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Why Sam Fortner From The Patient Looks So Familiar

Hulu's critically acclaimed series "The Patient" has given TV viewers a character study and serial killer show unlike any other — complete with powerful performances from Steve Carell and Domhnall Gleeson, who plays titular star Sam Fortner, aka the patient.

While Carell's career path and transformation is fairly well-known, Gleeson's Hollywood performances have flown largely under people's radars, with some of his best work coming via supporting roles. Still, the Dublin native has become one of the most recognizable names and faces in the business, and it's very likely that you've probably spotted Gleeson in a high-profile project or two (BuzzFeed once dubbed him "The Actor Who's Everywhere.")

In 2015 alone, Gleeson had starring or standout supporting parts in at least four of the year's biggest and most acclaimed films (per BuzzFeed). His acting credits ultimately extend back to the early 2000s, so there's a good chance you've seen the Irish star's face before in the last 20 years. If not, here are some of the roles Gleeson is most known for.

He plays Bill Weasley in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Parts 1 and 2

Roughly a decade into his acting career, Domhnall Gleeson got the role of a lifetime as Bill Weasley in the "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" movies. It ultimately served as his very first part in a studio tentpole, but wouldn't be his last.

"When I got into 'Harry Potter,' people did tell me, 'Get ready. Things are going to change,'" Gleeson recalled to BuzzFeed in a December 2015 interview, which came during his whirlwind movie year. The actor has jokingly said in the past that his "Harry Potter" participation only came as a result of his "ginger" appearance. "I got very lucky with Harry Potter," Gleeson told The Telegraph in 2013. "I got that role because I'm a ginger! Red hair was my only qualification!" He added, "I was a Weasley waiting for a role."

With Part 1 of "Deathly Hallows" dropping in 2010 and Part 2 in 2011, Gleeson began taking on bigger and more interesting opportunities in the years that followed, including his first mainstream sci-fi project.

He's the Clan Techie in Alex Garland's and Pete Travis' cult sci-fi classic Dredd

Still rocking his long red locks from the "Deathly Hallows" flicks, Domhnall Gleeson chose to make one of his first big forays into the world of science-fiction with the role of the Clan Techie in Alex Garland and Pete Travis' 2012 cult classic "Dredd."

While the film was largely overlooked at first by critics and viewers, "Dredd" evolved into a beloved fan-favorite within the sci-fi genre, with some people claiming it's even better than the 1995 "Judge Dredd" movie that inspired it. Gleeson's role as the Clan Techie may have seemed small at the time, but he actually took it very seriously.

"It's not a huge role but I feel in some way he could represent the troubled heart of that kind of world," Gleeson explained in a 2011 interview (via ComicBookMovie.com). "This awful society where Dredd's a figure of hope is really interesting. So I was really proud of working on this. I love [screenwriter] Alex Garland as well. So my character is very important actually."

After "Dredd," Gleeson went on to take another dip into the world of sci-fi with one of his most acclaimed television roles.

He delivers a memorable performance in the 2013 Black Mirror episode Be Right Back

It's a performance that still sticks with fans of "Black Mirror," with many propping it up as one of the show's best. Domhnall Gleeson stars alongside "Agent Carter" actor Hayley Atwell in the episode "Be Right Back," which covers the story of a woman grieving the sudden death of her boyfriend, who is resurrected through an AI reconstruction of his personality.

"The Domhnall Gleeson and Hayley Atwell episode of #BlackMirror kills my soul in the best of ways, no matter how many times I've seen it," tweeted writer Alexandra Stone in early 2022. User @MikaeylaChetty said: "'Be Right Back' is truly one of a kind. Such beautiful chemistry & love. Hayley Atwell and Domhnall Gleeson make such stand-out performances."

For Gleeson, getting to dive even deeper into the world of sci-fi with "Black Mirror" wasn't just a great opportunity for him as an actor, it also helped him realize things about himself and the effect that technology has on him. "There's one moment where my character's desperately searching for his phone," Gleeson recalled to Vulture in 2018. "He just stands in the hallway and looks around blankly...That's when I realized I had done the same thing so many times, looking for my phone and feeling lost without it. So, yeah, I've tried to use my phone less since then. Sometimes, I fail. But at least I'm mindful of it."

Gleeson is in Ex Machina alongside Oscar Isaac

In what's considered by many to be his best movie role to date, Domhnall Gleeson captivated audiences alongside Oscar Isaac in Alex Garland's 2015 sci-fi thriller "Ex Machina." Playing the programmer Caleb Smith and tech CEO Nathan Bateman, Gleeson and Isaac do a wonderful job keeping viewers on the edges of their seats until the end of the film, which managed to win A24's very first Academy Award in 2016 for best visual effects. 

For Gleeson, "Ex Machina" is a project that he still thinks about today — with him recalling in 2020 how the production and style of the shoot helped prepare him for the COVID-19 pandemic. "It was such an intense experience filming that film," Gleeson told IndieWire. "It was six weeks, we were indoors for a lot of it, it was boiling hot, in the summertime. In the scenes with Oscar [Isaac], he's basically bullying me in those scenes, like that character is always managing my character."

He plays the fur trader who searches for Hugh Glass in The Revenant

While it was a small role, Domhnall Gleeson's part in Alejandro G. Iñárritu's 2015 hit "The Revenant" as fur trader Andrew Henry was one that served as a very important piece to the Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) story. It was also one of the most physically demanding and realistic roles he's ever gotten.

"When they say cross a river, and maybe have a fight halfway across it, you just start crossing the river," Gleeson said in a behind-the-scenes interview with ScreenSlam. In 2016, he told Tim Lammers of "Tim Talks Hollywood" that playing Andrew Henry was his most challenging role to date. "The notion was, if we really challenged ourselves, if we were able to put any of that into the camera — a certain amount of pain, a certain of amount of really battling the elements — that maybe we'd be giving the audience something they hadn't seen before," Gleeson explained. "I think we really got there. The film is special, and I know when I was watching it recently, I could feel it. It will never feel what it was really like being out there in the elements again, but watching it really evoked those feelings. I felt like I was back out there."

With two critically acclaimed hits now in his back pocket — along with a major movie franchise in "Harry Potter" — the sky was pretty much the limit for Gleeson in 2015, which led to him landing the most recognizable role of his career.

He portrays General Hux in the Star Wars sequel trilogy

Starring in all three of the "Star Wars" sequel films as the First Order lackie General Hux, Domhnall Gleeson put himself on the Hollywood map in a way he could have never imagined in the mid-2010s with his participation in the trilogy. Asked in August 2022 if he'd ever be down to return to the galaxy far, far away, Gleeson said: "Of course I would!"

"[Hux] was really interesting, and I think there's a lot I could do more [with him]," Gleeson told TheWrap. "I'm not sure anybody's clamoring for a Hux sequel or prequel. But yeah, of course. Those movies are amazing."

While Gleeson's role in 2015's "Episode VII — The Force Awakens" and 2017's "Episode VIII — The Last Jedi" was fairly prominent, the Hux character was relegated to background duty in 2019's "Episode IX — The Rise of Skywalker" — which is something Gleeson wishes didn't happen.

"It would've been nice to stick around a little bit longer, for sure," Gleeson told IndieWire in April 2020. "It would've been nice to see the spy thing play out a little bit, but J.J. [Abrams] knows what he's doing, and I heard a kind of gasp in the cinema when it happened, so I guess he was right." Gleeson added, "The film is what the film needed to be, I think. There's always stuff that you would like to see more of, but you can't have a 17-hour film, I've been told. Apparently that's not allowed, so I was happy with what was there."

Gleeson plays Doofus in the Amazon Prime series Frank of Ireland

Before starring in "The Patient," Domhnall Gleeson's took on another television role in the Amazon Prime series "Frank of Ireland," which sees him returning to his Dublin roots with brother Brian Gleeson, who also plays the show's titular star.

"'Frank of Ireland' is a physical and ridiculous brand of humor with an original twist," a description reads online (via Merman). "Frank Marron, a 32-year-old catastrophe; a misanthropic fantasist in arrested development who's convinced that the world owes him ... is newly single and still lives at home with his mother, Mary (Pom Boyd)," the description adds. "He's a self-proclaimed musician with a tenuous hold on reality, and hasn't written a song or played a gig in years. ... Luckily, Frank has a loyal best friend, Doofus (Gleeson) whose full-time job is clearing the debris left in Frank's wake."

In addition to starring in "Frank of Ireland," Gleeson and his brother Brian also wrote and created the series. "We'd done a play, and we'd done a couple of short films before that were funny. And we really enjoy trying to be funny together," Gleeson told Looper in April 2021. "I had written all these sketches with Michael Moloney, a fantastic writer who I've known since I was a kid, basically. We decided the three of us should see if we could come up with something, and the thing that we came up with was this character of Frank."