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Why Montana From Asteroid City Looks So Familiar

If you have been to the theater in the last few weeks, you have likely seen the first trailer for "Asteroid City," the quirky new film from Wes Anderson. Not only does "Asteroid City" look very much like a Wes Anderson film, but it also boasts an impressive number of names that have run Hollywood for the last two decades.

The film follows a father taking his children to a fictional '50s town to explore the stars and presumably break the news to them that their mother passed three weeks prior. Of course, if you're in a town in the '50s that has its focus on the skies, there will be an alien component, and in true '50s style, the residents of the town are quarantined while the government investigates a possible alien encounter.

The cast of the film includes Tom Hanks, Scarlett Johannson, Steve Carell, Edward Norton, and Margot Robbie. But also, in the long list of names appears one who plays an unknown character named Montana. While not much is known about the part in "Asteroid City," you will likely recognize the actor — Rupert Friend — as soon as you see him. This is why Montana looks so familiar.

Rupert Friend wooed the Bennet girls in Pride and Prejudice

There are a few characters in British lore to aspire to play on screen when you are a young British actor. Roles like King Arthur, Robin Hood, James Bond, Lara Croft, and Queen Elizabeth would be dream roles to bring to life. Of course, there is also any character jumping from the pages of Jane Austen's classic novels. Rupert Friend got the chance to take on one of these characters when he appeared in the 2005 version of "Pride & Prejudice."

The 2005 iteration is one of the better ones to have brought the story to life. Not only did it feature the leading lady talents of the elegant Keira Knightley, but it also had a stacked cast that included Donald Sutherland, Rosamund Pike, Kelly Reilly, and Tom Hollander. Friend took on the role of George Wickham, who initially intended to woo Elizabeth Bennet (Knightley), only to go on to marry her sister, Lydia (Jena Malone).

He was an unknown actor at the time, but the movie changed his life in multiple ways as it served as both an exposure to a larger audience and helped light the spark between him and his five-year girlfriend, Knightley.

He cheered on Young Victoria as Prince Albert

After portraying a Jane Austen character, the talented British actor landed a role in a historical epic focused on the rise of Queen Victoria. 2009's "The Young Victoria" followed the first few years of her rule when she faced off against family members who looked to subvert or control her rule of an empire when she was only 18.

Rupert Friend appears as a young Prince Albert, who is sent by his father to woo his cousin, Victoria (Emily Blunt). Despite knowing that his presence is simply in the hope of marrying the queen and strengthening his family's power, the two find a fondness for each other, and a genuine love begins to blossom. Rupert Friend admitted to Tribute that he didn't know a thing about either figure before landing the role and spoke about what it was like researching to play the young royal.

"I knew literally nothing about them at all," Friend said. "So it was really, really fascinating for me because I just started from the beginning. And every time you would learn something, it would take you off into another path, and you would realize you would have to go off into a whole other area of research."

He learned to kill as Agent 47

In 2015, Rupert Friend took a role that seemed to change his image from being a dramatic actor to being an action star with his role in "Hitman: Agent 47." Based on the successful video game franchise, the film follows Agent 47 as he starts off chasing after Katia (Hanna Ware), almost like a Terminator. It is eventually revealed that Smith (Zachary Quinto) is a rival and is searching for her and her father. Friend portrays Agent 47 and dips his toes into the action by taking out everyone in his path before coming face-to-face multiple times with Smith. 

In an interview with Esquire, Friend spoke about the role and the fact that one of the prerequisites to playing the action hero was to shave his head. While some people might not like the idea of shaving their head for a role, Friend revealed that he actually enjoyed the experience.

"I loved the feel of the air on my head! And it is what it is every day. It does make you look quite aggressive, though," the actor confessed before telling a story about the effect it had on him. "There'd be times where I was driving in Berlin or Singapore where we shot, and someone would cut into me dangerously in the traffic. I beeped my horn one time, and they stopped the car and came steaming over to my car to have a go at me. He took one look, turned around, and got back in his car."

He was the agency's deadliest agent in Homeland

"Homeland" is a story about what would happen if a prisoner of war returned to the world after five years in captivity, only to be suspected of being a sleeper agent. This is what befalls Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis) as he attempts to put his life back together after years in captivity. Unfortunately, CIA Agent Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) believes he is working for the very people who captured and tortured him and won't give him a moment's rest.

Rupert Friend appears as Peter Quinn, a deadly assassin who is Mathison's weakness. The two of them are on-again-off-again lovers who clearly hurt each other constantly. Quinn's journey comes to a violent end at the hands of the NYPD. 

Following Quinn's death, a group of angry fans — calling themselves #NotOurHomeland — took out an advertisement in The Hollywood Reporter expressing their disapproval of the character's send-off. The advertisement promoted a response from series showrunner Alex Gansa, as reported by THR.

"It is painful to hear that even a small segment of our devoted audience is disappointed in 'Homeland,'" Gansa said. "Until now, I have refrained from commenting publicly on the death of Peter Quinn, believing that Rupert Friend's heart-wrenching performance should speak for itself. I have not changed my view. Suffice it to say that I mourn the loss of Peter Quinn as much as anybody and that the character was created not to denigrate but to honor the men and women who devote their lives to keeping America safe. In my eyes, he died a hero."

He chased Obi Wan as the Grand Inquisitor

Remember when we said there are a handful of characters that will make your career? A villain in a "Star Wars" movie seems to be high on the list as well. After years of adoring fans asking when Ewan McGregor would return as the wise Obi-Wan Kenobi, he finally got his shot with the Disney+ series "Obi-Wan Kenobi."

Of course, every "Star Wars" hero needs a good villain to chase them, and Kenobi is no different, as he faces off against Darth Vader (Hayden Christensen). The scariest villain in all of science fiction isn't the only formidable enemy the Jedi in exile has to contend with in the series, however. Kenobi also has to face off with the Inquisitors, a group of operatives who are tasked with eliminating any Jedis who survived the events of Order 66

For his part, Friend appeared in four episodes of "Obi-Wan Kenobi" as the Grand Inquisitor. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Friend discussed what it was like to bring the villain to life in live-action for the first time.

"The first time somebody handed me my lightsaber, I nearly fainted," Friend said. "You're just like, this is my lightsaber, and we've never had this lightsaber in the 'Star Wars' universe before. And I was getting to play this guy that's never been in the live-action 'Star Wars,' so there was a lot of firsts for me. And then standing next to Obi-Wan Kenobi himself is pretty amazing."