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Why General Frances Ardmore In Avatar: The Way Of Water Looks So Familiar

Although most of the original "Avatar" film was dedicated to the conflict between human colonizers and the Na'vi (the indigenous people of Pandora), everything we've seen thus far from its sequel, "Avatar: The Way of Water," has made it seem like humans are almost an afterthought. Even the trailer for "The Way of Water" has a notable lack of human characters –- primarily focusing on the family of the eponymous Avatar, Jake Sully (Sam Worthington), and introducing a new clan of Na'vi called the Metkayina.

Despite the fact that almost no humans appear within the trailer, we know for a fact that they will still be a major factor within the story, as the Resources Development Administration and General Miles Quaritch (Stephen Lang) are still seeking vengeance against the Sully family for their actions in the first film (via Empire). In "The Way of Water," Quaratrich and the RDA are also joined by a brand new antagonist hell-bent on dominating Pandora –- General Frances Ardmore.

Ardmore first appeared within the series in the comic book "Avatar: The High Ground," in which she led the RDA back to Pandora following their defeat in the original film, bringing with her a brand new legion of special forces to devastate the planet. In "The Way of Water," this exciting new villain is played by Edie Falco, who may look very familiar to some fans. Here's where you might have seen Falco before.

Edie Falco's first major role was on HBO's Oz

Edie Falco's acting career actually began in the late 1980s, and not long after, she scored small roles in shows like "Law & Order." However, her first big break actually came nearly a decade later when she was cast in HBO's critically acclaimed prison drama "Oz." From 1997 to 2000, Falco played the recurring character of Diane Whittlesey, a corrections officer at the series' eponymous Oswald State Correctional Facility.

Whittlesey began her time on "Oz" as the supervisor of guards for Emerald City: an experimental cell block under the strict control of Tim McManus (Terry Kinney), which is intended to rehabilitate some of Oz's most volatile criminals. A single mother, Whittlesey was often seen working extreme hours and weathering some incredibly stressful situations (including a few prison riots) in order to make ends meet for her family. Throughout her first three seasons on "Oz," Whittlesey was an essential character who often found herself at the heart of the series' most important storylines, which made her abrupt departure in Season 4 all the more shocking.

As surprising as it was to see Edie Falco exit the series after four seasons, it's worth noting that Whittlesey's departure marks one of the only times that a main character escaped Oz with a happy ending; as she left for England to live a happier, safer life with her daughter.

Falco's performance as Carmela Soprano earned her universal acclaim

Two years after joining the cast of "Oz," Edie Falco would land her true breakout role on yet another prolific HBO series, joining the cast of "The Sopranos" in 1999 as Carmela Soprano, the wife of mobster Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini). Much of Carmela's time within the series is spent attempting to maintain a sense of normalcy despite her husband's bloody occupation, and we see her on numerous occasions struggling to rationalize the corrupt way in which her family has earned their lavish lifestyle.

Considering the fact that "The Sopranos" is still lauded as one of the greatest television series of all time, it's safe to say that Carmela Soprano remains Falco's most well-known role to date and the one which launched her into the upper echelon of Hollywood. Like the series itself, Falco's performance as the conflicted Carmela received universal acclaim, earning Falco three Emmy Awards for outstanding lead actress in a drama series from six nominations (one for each season of the show).

The numerous accolades that Falco earned for her performance are a testament to just how iconic the character of Carmela truly is. 2021 saw her actually reprising her role as Carmela for the "Sopranos" prequel film "The Many Saints of Newark," though her filmed scenes were ultimately cut, director Alan Taylor told NME.

Falco went on to star as the titular character in Nurse Jackie

Following the conclusion of "The Sopranos" in 2007, Edie Falco would score her next major role in 2009 when she joined Showtime's "Nurse Jackie" as the titular Jackie Peyton, starring in the series until its finale in 2015. The dark comedy series focused on Jackie's daily life working in New York City's All Saints Hospital, providing an expertly crafted blend of humor and drama as Jackie weathers the chaos of nursing alongside her exhaustive personal life.

On top of that, the show also explored Jackie's struggles with addiction, as she often maintains her hectic lifestyle through the liberal usage of drugs like Vicodin and Xanax. In a 2012 interview with Slate, Falco, who was then in her second decade of sobriety, explained that it was Jackie's principles, as opposed to her background, that attracted her to the role. "I think it was the woman rather than her behavior," Falco said. "She's a bit of a vigilante. She's always working around the rules to get whatever she needs. She wants to be a good nurse."

"Nurse Jackie" received widespread critical acclaim throughout its seven seasons on air. Falco earned yet another Emmy for her role in the series, this time for outstanding lead actress in a comedy series.

If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Falco played Leslie Abramson in Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders

Since the end of "Nurse Jackie" back in 2015, Edie Falco has starred in a variety of films and television series that stretch across numerous genres. This includes two projects produced by comedian Louis C.K. — a tragicomic web series titled "Horace and Pete" and the ill-fated comedy film "I Love You, Daddy" — as well as the short-lived police procedural "Tommy," in which Falco played Abigail "Tommy" Thomas, the first female police chief in the LAPD.

Arguably, her most notable role during this stretch was that of Leslie Hope Abramson, the real-life defense attorney of convicted murderers Lyle and Erik Menendez, whom Falco portrayed in the 2017 limited series "Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders." The role earned Falco yet another Emmy nomination, further cementing her as one of the most acclaimed actors in all of television.

In 2018, Falco told The Wrap that the real Abramson's refusal to cooperate with the show turned out to be a blessing in disguise for her. "That actually made it easier for me," she shared. "I had her words from the trial, I had an amazing hair and makeup and costume department to make me look like her, and I had everything I needed to work the same way I work on everything else — from my imagination."

Aside from Abramson, Falco played another well-known real-life figure when she was cast as former first lady Hillary Clinton in Season 3 of FX's "Impeachment: American True Crime Story."