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Who Plays Arlong In One Piece? The Ozark Star Behind The Iconic Villain

We're only a few weeks away from the premiere of "One Piece" on Netflix, and the trailer has already given fans a great look at some familiar faces, including the villains. While Buggy D. Clown will surely give the Straw Hats some early problems, the main challenge of Season 1 will come from Arlong and his Fish-men pirates.

Beneath all that makeup and the serrated nose, actor McKinley Belcher III brings Arlong to live-action. "One Piece" won't be the actor's first collaboration with Netflix, as "Ozark" fans may recognize him as FBI Agent Trevor Evans. During the early seasons of the critically-acclaimed crime drama, Evans worked alongside his former boyfriend and fellow FBI agent Roy Petty (Jason Butler Harner) to take down Marty Byrde (Jason Bateman) and his money laundering operation. He attempted and failed to convince the rest of the Byrde family to enter the Witness Protection Program and betray Marty.

Outside of "Ozark," Belcher played Detective Momodu "G Money" Gondo on the miniseries "We Own This City," Anthony Carter in the short-lived Fox thriller "The Passage," Samuel Diggs on "Mercy Street," and Marcus in "Power."

McKinley Belcher III is stoked to play Arlong on One Piece

Bringing Arlong to life will be a bit of a diversion for McKinley Belcher III, who has previously played antagonistic forces. Much like on "Ozark," those characters were technically on the right side of the law. In "One Piece," Arlong, like most pirates, is on the wrong side of the law, serving as a truly evil villain that the Straw Hat Pirates encounter early in their search for the titular treasure. However, Belcher couldn't be more excited to bring the character to life and won't let anyone bring him down either.

Following the announcement of the "One Piece" cast, Belcher took to Twitter to share a side-by-side image of himself and Arlong, expressing his excitement to bring the character to life. He even captioned the post with an unusual laugh, which any "One Piece" fan knows is practically a requirement for any true villain written by Eiichiro Oda.

However, some people weren't as stoked about the casting decision as Belcher. @IamPantSu expressed their disappointment in the casting of a Black man as a Fish-man, writing, "Fish-men in the 'OP' universe are mistreated by humans and often enslaved ... You're literally being used and ought to talk to your casting agent." Belcher doesn't agree with the latter half of the statement but instead sees him playing Arlong in a different light, replying, "You're right about that first part, Arlong has lived through a lot of mistreatment and abuse. But I'm grateful I get to play a character with that kind of depth, [because that] means I sit in a privileged seat to say something meaningful while playing a badass who won't let 'men' decide his fate."