Adelaide Clemens as Sandy in 'Justified: City Primeval'
George Burns/FX

Who Plays Sandy Stanton on 'Justified: City Primeval'? Meet Adelaide Clemens

Clemens plays Sandy, the love interest and right hand to Raylan Givens' new adversary in 'Justified: City Primeval.'

Fans of the edgy crime drama Justified are on the edge of their seats waiting for the spinoff series that'll bring U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) back to the small screen.

Justified: City Primeval transports us eight years after we last saw the Kentucky marshal and his iconic cowboy hat. Givens is living and working in Miami, trying to balance his demanding job with raising his 14-year-old daughter, Willa (Vivian Olyphant). But when he has a run-in with a violent sociopath known as The Oklahoma Wildman, Givens is back on the hunt for justice. Only this time, the old-fashioned showdown takes place in Detroit.

The new series is based on Elmore Leonard's City Primeval: High Noon in Detroit, which means viewers will be introduced to some new characters, such as Sandy Stanton. According to FX, Stanton is the Oklahoma Wildman's moll who's anything but a pushover. The character description reads: "She's a survivor, and contrary to her appearance, she might just be the smartest person in the room."

Taking on the role of Stanton is Adelaide Clemens, a recognizable face who's been appearing on the big and small screens since 2006. If you're not familiar with the Aussie actress yet, here's what you need to know about her before Justified: City Primeval airs.

She's Australian

Adelaide Clemens attends the 12th Season of ATX TV Festival at Stateside at the Paramount on June 01, 2023 in Austin, Texas

Rick Kern/WireImage

Clemens was born in Australia but spent the early part of her childhood bouncing between France and Hong Kong. While she grew up loving the idea and history of theater, she never thought she herself would be in the spotlight. "I was in a back brace from spondylosis," she told Daily Life back in 2015. "It just wasn't my inclination."

But after she entered a one-act play competition as a director and was told right before curtain that she would have to perform, she was hooked.

"I never consciously set out to be an actor," she told Interview Magazine in 2012. "I just kind of did whatever acting I could do. I was writing one-act plays and set up the Shakespeare club in my school, but studying was what I loved. I think it only hit me a couple of months ago that I'm an actor."

She's a Child Star

When Clemens was 14, her parents relocated back to Australia, and she immediately began studying acting at the Bell Shakespeare Company. Pretty soon, she was auditioning and landing guest star roles in teen dramas such as Blue Water High, Pirate Islands: The Lost Treasure of Fiji and Love My Way

By the time she turned 19, she decided it was time to try her luck in the United States and relocated to Los Angeles. Clemens quickly started picking up roles in big films such as X-Men Originals: Wolverine and The Great Gatsby. She also played a teenager fighting off grotesque creatures in the horror flick Silent Hill: Revelation 3D.

"They like putting me in these things because I get scared really easily," she said in a 2012 interview. "You have to be tense and on edge the whole time, and I found if I screamed as hard as I could before every take, the adrenaline kicks in, and the heart rate goes up."

She's Portrayed Complex Characters

Adelaide Clemens attends the Premiere of FX's "Under The Banner Of Heaven" at Hollywood Athletic Club on April 20, 2022 in Hollywood, California


Unlike many actresses, Clemens hasn't fallen into a particular trope. Her resume? is a colorful mix of roles that range from the sweet and innocent to the unhinged, such as a sociopathic prostitute in the 2012 film Generation Um... . 

In addition to film, she's also had her fair share of regular roles on some pretty prominent series. Clemens played Valentine Wannop in the HBO drama Parade's End and Tawney Talbot in the 2013 Sundance Channel series Rectify. "Generally, I play the kind of ethereal, fragile-on-the-outside-but-hard-and-damaged-on-the-inside type," she told Interview Magazine. "I think the baby face makes it more twisted."

Clemens' nuanced performances have earned her praise from critics — and plenty of fans. She was nominated in 2008 for the Graham Kennedy Award for Most Outstanding New Talent for her work on Love My Way. Most recently, she played Andrew Garfield's wife in the FX crime drama Under the Banner of Heaven and starred in the musical romance The Swearing Jar.

"I think it's a thought-provoking piece," she said of the film, which also features Kathleen Turner and Patrick J. Adams. "It's a commentary on ... I don't want to say the largest theme, but on betrayal, on denial, on how denial can sort of stagnate us in time — we don't really move anywhere. It's a great coping mechanism, but it's not necessarily the healthiest."

When Does Justified: City Primeval Premiere?

While Sandy Stanton is by no means Clemens' first major role, she says it's definitely one of her most intriguing characters yet. "She's fun," the actress told Slash Film. "She moves like a million miles an hour. ... She's ambivalent a lot of the time, so balancing the two, I think she has her own moral code, and that's really fun to play in."

Fans don't have to wait long to see how Clemens will bring the morally loose Stanton to life. Justified: City Primeval premieres July 18 on FX, with new episodes available to stream the next day on Hulu.

READ MORE: What Happened to Winona Hawkins? Is Natalie Zea in 'Justified: City Primeval'?