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Here's Why Dwalin From The Hobbit Looks So Familiar

When Gandalf the Grey (Ian McKellen) — an unfamiliar wizard — comes asking Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) whether he'd like to go on an adventure, the Hobbit scoffs at the word. "Nasty, disturbing, uncomfortable things," he says. "Make you late for dinner." Indeed, by and large, Hobbits would much rather live out their pastoral days as quietly as possible. Even without foreknowledge of J. R. R. Tolkien's book The Hobbit, the title of Peter Jackson's movie adaptation all but spells out Bilbo's fate: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

Later that night, after being drawn to a magical symbol Gandalf leaves on Bilbo's door, adventurous companions (dwarves, to be more specific) arrive, much to the Hobbit's dismay. The first to arrive is Dwalin, who invites himself in on account of Gandalf's promise that Bilbo would provide food and lodging. The dwarf makes himself at home, wolfing down the meal the Hobbit had prepared for his own self. It's not a great start to their relationship, but Dwalin proves to be an integral part of the coming trek across Middle-earth.

Despite the movie magic behind his dwarven height (he's over six feet tall in real life!) and facial prosthetics galore, Dwalin actor Graham McTavish may seem familiar. Here's where you may have seen him before.

McTavish was an SAS-trained mercenary in Rambo

Twenty years after appearing as the character for what seemed to be the last time, Sylvester Stallone revived John Rambo with 2008's Rambo. Twenty years have passed in-universe, as well, and Rambo is living a simple life catching snakes and giving boat rides in a remote corner of Thailand. As fun as an entire movie about that would be, it doesn't take long before the lone wolf is drawn back into the thick of it. His mission: ferry a team of five mercenaries to save missionaries who've been kidnapped by the Burmese junta army.

McTavish's Lewis, a former Special Air Services soldier, is the foul-mouthed leader of those mercenaries. He doesn't think Rambo's anything more than the "boat man," so he impolitely requests to go on alone with his team. Unbeknownst to Lewis or any of the mercenaries, Rambo follows anyway; equipped with nothing but a bow and arrow, he saves their lives and those of some hostages. Even afterwards, Lewis still has a hard time accepting the so-called boat man's help, but Rambo makes it clear he doesn't really have a choice in the matter.

Rambo has always been the strong, silent type, so Lewis' crude attitude and constant bickering works as a great foil. After watching the film, you'd never believe McTavish is a nice guy, but that's what good acting is all about.

McTavish played two roles on Outlander

Based on the ongoing novel series of the same name by Diana Gabaldon, Outlander is the story of former World War II nurse Claire Randall's travels back in time. She finds herself in the Scottish Highlands in the 1700s, a time of great strife and constant rebellion. Clan MacKenzie takes her in, but earning their trust is no easy task; for all they know, she could be a spy for the enemy. Dougal MacKenzie (McTavish) questions her closely when they first meet, ultimately deciding to keep her around for the while.

As the clan's war chieftain, Dougal is a fearsome warrior and a commanding leader. He's as valuable to his brother Colum, Clan MacKenzie's leader, off the battlefield as he is on it. Still, Dougal's far from a perfect man, ready to use whatever resources he has at his disposal to win the day — even if that means putting family members in danger. That's not to mention the secret allegiance he holds, which we won't spoil here.

McTavish also plays William Buccleigh "Buck" MacKenzie, Dougal's illegitimate son with Geillis Duncan (Lotte Verbeek). Buck doesn't know of his family history, having been sent to a foster family as an infant, and leads a much different life than either of his biological parents. As a result, McTavish had to channel a much different personality when playing the character than he did as Dougal — a credit to his thespian talents.

McTavish starred alongside Stallone again in Creed

Sylvester Stallone is probably best known for two roles he's reprised multiple times over the years: the aforementioned John Rambo, and the underdog boxer Rocky Balboa. The actor returned as the Italian Stallion once more in 2015's Creed, in which he trains the son of old friend and former rival Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers): Adonis "Donnie" Johnson (Michael B. Jordan). With Rocky being so much older and having been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, things are visibly different now — though he still maintains that inherent drive to continue moving forward, even in the face of obstacles.

Creed wouldn't be a proper boxing film without an ultimate opponent to face, and he comes in the form of "Pretty" Ricky Conlan (Tony Bellew). Managed by Tommy Holiday (McTavish), Conlan is set to have one last fight before he's sent to prison for illegal firearms possession — originally against the current world heavyweight champion, but circumstances change, and Holiday chooses Donnie. Conlan isn't a fan of the idea, but as his manager, Holiday convinces him to do it — even if only so Conlan's children can receive the winnings once he's incarcerated.

Holiday is also the one who convinces Donnie to use the Creed name in the ring... or else the fight's off. From his methods to his position in the opposite corner with Conlan, McTavish is once again a foil to Stallone, just as he is in Rambo.

McTavish wasn't your everyday priest on Lucifer

Neil Gaiman's legendary comic book series The Sandman (set to become a Netflix original) is an enormous project, both in-universe and from a creative perspective. Though Gaiman serves as writer the whole way through, the contributions of artists like Sam Keith and Mike Dringenberg cannot be overlooked. Together, the three of them created many characters, including Lucifer Morningstar — a.k.a. the Devil. Lucifer proved popular enough to receive a comic book series of his own, which eventually inspired the TV show Lucifer, starring Tom Ellis in the titular role.

Absconding from Hell to start a new "life" (whatever that means for an immortal) in Los Angeles, Lucifer hopes to find enjoyment he hasn't found in millennia. But of course, Earth presents its own problems, and Father William Kinley (McTavish) is one of them. A man of the cloth, Kinley is convinced that Lucifer's presence is the reason the world can be such a terrible place, and is willing to do whatever he can to send the Devil back where he belongs. Normally, most people would agree with the priest, but Lucifer is just so darn likable that he's the one viewers are rooting for. Kinley is also something of a fanatic about the whole thing, and without spoiling anything further, ends up in a position no man of God would ever want to find himself.

McTavish's upcoming projects include supernatural action film Blood Red Sky, survival-horror film The Mysterious Death of Lord Harrington, and docuseries Men in Kilts: A Roadtrip with Sam and Graham with Outlander co-star Sam Heughan. Like everything else coming out of Hollywood, it's all COVID-19 pending, but McTavish still has plenty of juice left.