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Why Wade Jennings From Angel Has Fallen Looks So Familiar

Secret Service agent Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) has faced a lot over the course of the Fallen films, from presidential kidnappings to helicopter crashes to antagonists faking their own deaths. In the third installment, Angel Has Fallen, he's had to deal with the most heinous of action movie tropes: betrayal by an old friend. Banning begins Angel Has Fallen training with former Army Ranger Wade Jennings, now CEO of his own private military company, and then spends the rest of the movie battling Jennings as his former pal attempts to take out President Alan Trumbull (Morgan Freeman). As Jennings is the antagonist in a franchise film, things don't end well for him, but not before he nearly manages to facilitate a coup and take out the Secret Service's best and brightest.

If the face behind these nefarious doings looks familiar to you, that most likely means you've seen a movie in the last, oh, 20 years. Actor Danny Huston, who portrays Jennings, has been plying his trade in Hollywood for a long time — never quite cracking leading man status, but making a name for himself as a dependable character actor who can bring the gravitas to whatever part he's asked to play. In particular, he's proven adept at being the bad guy — which might have been a bit of a tell about where Angel Has Fallen was going, but we'll let that slide.

Let's take a look back at the long road Danny Huston took to filling Wade Jennings' evil boots.

Danny Huston hails from a famous family

The first thing that might strike you about Huston is his family resemblance to a couple of other famous people: director John Huston and actress Anjelica Huston, who are his father and half-sister, respectively. John Huston is a legendary American filmmaker, responsible for classics such as The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, The African Queen, and Prizzi's Honor. Anjelica Huston, meanwhile, has appeared in dozens of movies — perhaps most iconically as Morticia Addams in the Addams Family film series. These family connections helped Danny Huston as he launched his career, with his father producing his first project as a director, 1988's Mr. North.

From there, Huston jumped into acting with a bit role as Bartender #2 in the 1995 drama Leaving Las Vegas. He then bounced around in a few other projects before landing what would be his breakthrough part in the 2000 indie Ivans Xtc. Loosely based on Leo Tolstoy's The Death of Ivan Ilyich, the film was a hit at that year's Independent Spirit Awards, netting Huston a Best Male Lead nod. The early 2000s were very good to the actor — including a supporting role in Martin Scorsese's The Aviator, the ensemble of which won a 2004 SAG Aaward, and a role as Sandy Woodrow in the critically-acclaimed thriller The Constant Gardener, for which he won a Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor.

Danny Huston is the bad guy — duh

Throughout his career, Danny Huston has made a practice of playing parts that dip into the darker side. This predilection kicked off with his turn as the outlaw Arthur Burns in the 2005 Australian western The Proposition, in which he co-starred with Guy Pearce and for which he was singled out as excellent in several reviews. From there, Huston returned to the wicked well in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, taking up the mutant-hating mantle of Colonel William Stryker previously held by Brian Cox. In 2017, he joined a select club of actors who've worked in both the Marvel and DC comics universes, appearing in Wonder Woman as the nasty-but-not-the-Big-Bad General Erich Ludendorff.

None of this to say that Huston can't bring the nobility when he needs to. He's twice played the god Poseidon — in 2010's Clash of the Titans and its 2012 sequel Wrath of the Titans. He's also saved the world's art in the 2006 Alfonso Cuarón masterpiece Children of Men, and played King Richard the Lionheart in Ridley Scott's 2010 version of Robin Hood.

Danny Huston takes TV

As they have with many successful film actors thanks to the growth of the medium as a prestige platform, recent years have seen Huston delving further into television. His first high-profile project on TV was the HBO miniseries John Adams, on which he played Founding Father and beer namesake Samuel Adams. Huston has had his most success on the small screen, however, playing on his penchant for villainy. (Surprise, surprise.)

First, he spent 16 episodes of the Starz drama Magic City as the mobster Ben "The Butcher" Diamond, whose nastiness was signaled in that worst of pop culture ways: the murder of a dog. (That's what sparked John Wick's return to the assassination game, after all.) He also notably creeped us out as serial killer the Axeman on American Horror Story: Coven; Huston's performance on the anthology series was so memorable that it landed him a Saturn Award nomination for Guest Star in a Television Series.

It's been a long career for Huston, but things show no signs of slowing down. Aside from Angel Has Fallen, he also spent 2019 opposite Kevin Costner, playing Dan Jenkins on Paramount Network's Yellowstone, and most recently joined the cast of HBO's Succession in a recurring role as Jamie Laird. With a resume this comprehensive and multifaceted, it's safe to say we've far from seen the last of Danny Huston's familiar face.