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Why Leah Banning From Angel Has Fallen Looks So Familiar

Angel Has Fallen, the action-packed follow-up to 2016's London Has Fallen, boasts a ton of recognizable talent. The thriller is currently streaming on Netflix, and if you like a little political intrigue mixed in with your butt-kicking action, it's definitely worth a watch.

The flick rounds out a trilogy of films launched with 2013's Olympus Has Fallen (although now that the trilogy is complete, we just might get a whole new trilogy). It features Gerard Butler, Morgan Freeman, Nick Nolte, Jada Pinkett Smith, and many other A-list stars in a story that sees Secret Service agent Mike Banning (Butler) framed for an attack on U.S. President Allan Trumbull (Freeman).

The plot may sound familiar to fans of the series, and that's not the only thing viewers will find to be familiar about Angel Has Fallen — among all of that A-list talent is a veteran TV actress stepping into the role of Banning's wife, Leah. If her face had you scratching your head trying to place it, you're not alone. She's played by none other than Piper Perabo, and if you happen to own a television (quite a stretch, we know), then you likely recognize her.

Perabo was actually a last-minute addition to the cast. Radha Mitchell portrayed Leah Banning in the first two Fallen flicks, but she had to drop out of the third installment due to scheduling conflicts (via Showbiz CheatSheet). Perabo stepped up at the last minute, and slid into the role with ease. Here's where else you may have seen her.

Piper Perabo did major motion pictures before engaging in some Covert Affairs

According to IMDb, Perabo was born in Dallas, Texas. She graduated summa cum laude from Ohio University, and got her first big break playing Violet Sanford in 2000's Coyote Ugly. After her brief turn slinging cocktails and dancing on bars, Perabo landed roles in a few more features, including Christopher Nolan's mind-bending tale of two magicians The Prestige, Diane Keaton-starrer First Snow, family feel-good flick Cheaper by the Dozen, and Rian Johnson's sci-fi epic Looper (one of our personal favorites).

In the midst of all this, Perabo decided to take on the lead on a cable TV series. In 2010, she scored the role of Annie Parker on USA's hit CIA drama Covert Affairs. Perabo portrayed Parker opposite Christopher Gorham's Auggie Anderson for all 75 episodes of that show's respectable run. Covert Affairs provided Perabo with her greatest amount of exposure yet, and it remains one of the roles for which she is most often recognized. Her experience playing a CIA officer may have even helped her prepare to step into the similar world of Angel Has Fallen.

After Covert Affairs ended in 2014, Perabo was a pretty hot commodity on the open market, and it wasn't long before she landed another regular gig.

Piper Perabo has a Notorious career on TV

In 2016, Perabo joined the short-lived ABC drama Notorious, once again cast as a butt-kicking leading lady. She played Julia George on all 10 episodes of that show's first and only season opposite Daniel Sunjata's Jake Gregorian. Notorious was a hybrid crime and legal drama loosely based on the real life stories of celebrity attorney Mark Geragos and Larry King Live producer Wendy Walker (via Variety). While the concept seemed like it might be a nice vehicle for Perabo, the show was widely panned by critics. ABC ultimately reduced its first season from its original 13-episode order, and soon after, the network elected not to renew.

The failure of Notorious likely didn't have much to do with Perabo or Sunjata's performances. Most of the critics lambasting the series suggested that its stars had been fed confounding motivations and lackluster scripts. As Ken Tucker from Yahoo! TV put it, "May Perabo and Sunjata find better shows soon." Fortunately, Perabo did.

Piper Perabo's still turning up Charlie

Not to be typecast, Perabo took on a different kind of role after Notorious met with its untimely demise. In 2019, she joined Idris Elba (The Wire, Luther) on Netflix's latest comedic offering, Turn Up Charlie. Perabo appears on all eight episodes of the show's initial season playing Sara, the mother of Elba's TV daughter, Gabs. Though not necessarily a veteran of the genre, Perabo proved her comedic chops, and the show itself garnered favorable reviews. As a result, Elba has confirmed that Turn Up Charlie will be returning for a second season.

Angel Has Fallen is Perabo's first feature film since 2017's Black Butterfly, and it's far from the only time you'll see her in the coming months. In addition to the recently announced Wake, an action thriller in which Perabo will star alongside the likes of Ben Kingsley and Cameron Monaghan, she's also set to play Linda Craft in Showtime's upcoming Penny Dreadful sequel series, Penny Dreadful: City of Angels. After a couple decades in the business, it's exciting to see Perabo really showing her range.