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Why The Mortal Kombat Movie's Sonya Blade Looks Familiar

The Internet has been abuzz with talk of Mortal Kombat, as the trailer has dropped for the upcoming film adaptation of the mega-popular video game franchise. Fans seem to be liking what they see so far, with the trailer showing all the gore, action, and adventure mystique of the games, and having name-checked almost all the game's biggest characters. Among those making the cut: the ice-wielding fighter Sub-Zero, Japanese ninja warrior Scorpion, calculating criminal and mercenary Kano, thunder god Raiden, and Sonya Blade, the beautiful and ultra-tough general of Earthrealm Special Forces.

The cast's diversity is admirable, and it will introduce the world to newer or lesser-known actors. Few, if any, of the stars are household names in the United States (though that will likely change if the film is as well-received as the trailer). Even if you don't know their names, you might have seen these actors before. Take the woman behind Sonya Blade, for example.

Actress Jessica McNamee will bring the video game hero to life. As a lead role it's easy to declare this her biggest gig yet, but it won't be her first rodeo. In her decade-long career, McNamee's credits include several Australian shows. U.S.-based Mortal Kombat fans might not recognize her from those projects, but Jessica McNamee has also appeared in several high-profile films. Here's where you might have seen her before.

Jessica McNamee appeared in the true-story tennis film Battle of the Sexes

In the 2017 film Battle of the Sexes, about the famous gender stereotype-busting tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs, Jessica McNamee appeared as another real-life tennis pro, Margaret Court. Court was the woman who, in 1973, accepted Riggs' male-female challenge after King had turned him down. Riggs secretly had the court resurfaced to put Court at a disadvantage, allowing him a resounding, crushing victory over the female star. Court's embarrassing defeat prompted King to accept Riggs' subsequent challenge — a competition she ultimately won.

In portraying Court, McNamee held her own with award-winning A-listers Emma Stone (as King) and Steve Carell (as Riggs).

Shortly after Battle of the Sexes, she had another experience working with A-listers and going toe-to-toe with a villain — albeit of a very different kind.

Jessica McNamee has appeared in two creature features

In 2018, Jessica McNamee had a role in the Jason Statham shark flick The Meg. The film is about a group of scientists who, while exploring the Marianas Trench, accidentally discover and unleash a prehistoric, giant megalodon shark. Jason Statham plays Jonas, the rescue diver who is recruited to help save the research crew trapped at the bottom of the sea after the megalodon disables their underwater submersible. Jessica McNamee plays Lori, Jonas' ex and one of the trapped crew members he has to save.

As if The Meg didn't give her enough of a chance to be prey for a giant, water-dwelling killer, Jessica McNamee appeared last year in another — albeit lower-profile — creature feature, Black Water: Abyss. In the 2020 flick, she plays a woman who, along with four friends, gets stalked by a crocodile in a cave system in Northern Australia.

Jessica McNamee also had a role in the romance drama The Vow

If sports dramas and killer creatures aren't your thing, perhaps you've seen the 2012 Nicholas Sparks-esque The Vow, starring the hunky Channing Tatum and romance queen Rachel McAdams. The film follows Tatum's Leo as he tries to win back the love of his wife Paige (McAdams), who, after a car accident-induced coma, wakes up not knowing Leo — or anything that happened past the point in her past where she was engaged to someone else.

Jessica McNamee plays Paige's sister Gwen. It's a small part, but it gave McNamee the chance to work alongside stars who were at the time (and remain) two of the biggest in the business.

With all these experiences under her belt, not only is McNamee recognizable, she's also ready to take on the new level of fame Mortal Kombat might well give her. Fans of the video game franchise, meanwhile, aren't likely to forget her once they see her take on new foes and kick butt as the fierce Sonya Blade.