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Why Abigail From Escape Plan Looks So Familiar

In 2013, two of the biggest names in Hollywood teamed up for the action flick Escape Plan. Starring Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger, the film was the first to feature the two stars as co-leads. Stallone's character Ray Breslin is a lawyer who starts a company that tests the security of super-max prisons by breaking out of them. For one case, Breslin agrees to be captured and brought to a prison at an undisclosed location in order to test his ability to escape. Of course, this doesn't go according to plan, and Breslin finds himself stuck in the middle of nowhere with no way out. He teams up with another inmate named Emil Rottmayer, played by Schwarzenegger, and they work together to overcome brutal jailers and other challenges to escape imprisonment.

While Breslin and Rottmayer fight to get out of prison, Breslin's friends and co-workers at his company, Breslin-Clark, worry when they don't hear from him and subsequently start investigating the case. Breslin's two biggest allies on the ground are his best buddy Hush (played by Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson), a technical expert, and Abigail Ross (Amy Ryan), a close friend and senior worker at Breslin-Clark. With their help, Breslin uncovers a plot by his business partner Lester Clark (Vincent D'Onofrio) to have him imprisoned and take over the company.

Amy Ryan, who plays Abigail in Escape Plan, may not be as big a household name as Stallone, Schwarzenegger, or even 50 Cent, but she's no newbie to acting. Not sure where you've seen her before? Check out her biggest roles.

Amy Ryan played Officer Beatrice "Beadie" Russell in The Wire

Running for five seasons from 2002 to 2008, HBO's The Wire is a crime drama set in Baltimore, Maryland. Each season focuses on a different city institution and how it connects to the police department and law enforcement. Season 1 focuses on the illegal drug trade, while later seasons explore education, print news media, and other important issues. Although the series never won any Emmys or Golden Globes, it's commonly believed to be one of the best television series ever, if not the best. Critics from the BBC to The Telegraph to Entertainment Weekly all named The Wire the best TV series of all time at one point or another.

Ryan joined The Wire during the show's second season, stepping into the role of Officer Beatrice "Beadie" Russell — a Maryland Port Administration officer who works on the docks managing shipments. After she discovers a shipping container with 13 dead bodies inside, Beadie meets and later becomes involved with Officer James McNulty (Dominic West). She's brought in to help with the homicide case, and although she has a rough start, she quickly proves herself as a talented and intelligent investigator. Ryan played Beadie in seasons 2 through 5, as the character moves up in her career and continues to develop a romantic relationship with McNulty.

Amy Ryan took on the role of Helene McCready in Gone Baby Gone

In 2007, Ryan joined Ben Affleck's directorial debut, Gone Baby Gone. Also starring Casey Affleck, Michelle Monaghan, and Morgan Freeman, the film focuses on Affleck's Patrick Kenzie and Monaghan's Angie Gennaro, two Boston-based private investigators working on the case of a four-year-old girl named Amanda, who was abducted from her mother's apartment. Ryan plays Helene, the mother of Amanda, who has a past working as a drug mule and stealing money. While she loves her daughter, Helene has a history with drugs and crime that causes her to be a neglectful mother to Amanda. Patrick believes that the man Helene stole money from, known as Cheese (Edi Gathegi), may have taken Amanda in retaliation. Over the course of the film, Patrick's investigation into Amanda's disappearance unravels a conspiracy of corruption and lies that goes deep into law enforcement. 

Gone Baby Gone was well-received by critics, earning a 94 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. Many praised Affleck's directing and Ryan's performance as Helene. The role earned her a nomination for Best Actress at the Academy Awards and Golden Globes, as well as from the Screen Actors Guild.

Amy Ryan joined The Office in 2008 as HR Representative Holly Flax

After a long run playing serious roles, Ryan joined the cast of The Office in 2008, taking on the role of Holly Flax. Holly starts working at Dunder Mifflin as an HR Representative replacement for Toby Flenderson (Paul Lieberstein). When Holly first starts her new job, Dwight (Rainn Wilson) tries to haze her, and it's safe to say he goes a little too far. 

Holly quickly develops a close friendship — and then a romantic relationship — with Michael Scott (Steve Carrell), as the two have a similar sense of humor and shared interests. Like Michael, Holly loves making sexual jokes and doing bad impressions, and she even drives a similar convertible to Michael's from the first few seasons of the show. Although it's clear early on that Holly likes Michael, he's the first one to push for a relationship.

Ryan appears as Holly in 17 episodes throughout seasons 4 through 9. During that time, Holly and Michael go through the normal ups and downs that couples face, breaking up for a period of time before getting back together in season 7. Holly and Michael go on to get engaged at the office, and later marry after moving away to Colorado. They have four kids together.

Amy Ryan portrayed distraught mother Mari Gilbert in Lost Girls

In March 2020, Netflix released a new original movie called Lost Girls. Based on the book Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery by Robert Kolker, the film covers the story of Mari Gilbert, played by Ryan, and how the investigation of her daughter's disappearance uncovered a serial killer murdering women in Long Island, New York.

In May 2010, a young woman named Shannan Gilbert went missing. After a lack of response from the police, her mother, Mari, continued to push them to pursue the case. While searching for Shannan, the police uncovered the burial site of ten homicide victims — murders believed to be committed by a serial killer operating in Long Island (via NBC News). They eventually found Shannan's body at another location, and the police ruled it a drowning despite evidence indicating otherwise. Shannan's mother and sisters continued to advocate for the serial killer's victims, while also protesting for Shannan's case to be reopened as a murder investigation. Mari continued pushing for justice for Shannan until her own tragic death in 2016 at the hands of her other daughter, Sarra, who suffers from schizophrenia.

Lost Girls focuses on Mari's gut-wrenching fight for justice and the failures of the system. Also starring Thomasin McKenzie, Gabriel Byrne, and Lola Kirke, the film captivated audiences, and many  critics commended the actors' haunting performances, especially Ryan's. David Edelstein from Vulture highlighted how, unlike other true crime media and procedurals that tend to sensationalize similar crimes, Lost Girls shows "the ugly truth: that the institutions meant to protect the least powerful in our society are dysfunctional bordering on diseased."