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Why Stan From The Crowded Room Looks So Familiar

When Akiva Goldsman, who's best known for penning the "A Beautiful Mind" screenplay, pitched the premise of "The Crowded Room" to Tom Holland, the MCU alum joined as star and executive producer before even seeing a finalized script. The upcoming 10-episode series is based on Daniel Keyes' book "The Minds of Billy Milligan," which traces the real-life Milligan's experience as the first-ever defendant to be acquitted of a serious crime over a mental health diagnosis.

Holland plays a fictionalized version of Milligan named Danny Sullivan, who is involved in a shooting at Rockefeller Center in 1979. In the trailer for "The Crowded Room," the introverted Danny repeatedly says, "I have some blank spots," suggesting he's not aware of the magnitude of his crimes.

Holland is joined by an all-star cast, including Amanda Seyfried, Emmy Rossum, Jason Isaacs, and Christopher Abbott as Danny's lawyer Stan, a Vietnam veteran who's facing some demons of his own. Here's where you may have previously seen the actor playing Stan.

Christopher Abbott's breakout role was in Hello I Must Be Going

Following a number of theater roles in the mid-aughts, Christopher Abbott made his television debut in 2009 in an episode of the Edie Falco-starring "Nurse Jackie." The next year, he fulfilled the working actor rite of passage by guest starring in an episode of "Law & Order: Criminal Intent."

In 2011, Abbott made his film debut in Sean Durkin's "Martha Marcy May Marlene." Abbott plays Max, a member of a manipulative cult led by its abusive leader Patrick (John Hawkes). The disquieting psychological thriller was also the film debut of Elizabeth Olsen.

More film roles followed, and in 2012, Abbott starred in the dark comedy "Hello I Must Be Going" opposite Melanie Lynskey, which Indiewire called his breakout role. "That he distinguishes himself among [Lynskey and Blythe Danner] shouldn't come as a surprise," the outlet's Nigel A. Smith wrote. Abbott plays Jeremy, a 19-year-old actor involved in an affair with a 30-something divorcee, played by Lynskey.

He played Charlie in Girls

Christopher Abbott's stock may have risen with his early film roles, but he entered the upper echelons of prestige TV glory with HBO's "Girls." From 2012 to 2013, Abbott played Charlie Dattolo, Marnie's (Allison Williams) on-and-off boyfriend. After the Season 2 finale, Abbott abruptly left the series, resulting in one of the harshest on-screen ghostings of all time. "The world that Lena [Dunham] wrote was very real, especially in New York," Abbott told the New York Times about his decision to leave "Girls." "But it wasn't as relatable for me on a personal level."

In 2016, Abbott returned for a standalone episode in Season 5. Titled "The Panic in Central Park" as a nod to the 1971 film "The Panic in Needle Park," the episode follows a whirlwind reunion between Charlie and Marnie. Abbott changed things entirely for the episode, giving Charlie a new manner of speech and a devil-may-care physicality befitting the character's drug use. "Seeing this episode come to life ... it's truly the piece of writing that I've done for the show that I'm the most proud of," Dunham said in a behind-the-scenes clip.

Abbott, too, appreciated getting to revisit his character, especially the 11th-hour reveal that Charlie had begun using heroin. "It attacked the idea of, in New York especially, after years, people change," Abbott told Vanity Fair. "People go through weird shifts. It was fun to poke fun at that."

Abbott received critical acclaim for James White

Following his departure from "Girls," Christopher Abbott delved back into theater and independent film, appearing in both "The Sleepwalker" and the A24 crime drama "A Most Violent Year" in 2014.

Abbott received critical acclaim for playing the titular character in 2015's "James White." James is a self-destructive 20-something coping with his mother's (Cynthia Nixon) terminal illness. Abbott was nominated for a Film Independent Spirit Award for his powerful, volatile performance. The project also reunited him with "Martha Marcy May Marlene" producer Josh Mond, who helmed "James White." "I feel spoiled that I got to work with a director who was a good friend right off the bat," Abbott told RogerEbert.com. "I felt so comfortable and free while making this film."

After completing "James White," Abbott continued to pad his resume with films, including the odd major studio production. In 2016, he nabbed a role in "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot" alongside Tina Fey, Margot Robbie, and Martin Freeman.

He had leading TV roles in The Sinner and Catch-22

Following his major role in "Girls," Christopher Abbott largely stuck to films and theater. That changed in 2017 when Abbott starred in Season 1 of the crime procedural anthology series "The Sinner." The first season stars Jessica Biel as Cora Tannetti, a woman who stabs a man under mysterious circumstances. Abbott plays Cora's husband, Mason.

In 2019, Abbott returned to television for his biggest role yet: John Yossarian in George Clooney's adaptation of "Catch-22." Finding the leading man for Joseph Heller's timeless character was no easy task, but Clooney–who also directed and starred in the miniseries–knew that Abbott had the juice. "Chris came in and read, and within the first three lines it was clear that he was our man," Clooney told Vanity Fair. "He has a unique quality that makes you root for him. That's not something that can be learned—either you have it or you don't. And he has it."

For his role in "Catch-22," Abbott earned a Golden Globe nomination for best actor in a miniseries.

Christopher Abbott is known for his recent horror roles

In the last few years, Christopher Abbott has continued to show his affinity for left-field indie features and sleek dramas alike, whether in the dark industry send-up "Black Bear" or awards season favorite "First Man." Abbott has also emerged as a familiar face for horror fans.

In 2017, Abbott starred in "It Comes at Night" alongside Joel Edgerton and Riley Keough. The film follows two families isolated together in the woods as a contagious disease ravages society. He followed up the project with 2018's "Piercing," a horror thriller about a man plotting the murder of a sex worker (Mia Wasikowska).

His most recent horror outing was Brandon Cronenberg's "Possessor." Andrea Riseborough stars as Tasya Vos, an assassin who occupies others' consciousnesses as vessels to carry out her hits. When she enters the body of Colin Tate (Abbott), however, the two become perilously entangled. "​​I thought it was wildly unique and just a world I hadn't quite seen before," Abbott said to Sharp Magazine of the film. Playing one character inhabited by another, however, posed a unique challenge. "The initial conversation for me was ... to kind of trick the audience as much as you can to be confused of who, which character is at the forefront," he said.

Horror agnostics need not worry. Abbott has plenty of non-scary fare on the horizon, including the dark comedy "Sanctuary" co-starring Margaret Qualley, and Yorgos Lanthimos' "Poor Things." He will also make his Marvel debut in "Kraven the Hunter" as The Foreigner, a major adversary of Spider-Man.