There’s a lot to learn about Ashley Romans, the actress behind the role of Agent 355 in Y: The Last Man. The show is based on a comic book series and premiered in mid-September, 2021.
Y: The Last Man first came to us first as a graphic novel created by comic-book writers Brian K. Vaughn and Pia Guerra. Although the show is considered a DC series, it’s also important to note that Y: The Last Man comes from Vertigo, an imprint comic book company of DC.
The DC series focuses on a post-apocalyptic world following the cataclysmic event of every mammal with a Y chromosome being decimated with the exception of one cisgender male. His pet monkey also survives to keep him company. The character of Agent 355, played by Romans, is pivotal to the storyline. Here’s what you should know about Romans as an actor in the show and in her real life.
How Ashley Romans feels about playing Agent 355
Taking on a heroic role in any capacity is a big deal and comes with major responsibilities. Some actors who play heroes feel the inherent need to also give off “role model” vibes when the cameras aren’t rolling. According to Popternative, playing Agent 355 has been a major life-changing event for Ashley Romans. She said, “It’s just such an honor getting to bring this character off the page and also seeing how enthusiastic everybody is about this comic book — this world that we’re creating, and specifically this character. What I love about this character is that she’s so full of contradictions; there’s so much life to her. Even as a comic book, there was still something left to be discovered about her all the time. It was a lot of fun getting to play this character and getting to work with everybody.”
By everybody, Romans is referring to her incredible cast mates in Y: The Last Man. She’s working with the likes of Ben Schnetzer as Yorick Brown, Olivia Thirlby as Hero Brown, Elliot Fletcher as Sam Jordan, and Diane Lane as Senator Jennifer. Although a second season of the show hasn’t been officially announced, it also hasn’t been officially canceled either. Fans are staying tuned for further updates since the first season made such huge waves.
Who is Agent 355?
According to DC comics, Agent 355 is a private spy who serves as Yorick Brown’s personal bodyguard after discovering that he’s the last living cisgender man on Earth. The reason she’s perfect for the job is that she’s highly trained in advanced hand-to-hand combat and she’s expertly skilled when it comes to the use of various firearms. Firearms from rifles to shotguns are easy to handle for her, and hand-to-hand combat using various forms of martial arts would be considered her strong suit. It’s revealed in the show that she’s also got total recall memory. In other words, she can quickly and easily remember most of what she sees, even down to the most minute details.
If you pay attention to the equipment she always has with her, the Amulet of Helene is part of her gear. When the plague originally struck causing only one man to survive, Agent 355 removed the Amulet of Helene from the Nation of Jordan even though it was considered a wildly important artifact.
Agent 355 was created by comic book writers Brian K. Vaughn and Pia Guerra. Collectively, these DC hero writers have come up with a bunch of very interesting characters to add depth to the stories we so deeply love. Other notable works by Vaughn include Saga, Papergirls #5, and Pride of Baghdad.
Another detail about Agent 355 is that she’s associated with the Culper Ring, which is a secret government task force known to only take direct orders from the president. Amongst all the members of the Culper Ring who once existed, Agent 355 is one of the few surviving individuals. Diving into the backstory of Agent 355 reveals the devastating childhood she faced after losing both her parents and sister in a deadly car crash as a youngster. She ended up landing in a foster home but had to run away after getting caught up in a physical altercation with two racist kids there. She grew up and learned how to fight so she’d never have to run away again.
Ashley Romans off camera
Aside from her leading role in Y: The Last Man, Ashley Romans has also starred in a handful of other TV shows so far. In 2017, she landed a role in Hermione Granger and a Quarter Life Crisis, from 2017 to 2018 she starred in I’m Dying Up Here, in 2019 she starred in Finding Johnny, and from 2019 to 2020 she starred in NOS4A2. Romans also landed a recurring role in Shameless during its ninth season.
Romans has got a few things going on when the cameras are rolling, but she’s also living her best life in the real world. According to her Instagram, she’s a total model. Although she classifies as an actor, if she ever wanted to switch career paths to modeling, she could easily do that. She’s also heavily connected to art, animals, and her closest friends.