, who is also a busy voice artist, didn't always imagine himself becoming an actor. "I always wanted to be an astronaut when I was younger, but when I asked myself why, I realized it was because I had seen them in films and on TV," the "Pam and Tommy" actor recalled. "Then I realized that I could still be an astronaut if I became an actor. Unfortunately Matt Damon keeps getting my parts."

Inigo Pascual is an international pop star

Inigo Pascual plays the Romans' adoptive son Ace Grayson on "Monarch." His character is described as "a phenomenal singer with real swagger on stage" per Deadline. That shouldn't be a stretch for this Filipino pop star and actor, who was topping the Billboard charts in his home country as a teen, according to Copernicus Center. The young heartthrob was also winning over fans in romantic comedies, starring in the films, "For the Hopeless Romantic," "Crazy Beautiful You" and "Four Sisters Before the Wedding."

Pascual was featured in "The Crossover," a TV series that highlights the journeys of artists moving into new international markets. With over three million Instagram followers, he is sure to bring attention to his new role. In 2019, the pop star explained to Young Hollywood how his famous father, Piolo Pascual, nurtured his career. "My dad is a singer in the Philippines, and he played a major part in what I do, and he influenced me a lot. I think being Filipino in general, you'll always be surrounded by music."

The young actor actually almost blew off the audition for "Monarch" altogether. Speaking to "The Filipino Channel" in 2021, Pascual said he was getting sent out on a lot of auditions at the time. "I was late for the audition submissions. I honestly didn't think that I was gonna get it, so I wasn't planning on auditioning. I was like, 'There's other actors in America that could probably land the part."'

Martha Higareda is a star in any language

Martha Higareda plays Catt Phoenix, mom of teen daughter Ana, a talented singer she wants the Roman family to sign, per Deadline. The Mexican-born performer played Keanu Reeves' love interest in the 2008 film "Street Kings." "Aside from the fact that he is a star who is known all around the world, he is a very good person and a generous actor. I have learned a lot from him," she told People en Español about her co-star.

More recently, she played detective Kristin Ortega on the cyberpunk series, "Altered Carbon," opposite Joel Kinnaman. At a 2018 press conference in Seoul, South Korea, to promote the series, Higareda fielded a question about representation (via Gadgets 360). "We've seen in many movies the typical Latina who is a tomboy, is very macho-type, and we said, 'How do we break out of that, and we make a real person?,"' the actor explained, adding, "So Ortega is tough, but she's also feminine."

On TV, the actor appeared on "Hawaii Five-0," "CSI: Miami," and she had the recurring role as Viviana Torres on "Royal Pains." As for making a living, she never really thought about a Plan B. In a 2018 interview with Locale magazine, the "McFarland, USA" actor spelled it out. "For me, there was always a plan A. I always felt something inside me telling me it was all going to work out. I have no idea what I would have done had it not worked out."

Eva Amurri has acted with her famous mom before

Eva Amurri plays the younger version of Dottie, Susan Sarandon's character (her real-life mother) on "Monarch." This will be Amurri's first acting role after founding her lifestyle brand,  "Happily Eva After" back in 2015, per Deadline. In 2019, CT Post asked the mom of two if she was really done with acting. "Done with the pursuit of acting," she replied. "If I were to find something in a more realistic phase of life that I really loved, maybe. Never say never."

The look-alike mom and daughter have worked together several times before. Both women appeared in "The Banger Sisters," "Dead Man Walking," "That's My Boy," "Mothers and Daughters," and "Middle of Nowhere." Amurri played a key role in "Saved!," a 2004 satirical comedy about a Christian high school. The lifestyle blogger also played a student who side hustles as a stripper on "Californication," per HuffPost. "I had to train quite a bit," Amurri said about her prep for the role, pointing to her bruises. "I was quite banged up."

Amurri was only ten when she shot "Dead Man Walking," which was directed by Tim Robbins. In a 2004 interview with The New York Post, she confirmed she doesn't take her family connections for granted. "Of course, it's not something I would complain about," the "Undateable" alum said. "I realize how lucky I am for having that leg up, but at the same time, there's a lot of skepticism and a lot of scrutiny – you just have to accept and work around that."

D.W. Moffett played a shady character before Monarch

On "Monarch," D. W. Moffett plays Tripp DeWitt, a real estate mogul with a connection to the Romans "deeper than anyone knows," per Deadline. The actor's most notable big screen performances include the 2000 film "Traffic" and 2003's coming of age drama "Thirteen," which stars Nikki Wood and Evan Rachel Wood. Moffett appeared as Joe McCoy, an abusive dad to his quarter prodigy son J.D., on "Friday Night Lights."

Moffett also played Jeff Walsh, Jack Falahee's on-screen dad on "How To Get Away With Murder." On "Chicago Med," he played Cornelius Rhodes, the rich, manipulative father of Dr. Connor Rhodes. In a very shady move, Cornelius ends up sleeping with Connor's love interest, Dr. Ava Bekker. Moffett starred as yet another dad, playing John Kennish on ABC Family's "Switched at Birth." According to Start ASL, "Switched at Birth" was the first TV series to feature deaf actors as well as characters, and include scenes using ASL and no spoken words. 

In a 2014 interview with Nice Girls TV, Moffett said one thing he gained from the show was an awareness of the deaf community. "That has been the deepest lesson because I was so unaware of that community, their issues, their struggles, their language," the "Happily Divorced" actor explained, adding that a lot of people were likely just as unaware as he was. "It's also been a revelation to the hard of hearing community because finally there's a show on the air that speaks about them."

Reshma Shetty is a 'royal' talent

Reshma Shetty plays Carineh, Nicky's (Anna Friel) best friend and publicist, according to Deadline. Shetty is best known for her small screen roles, most notably for playing physician assistant Divya Katdare on USA's "Royal Pains" for eight seasons, making her one of the first female South Asian series leads. In 2016, Shetty took on the role of another medical provider, starring as Dr. Talaikha Channarayapatra in the short-lived CBS drama, "Pure Genius."

The child of two doctors thought she might follow the same path, but ended up studying opera instead. "I always felt that I was drawn to opera because of the acting on stage. But there were no faces like me on TV, nothing for me to aspire to," she told Mochi Magazine. Shetty, who was born in England, praised "Royal Pains" for the way Divya was represented. "My character isn't there because she's Indian, she's a character who happens to be Indian and the show's writers draw from it."

In 2017, Shetty began a recurring arc on NBC's "Blindspot," playing Megan, a journalist who is dating the assistant director of the FBI. Speaking to Entertainment Tonight, the actor said, "What was really cool about this character is it's introducing the connection that she has, not only to her boyfriend — it was very nice to play a girlfriend on the show because I'm not usually lucky enough to do those things — and to the secretive, save-the-world FBI cases."

Justin Kucsulain is pretty slick at styling his hair

Justin Kucsulain plays the younger version of Albie Roman on "Monarch." The Mixed Martial Artist had recurring roles on "Finding Carter," "Chicago P.D." and "Homeland." He also played the titular role in the 2022 horror film, "Killroy Was Here." For his role as Ethan on AMC's "The Walking Dead," producers were impressed with his ability to style his own hair, as he told Fansided's Undead Walking in 2016.

"Funny story — I was the only one during the fight scene that could fix the man bun to where continuity said it was good, and believe me, Michael Cudlitz [who plays Abraham] was laughing and shaking his head. I can only imagine he was thinking, 'Okay, princess.'" Kucsulain's first film role was in "Iron Man 3," the 2013 blockbuster starring Robert Downey Jr., and only one scene he shot made the final cut, per Bay News 9.

"The only thing that I did was carry a guy, threw him down. Carried a lot of plastic guns that looked really real," the personal trainer said, adding that he had to sleep in his car for a week while filming. But Kucsulain persevered, according to Tell-Tale TV. "Just starting out I even had an 'agent' look me right in the eyes and tell me that I was terrible and to stick with my day job," he said. "You have to do some serious soul-searching, because if you're trying to get into this business for the celebrity status or money and fame, it's never going to work."

Taegen Burns made her first film at age nine

Taegen Burns plays Young Nicky (Anna Friel's character) on the Fox series. The actor started out as a model and worked in commercials before landing her first film role as Young Shannon in "I Can Only Imagine," which also features her "Monarch" co-star Trace Adkins, per Nashville Noise. Burns portrayed a young Paris Jackson in the 2015 TV movie, "Michael Jackson: Searching for Neverland."

You also might know her as Maya from the Disney+ series, "The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers," a story about a group of kids brought together by hockey. "Speaking to Showstopper about her sassy character, the Disney star said, "To play that role, it comes with a lot of attitude and tone, so for me, it was really just kind of practicing and learning when I speak my line and just rehearse where to use that tone and have that sass."

One of Taegan's favorite roles was in the 2021 movie, "The Gateway." "I started acting when I was younger, and this was my first time in a film with such crazy characters," she told Bleeding Cool. In the movie, Burns plays Ashley, Olivia Munn's daughter. "So this is the first role that I got to play my own character, explore my character on my own, and I didn't have to portray someone else's [character as a younger version]," the actor noted, adding that it was also her first "gritty crime thriller."