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Why Marcus from Raised by Wolves looks so familiar

A shiny new streamer has recently entered the space, and it's already giving titans like Netflix and Hulu a run for their money in the original content game. That's largely because the new platform is HBO Max, which means it's streaming all of HBO's original programs plus quite a bit more. HBO Max subscribers get access to prestige classics like Game of ThronesWatchmenPerry Mason, and Lovecraft Country, as well as exciting new stories like Raised by Wolves – the new Ridley Scott-produced science fiction series.

Created by Prisoners scribe and The Red Road mastermind Aaron Guzikowski, the newest HBO Max series finds mankind seeking refuge on an alien planet after Earth has met its bitter end. It also finds a pair of androids named Mother (Amanda Collin) and Father (Abubakar Salim) attempting to raise human children amid bickering colonists and a mysterious landscape fraught with perils of its own.

While the Raised by Wolves cast is made up of many relative unknowns, there's one cast member whose face you really should recognize. It belongs to Travis Fimmel, the actor who plays a former soldier named Marcus. If you do recognize this distinctive performer, it's likely because he's been waging war on screens big and small for years now. Here's why Marcus from Raised by Wolves looks so familiar.

Travis Fimmel put the 'king' in Vikings

Travis Fimmel has actually made quite a cottage industry out of swinging swords and vanquishing enemies over the the past few years. Some actors just have the look of a medieval warrior, and Mr. Fimmel has that look in spades. While his rough-hewn features and piercing blue eyes continue to make him the very picture of a soulful slayer, those attributes were never more on display than they were on History Channel's beloved original series Vikings.

Fimmel's gloriously bearded face was front and center for the bulk of Vikings first four seasons as the actor famously portrayed the legendary Norse conquerer Ragnar Lothbrok, who raided and pillaged his way to the throne of Kattegat back in the 9th century. Ragnar's tales are as brutal as they are oddly beautiful, with Vikings brilliantly utilizing them in service of exploring worlds and lore rarely seen in film or on TV.

Vikings' producers could not have cast a more capable actor as their lead, either. In the role of Ragnar, Fimmel veritably embodies the brains, the braun, and the wild ambition that drove this famous Viking to such epic deeds. While the show has survived for a couple of seasons since Ragnar went on to meet Odin in far-off Valhalla, Vikings just hasn't been the same without him.   

Travis Fimmel played war games in Warcraft

Speaking of war waging, the actor was at it again in 2016 when he took up arms against dark magic-wielding Orcish hordes in the CGI spectacular Warcraft

Yes, Warcraft is adapted from the popular Warcraft series of videogames. And yes, Warcraft suffers some of the same pitfalls that have sunk so many video game adaptations before it. Still, as frustrating as Warcraft's thematic and narrative shortcomings are, the film (directed by Moon and Source Code helmer Duncan Jones) clearly has spectacle to burn. Whether or not you care about the fates of the Orcs and Men within, you should still enjoy watching them do the brutal dance of sword versus spell throughout.

Make no mistake, Jones and the Warcraft creative team went all out in bringing the world of the film to vivid life on screen — so much so, you might find yourself throwing up your hands in utter dismay that they didn't spend a little more time on the film's screenplay. The movie boasts a solid cast all around, which includes the likes of Ben Foster, Ruth Negga, Paula Patton, Dominic Cooper, and Clancy Brown. 

Fimmel does all he can to breathe life into the soon-to-be leader of humankind, Anduin Lothar. He frequently succeeds in that endeavor, but is just as frequently hampered by Warcraft's dodgy dialogue and video-gamey grandstanding. Still, Fimmel continues to look super cool with a sword in hand. 

Travis Fimmel played the pickle man in Maggie's Plan

Though his look alone might lead one to think Travis Fimmel is destined to be typecast as a bearded, sword-swinging warrior out for blood and glory, the man really does have a bit of range. The actor got to break free from his warrior caste in 2015 when he landed a key role in a low-budget rom-com featuring a dream team of indie talent.

That project is Maggie's Plan, and it was brought to the screen by indie darling Rebecca Miller (Personal VelocityThe Ballad of Jack and Rose). The film features performances from Greta Gerwig, Ethan Hawke, Julianne Moore, Wallace Shawn, Bill Hader, and Maya Rudolph. If you missed out on Maggie's Plan when it was released, the film follows Gerwig's titular intellectual, who's bent on becoming a mom and raising her kid on her own. Plans change when she gets involved with Hawke's rabble-rousing writer, who essentially breaks up his marriage to Georgette (Moore) for Maggie. 

Matters only get more complicated as the film progresses — especially when Travis Fimmel's Guy jumps into the narrative. The math whiz and pickle entrepreneur has a brief fling with Maggie in the film. Assuming you haven't seen Maggie's Plan, it's a safe bet you've never seen Fimmel so loosey goosey before, and it's an absolute joy to watch the man trade scenes with an actor of Gerwig's talent. Once you see him in full goofball mode, you'll likely be wondering why he doesn't break silly more often. 

Travis Fimmel played an ill-fated papa in Lean on Pete

Fimmel continues to indulge in epic, sword-swinging lunacy in both film and television, but he also continues to book very different gigs in the indie film scene. In 2018, he claimed a pivotal supporting role in one of the year's best — and most tragically overlooked – dramas: Lean on Pete.

Directed with understated grace and lyrical beauty by Andrew Haigh (Weekend, HBO's Looking), Lean on Pete follows the travails of Charley (Charlie Plummer), a kind-hearted teen who befriends the titular racehorse after taking a Summer job at a local stable. When personal tragedy pushes Charley's already unstable existence further into turmoil (and his beloved horse's own future becomes decidedly bleak), he breaks the beast out, and sets off on a cross-country journey in hopes of finding refuge with a distant Aunt.

Part heart-rending coming-of-age tale, part amorously esoteric road movie, and part fateful tale of survival against the odds, Lean on Pete is every bit as engrossing as one might expect. It also serves as a strong showcase for the talent involved, with Steve Buscemi, Amy Seimetz, Chloë Sevigny, and Steve Zahn all delivering memorable turns alongside Plummer's breakout performance. 

In a perfect world, Lean on Pete would've served as Fimmel's big-screen breakout; the actor nearly steals the show from all involved as Charley's ill-fated Father Ray. Subtlety is not often a word that is applied to Fimmel's larger-than-life characters, but the actor musters a sly, singular performance for this muted drama. It all adds up to an oddly transfixing gestalt from which it's hard to look away.