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Why Tupper From The Green Hornet Looks So Familiar

If you're anything like us, you may have been watching a few more movies than usual lately. (Call it an informed guess.) With a plethora of streaming options to choose from, film buffs have the perfect opportunity to discover a few lost gems on Netflix. One woefully underrated feature has been getting a lot of play recently: the 2011 superhero comedy The Green Hornet, an adaptation of the '60s TV series of the same name.

Seth Rogen stars in The Green Hornet as Britt Reid, a rich newspaper publisher who dons a mask to fight crime with the help of his souped-up, gadget-laden car (named "the Black Beauty") and his valet and loyal assistant Kato (played by Jay Chou, in a role originated by the legendary Bruce Lee). The flick was a moderate box office success and wasn't all that well-received by critics or audiences, but it sports the kind of pedigree that demands a reevaluation. It was directed by Michael Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) and features an unbelievably stacked cast that includes Christoph Waltz (Alita: Battle Angel), Cameron Diaz (Bad Teacher), Tom Wilkinson (The Catcher Was a Spy), Edward James Olmos (Narcos), and David Harbour (Stranger Things).

Also appearing in the minor role of Tupper — one of the drug-dealing lackeys of Waltz's villainous gangster Benjamin Chudnofsky — is an actor whose face you probably find familiar in a way that's difficult to put your finger on. If that's accurate, it's probably because the actor who plays Tupper, Edward Furlong, appeared in a couple of your favorite films when he was just a kid — one of which was pretty much the biggest movie of all time upon its release. 

Here's why Tupper from The Green Hornet looks so familiar.

Edward Furlong's first role was in one of the biggest movies of the '90s

Furlong's entry into Hollywood came about because of an incredible stroke of luck: he happened to be playing in a baseball game at a Boys' Club in Pasadena, California, when casting director Mali Finn stopped by to scope out the local talent (via The Los Angeles Times). Finn was on the hunt for an unknown actor to play the role of young John Connor in director James Cameron's Terminator 2: Judgment Day, and according to a 1991 piece in Premiere magazine (via Terminator Files), Furlong possessed just the qualities Cameron had in mind for his lead.

In casting Connor, Cameron asked himself, "What was Julius Caesar like when he was 13? Did he know then that he was going to be emperor of Rome? And imagine if such an important leader was from the Valley." The production had already auditioned hundreds of young actors for the role, but in Furlong, Finn saw a youngster with all of the intangibles Cameron was looking for.

The movie was unlike any other ever made in a number of ways. Unadjusted for inflation, it was the most expensive film ever made at the time; it was among the first (along with Cameron's 1989 sci-fi thriller The Abyss) to make extensive use of CGI effects blended with live-action; and it was unique in that it made Arnold Schwarzenegger's T-800 Terminator, the unstoppable villain of the first film, into the sequel's heroic protector.

The flick scored over $500 million at the worldwide box office when it debuted in July 1991, establishing a franchise would continue on for decades and launching the career of its young star. Furlong would go on to appear in several smaller features throughout the '90s — and near that decade's end, he would star in one of its best and most controversial films. 

Edward Furlong held his own opposite Ed Norton in American History X

American History X had a troubled production; it must be the best film to ever be publicly disowned by its director, Tony Kaye, due in part to what he perceived to be meddling by its star, Edward Norton. The actor has become widely known for performing rewrites on movies in which he stars, but in the case of American History X at least, it could be argued that the Norton's "meddling" ended up benefiting the finished product.

Norton starred in the film as Derek Vinyard, a neo-Nazi white supremacist whose story is told largely in flashback by his brother, Danny (Furlong), through the framing device of a school paper that gives the film its title. The younger Vinyard had watched his brother rise through the ranks of the hate groups rooted in their home city of Venice Beach, before eventually being imprisoned for several years in the aftermath of a violent hate crime. His relationships with his fellow inmates prompt a change in Derek, however, and upon his release, he counsels Danny that the way they had been raised by their racist father was "bulls***."

Unfortunately, Danny met a shocking end at the film's conclusion, an outcome made all the more tragic by Furlong's complex and sympathetic performance. Norton, of course, was just getting started in proving himself to be among the very best actors of his generation — and Furlong managed to more than hold his own while sharing the screen with the future superstar.

Edward Furlong keeps popping up in music videos

Roles in major features largely dried up for Furlong after American History X, but that doesn't mean that the actor hasn't kept busy. If you haven't caught any of his latter-day television and feature work, you just might be familiar with him from his appearances in several music videos over the years. Since early in his career, Furlong has always had a bit of a rock 'n roll attitude, and several actual rock 'n rollers have apparently noticed.

Just a couple years after his Terminator 2 debut, he popped up in the video for the hit Aerosmith tune "Livin' on the Edge," and in 2004, he made an appearance in the spot for "The Unnamed Feeling," the third single from Metallica's album St. Anger. Furlong's most intriguing music video gig, though, came in 2007, when he starred — along with Rumer Willis and legendary rapper and Law & Order: SVU star Ice-T — in the spot for "Still in Love With You" by indie rock band Five A.M.

The intense spot, shot partially in black and white, features Furlong as a desperate man single-mindedly embarking on a bizarre mission: to transport an old-school cathode ray television set (which is attached to him with a pair of handcuffs) to an unknown destination, while a mysterious character played by Ice-T tracks his progress from behind a bank of monitors. His journey only gets more surreal and disturbing (the spot uses archival footage of war and death, and is not for the faint of heart) as the video hurtles toward a strange, ambiguous, and oddly uplifting conclusion.

Edward Furlong had a recurring role on CSI: NY

Furlong has also appeared in several one-off guest spots on the small screen over the years, most recently on the crime dramas Perception and The Glades, both in 2012. Between 2006 and 2010, though, he periodically popped up as Shane Casey on CSI: NY, the long-running spin-off of the CBS series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

Furlong brought the full weight of his acting chops to bear on the role; Casey was a serial killer with a serious grudge against the law enforcement officials he felt were responsible for the suicide of his brother Ian, a petty criminal who had hung himself after being convicted of aggravated robbery. Shane particularly had it in for Danny Messer (Carmine Giovinazzo) and Sheldon Hawkes (Hill Harper), who put an end to his murderous crusade against his brother's jury on the season 3 episode "Hung Out to Dry."

Casey would return to vex the team several more times before eventually being shot and killed by Danny's wife, Lindsay Monroe-Messer (Anna Belknap). The wiry intensity Furlong brought to his performance, coupled with his character's endless thirst for vengeance, made him one of the more frightening and formidable antagonists the CSI: NY team ever faced.

Edward Furlong has appeared in a ton of indie features

Furlong has also starred in a slew of smaller indie films over the years, many of them in the horror genre. Among these are 2005's Intermedio and Cruel World; 2006's The Visitation, adapted from the Frank Peretti novel; 2009's Night of the Demons, a remake of the insane 1988 film of the same name; Crave, an underrated feature that made a splash on the festival circuit in 2012; and the 2014 apocalyptic horror flick Aftermath.

Most recently, Furlong made perhaps his most controversial feature appearance of his entire career. Through the magic of facial-capture technology, he briefly reprised his role as John Connor in Terminator: Dark Fate, with the one-time savior of humanity meeting his end at the hands of a killer cyborg within the film's first few minutes. Needless to say, fans weren't exactly thrilled with the iconic character's fate (and neither was Furlong) — although, narratively speaking, it served the film quite well.

As for what's next for the actor, Furlong is rumored to be starring in the upcoming feature The Endless Whispers, and he's also joined the cast of the thriller Karma, which is currently in pre-production. His unique talent and screen presence should keep him on the radar of casting directors for years to come — and to think, it all started with a baseball game on that Pasadena diamond, long ago.