Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Why Stregobor From The Witcher Looks So Familiar

Netflix's hotly-anticipated adaptation of the beloved fantasy and video game series The Witcher is finally upon us, and it's delivering a hearty reminder of just what a beast of a human being Henry Cavill is. Okay, with any luck, The Witcher is also offering a reminder that — outside of possessing abnormally large biceps — Cavill is also a pretty solid actor who deserves a lot more credit than he gets for his portrayal of the last son of Krypton in Zack Snyder's better-than-you-remember 2013 picture Man of Steel

Of course, a big part of what's making Cavill's work as the titular beast slayer so memorable is his interaction with the show's shifting cast of supporting players. While Cavill's face is far and away the most instantly recognizable among The Witcher's impressive ensemble, there are more than a few others in the series' supporting cast that are sure to be familiar to viewers.

Chief among them: Lars Mikkelsen, who portrays the conflicted dark wizard/illusionist Stregobor on the series. And yes, before we get too far ahead of ourselves, we'll go ahead and admit that the Danish actor's face is all the more familiar because he looks an awful lot like his more famous kid brother Mads Mikkelsen (Casino RoyaleDoctor Strange, TV's Hannibal). However, Lars' resemblance to his brother is not the only reason his face is familiar. In fact, it's likely that you've seen him on the small screen several times in recent years. 

Here's why Stregobor from The Witcher looks so familiar.

Lars Mikkelsen dared to tangle with Holmes and Watson on Sherlock

Though he's currently earning raves for portraying a conniving dark wizard with a piercing intellect in The Witcher, the show is hardly Lars Mikkelsen's first go at breaking bad on the small screen. As it happens, the actor has had a pretty great run playing scheming intellectual sorts over the years. As such, we'd wager that many of you who are certain you've seen Stregobor's face before just might be familiar with the genius-level blackmailing baddie Charles Augustus Magnussen — one of the most devious villains to ever face off against Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Watson (Martin Freeman) in the BBC's pitch-perfect modern adaptation Sherlock

Mikkelsen appeared in the episode "His Last Vow," which found Holmes and Watson on the hunt for a collection of deeply personal letters which were being used as blackmail against Lady Elizabeth Smallwood (Lindsay Duncan). Their search set Holmes and Watson on a collision course with Mikkelsen's duplicitous media mogul — a course that ends with Magnussen ultimately outwitting Holmes, thus leaving the legendary sleuth no course of action but to shoot Magnussen in the head in hopes of saving the lives and futures of all those who matter to him. 

"His Last Vow" aired as the finale of the widely praised third season of Sherlock, and it remains one of the finest episodes in the series' four season run, netting a whopping 12 Emmy nominations that year (earning wins for Cumberbatch, Freeman, and Best Miniseries). One could make the case that this was in large part due to Mikkelsen's shape-shifting, anti-moralistic portrayal of the vile-yet-brilliant Magnussen, though the Emmy nomination committee egregiously snubbed the actor for his work in the episode.

Lars Mikkelsen threw down with the Underwoods on House of Cards

Mikkelsen may not have gotten the Emmy love he arguably earned for his turn on Sherlock, but there's little doubt that his notable appearance on the series significantly raised his profile. It's all but a certainty that showrunner Beau Willimon was quick to seize on Mikkelsen's particular verve for playing brainy, brutal bad guys when he was casting a key supporting role in Netflix's breakout original drama series House of Cards.

If you count yourself a fan of House of Cards, then we're pretty sure a big, fat light bulb just went off in your head, because Mikkelsen's turn as the series' calculating, shamelessly manipulative Russian leader Viktor Petrov remains one of the high points on a show that saw dramatic peaks and valleys over its tumultuous six-season run. Of all the memorable supporting players who came and went over the course of the series' 73 episodes, Mikkelsen's potent, 13-episode arc as Petrov is the one that continues to stand tallest, if only because the character's presence was so frequently felt even when he wasn't onscreen.

It's hard to imagine that Netflix brass wasn't keenly aware of Mikkelsen's powerful screen presence on House of Cards, and the actor's ability to hold his own against some serious dramatic heavy hitters likely even led to his casting in The Witcher.

It might actually be his voice you recognize

If you've never taken a moment to check in with either House of Cards or Sherlock, it's entirely possible you don't recognize Mikkelsen's face at all — but the actor's voice might ring a bell while watching The Witcher. If that's the case, you almost certainly recognize it from the famed galaxy far, far away, via the Star Wars franchise's compelling animated addition Star Wars Rebels

Set between the events of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith and the O.G. trilogy's opening chapter Star Wars: A New HopeRebels follows the travails of a starship crew who bravely stand up to the Galactic Empire, which is busy traversing the galaxy stamping out the remnants of the Jedi Order. In its four-season run, Star Wars Rebels featured the voice talents of vaunted performers like David Oyelowo (Selma), Clancy Brown (Thor: Ragnarok), Jason Isaacs (the Harry Potter franchise), and Phil LaMarr (Futurama)It even featured the voices of big screen Star Wars alums Forest Whitaker (Saw Gerrera), Ian McDiarmid (Emperor Palpatine), Frank Oz (Yoda), and James Earl Jones (Darth Vader). Mikkelsen was the voice behind the feared Imperial leader Grand Admiral Thrawn, who frequently tormented the ragtag group of rebels throughout the series.

Mikkelsen has a number of projects in the works; to name just a couple, he'll be featured in the upcoming crime drama The Knife Thrower, and on the Danish small screen serial Grow, which is currently shooting. In the meantime, though, he's enjoying the raised profile that comes with his supporting role on The Witcher, the most in-demand TV series in the world.