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Why The New Mercedes-Benz Commercial Actress Looks So Familiar

You may have seen that new Mercedes-Benz commercial where three versions of the same woman drive three different models of Mercedes SUV. If so, and if you're a "Yellowstone" watcher, you probably did a double take. The actress who appears in the ad spot is Kelsey Asbille, previously billed as Kelsey Chow, whose most notable role over the last few years is that of Monica Dutton on the popular Paramount Network Western drama. Asbille has played the role since 2018, and the series' high profile has clearly opened some doors to more work, such as her commercial casting with the luxury car brand.

As Kayce Dutton's wife and a member of the Broken Rock Indian Reservation, Monica occupies a unique role on "Yellowstone." Asbille herself has been the subject of some controversy due to her prominent Native American TV roles, of which Monica is just one. Though the actress has claimed Cherokee ancestry in addition to her Chinese heritage, the tribe she named — the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians — has said there is no record suggesting her connection to their lineage. For that reason, Kelsey has come under fire by some, who believe she's used a perception of ethnic ambiguity to take prominent roles that might have otherwise gone to Indigenous actors.

While Asbille is best known these days for her role on "Yellowstone," Monica Dutton is far from her only prominent character. Here are some other reasons you may have recognized Kelsey Asbille in her new Mercedes-Benz SUV commercial.

Kelsey Asbille got her start on Disney Channel and One Tree Hill

Before she was starring on major network dramas or acting in Mercedes-Benz commercials, Kelsey Asbille got her big break playing the role of Gigi Silveri — a love interest for Mouth McFadden and minor character through several seasons — on "One Tree Hill." Her tenure on the popular teen drama lasted from 2005 to 2009, during which time she also made her Disney Channel debut on an episode of "The Suite Life of Zack & Cody," playing Zack's supposed girlfriend, Dakota.

Though the "Suite Life" role was small, it opened the door for a longer career with Disney. Asbille made another minor appearance on a 2010 episode of "Den Brother" before finally securing a long-term role as Mikayla Makoola on the Disney sitcom "Pair of Kings." She starred on the show for all three years of its run, which ended in 2013.

Given her background in teen dramas, it's fitting that Asbille's next big role came on the MTV series "Teen Wolf." She was cast as Tracy Stewart in the show's 5th season — a seemingly ordinary girl who's turned into a Chimera by the villainous Dread Doctors. Though she appeared on only 14 episodes of the fantasy series, it remains one of Asbille's more notable roles.

She's appeared on some prominent TV dramas over the last decade

Coming out of her time on "Teen Wolf," Kelsey Asbille began acting on a number of family and adult-targeted TV shows. She played Charlotte on two episodes of the 2018 ABC sitcom "Splitting Up Together" before being cast as Swanee Capps in "Fargo" Season 4 — the installment headlined by Chris Rock.

In 2017, Asbille made arguably her most notable film appearance to date, playing Natalie Hanson in Taylor Sheridan's "Wind River." The film put Sheridan on the map in a big way, and it was only a few years later that he started work on "Yellowstone." Asbille came along for another collaboration, and the rest is history.

As previously mentioned, Asbille's more modern work has been tainted by allegations of her faking her Indigenous ancestry. In addition to playing Monica on "Yellowstone," the actress has played a number of other Native American characters, including on "Fargo" and in "Wind River." In a 2017 interview with The New York Times, Asbille discussed her "Wind River" character, saying, "This role, more than any other, it's in my blood." It was then that the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians released an official statement declaring that the tribe had no record of her and could not identify a path of ancestry.