Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Here's Why Andrew From Divergent Looks So Familiar

When the first film adaptation of Veronica Roth's Divergent trilogy hit theaters in 2014, it was one of several young adult book-to-screen properties that seemed poised to follow in the popularity of predecessors like Harry Potter, Twilight, and The Hunger Games, and the cast was filled with A-listers and up-and-comers. Upon revisiting the film, you may recognize many familiar faces among its stars, including that of Tony Goldwyn, who portrays Andrew Prior, the father of the story's protagonist Beatrice/Tris (Shailene Woodley) and her brother Caleb (Ansel Elgort). Andrew is a staunch believer in the Abnegation faction's mission to provide selfless leadership to their dystopian society, which is set in futuristic Chicago, even though he was born in the Erudite faction that champions education and intellect above all else. Andrew is devastated when both of his children choose to join other factions, but his fatherly instincts for them kick in at a key moment in the story. 

Though Andrew's fate in the first film precludes him from returning for the Divergent sequels, the character still stands out for the legacy he leaves with Tris and Caleb and, of course, for his final sacrifice. Before suiting up in the plain, gray garb of his character, though, Goldwyn was already well-established in Hollywood for his work in both film and television. Here's a look at where you have likely seen this actor on-screen before.

Tony Goldwyn was the ultimate bad guy in Ghost

One of Tony Goldwyn's earliest movie roles also happens to still be one of his most memorable on-screen appearances of all. In the 1990 romantic drama Ghost, Goldwyn stars as Carl Bruner, the banking colleague and friend of Sam Wheat (Patrick Swayze) who comforts his girlfriend Molly Jensen (Demi Moore) after Sam is killed in a mugging incident. Little does Molly know, Carl is actually partly responsible for Sam's death because he sent the man who shot Sam to rob him. Carl is secretly involved in a money laundering scheme for drug dealers and needed the banking passwords in Sam's home to transfer the illicit funds.

Once Sam returns as an apparition and learns to communicate with the living, with the help of the formerly fake psychic Oda Mae Brown (Whoopi Goldberg), Sam works to both warn Molly of Carl's true nature and scare him at a few opportune moments. Goldwyn's performance in the role is an impressive array of tenderness, villainy, fear, and even desperation, and it stuck with audiences in a big way.

Goldwyn told Yahoo that shortly after Ghost's successful theatrical debut, he experienced firsthand just how effective he was in the role when a restaurant waitress refused to seat him and then treated him rudely before figuring out why she disliked him so instantly. "After a few minutes [she] came over to me and said, 'Are you an actor?' And I said yes, and she said, 'You're in that movie, aren't you? I knew I hated you, but I couldn't figure out why!'" Goldwyn remembered.

Tony Goldwyn played an American icon in From the Earth to the Moon

After Apollo 13 proved to be a box office and critical success, the film's lead actor, Tom Hanks, reteamed with director Ron Howard and producer Michael Bostick to create an HBO miniseries about the entire Apollo program of the '60s and '70s, and Goldwyn was personally chosen to star as one of NASA's brightest stars, Neil Armstrong. Goldwyn appears in two episodes of the Emmy-winning miniseries, which dramatizes the highs and lows of the space race at that time. 

Goldwyn told The A.V. Club that he had an unusual casting experience for the series, saying, " I remember getting a note from Tom Hanks saying, 'We're doing this project, and I want you to play Neil Armstrong.' And I thought, 'Okay, I don't say no to that.'" To prepare for his scenes, Goldwyn said he "got to go to space camp" with co-stars Cary Elwes and Bryan Cranston, who played fellow astronauts Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin, respectively. "So that was a great education and really fun," Goldwyn said of the experience. 

Tony Goldwyn was also the steamy POTUS in Scandal

Although Tony Goldwyn has starred in many films and television shows, it was his leading role in the hit ABC drama series Scandal that brought him to household name status. In the celebrated show, Goldwyn stars as Fitzgerald "Fitz" Grant, the president of the United States who has a very fateful relationship with Washington, D.C.'s ultra-savvy (and very fashionable) fixer, Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington). Throughout all seven seasons of the series, Fitz experiences many changes in his personal and professional life, but his chemistry with Olivia Pope is an undercurrent that informs and inspires the characters for the entirety of Scandal's run.

The epic love story at the center of the show is part of what makes Fitz a fan favorite, and for Goldwyn, the role marked a major turnaround in how he has been treated during fan encounters. As he told Vanity Fair, "I've played a lot of villains, and I always feel slightly upset when people say, 'You were so bad!' I still get confronted on occasion but not as much as I used to. Now it's more people saying, 'Mr. President!'" In addition to starring in the show, Goldwyn also stepped behind the lens to direct several episodes.