‘Chicago Med’s S. Epatha Merkerson Recalls the Hollywood Stars Who Made Her Starstruck

by Alex Falls

Chicago Med‘s S. Epatha Merkerson is a beloved actor in the world of TV. She’s had a long career of successful TV roles and had rubbed shoulders with all sorts of stars. But even the biggest names have stars that leave them stuck in their tracks.

NBC’s Instagram page asked Merkerson about one of her star-struck memories. The actor recalled a time in theater days when she ran into two of her idols.

“I was probably in 20s when I met Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis because I did a play with their son,” Merkerson said. “And I was completely starstruck. It took me a minute to just calm down to meet them.”

Ruby Dee was a famed actress and poet from New York famed for her performances in The Jackie Robinson Story and Do the Right Thing. Modern audiences might best recognize her from her award-nominated role in 2007’s American Gangster. She was married to Ossie Davis who gained fame as a renowned performer in theater and film. Both actors performed frequently together until Davis’ death in 2005. Dee passed away in 2014.

S. Epatha Merkerson’s Next Epic TV Role Revealed

S. Epatha Merkerson is best remembered for her role in Law & Order as Lieutenant Anita Van Buren. Currently, she plays Sharon Goodwin in Chicago Med and the overarching Chicago One universe. But she recently confirmed her next big TV project.

Merkerson officially joined the star-studded cast of Poker Face, a highly-anticipated mystery series coming from Peacock. Details about Merkerson’s character and the show’s plot are being kept under wraps. Creator Rian Johnson did share a brief synopsis of the plot with Variety. According to Johnson, the show centers around lead star Natasha Lyonne of Russian Dolls.

Poker Face is a case-of-the-week mystery series, anchored entirely by Natasha as the ‘detective,'” he revealed. “The show was created around her, and the whole thing is tailored to Natasha like a bespoke suit. It could only exist with her charisma and presence at the center of it. She’s got a very Fellini-type sensibility, where the funny and absurd is a way into the dark and personal. It’s inspiring to me, seeing how unafraid she is to push further and further in that direction.”

According to Variety, the cast also recently added Ron Perlman, Nick Nolte, Charles Melton, and Tim Blake Nelson. These actors joined Merkerson and an already star-studded ensemble cast. Other names include Adrien Brody, Audrey Corsa, Benjamin Bratt, Chloe Sevigny, Danielle MacDonald, Dascha Polanco, Ellen Barkin, Jameela Jamil, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Judith Light, Lil Rel Howery, Niall Cunningham, Nicholas Cirillo, S. Epatha Merkerson, Simon Helberg and Tim Meadows.

Stay tuned to find out when you’ll be able to stream Poker Face on Peacock.