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Why Michael Adams From Stowaway Looks So Familiar

After releasing South Korea's first-ever space blockbuster Space Sweepers (via Korean Film Council) and scoring a Best Visual Effects Oscar nomination with George Clooney's The Midnight Sky, Netflix is continuing its hot streak of astronomical sci-fi by handling the international distribution of Stowaway. The space thriller from Arctic director Joe Penna starts from a singular premise: what if you accidentally ended up aboard a spaceship on a mission to Mars, and it was too late to turn back?

Penna, who received much critical praise for wringing tension out of Mads Mikkelsen's one-man show in Arctic, is returning to his tested formula of zeroing in on a tight ensemble to maximize the stakes. Stowaway has only four characters, namely the mission's three-person crew and the titular stowaway. As the ship's oxygen supply is pushed past its life support capacity by the extra passenger, medical researcher Zoe Levenson, biologist David Kim and mission commander Marina Barnett must figure out a way to survive without compromising the years of work that went into the mission. All three characters are played by major stars — Anna Kendrick, Daniel Dae Kim, and Toni Collette, respectively.

As for the man who inadvertently jumpstarts the plot, launch plan engineer Michael Adams, he's played by a relatively little-known actor who's poised to be Stowaway's big breakout star after a career of mostly supporting and minor roles. Read on to find out where you might have seen him before.

Shamier Anderson got his start in Canadian television

Canadian actor Shamier Anderson spent many years hard at work in his country's film and TV industries before Hollywood roles started coming his way. His screen acting debut was on children's sitcom Overruled!, about a high school "teen court" where students' issues were settled. Anderson played Ed, a recurring character who figured prominently in several episodes of season 3.

After a string of guest roles on shows like Degrassi: The Next Generation and the U.S. version of Skins, Anderson's first big exposure came on The Next Step (pictured above), a highly popular dance studio teen drama in which he starred as head choreographer Chris during the first two seasons. A teacher and mentor to the central A-Troupe, he prepares the characters to perform at Regionals while also working to bring them closer together as a team, before his departure in season 2 to become co-owner of a rival dance studio.

The role earned Anderson enough prominence to earn further spots on shows like Defiance and Constantine, which eventually led to his casting as a series regular in another fantasy adventure series, this time a Canada-U.S. co-production. And that was the role that really made him a household name.

Shamier Anderson played U.S. Marshal Xavier Dolls on Wynonna Earp

Prior to its cancellation by Syfy, dark fantasy show Wynonna Earp became a cult hit and garnered an extremely passionate fanbase. An adaptation of the Beau Smith comics following the superpowered great-great-granddaughter of legendary lawman Wyatt Earp, Wynonna Earp served up consistent genre thrills during its four seasons, blending Western and horror elements into a sassy, unique, endlessly surprising whole.

At the center of the show was Wynonna (Melanie Scrofano)'s relationship with Xavier Dolls (Anderson), the U.S. Deputy Marshal who recruits her into the Black Badge Division, a secret agency dedicated to fighting revenants and demons. A cold, pragmatic agent, Dolls takes a while to warm up to Wynonna, but they eventually form a strong connection that leads him to go off-book to help her. As the series progresses, Wynonna finds out that there is much more to Dolls than meets the eye, and the discovery of his true nature becomes a major plot point.

Anderson left the show at the end of the third season in 2018, but fan support for his character didn't wane. In 2019, he shared a picture on Instagram of a huge Xavier Dolls tattoo a fan had made on their arm, with the subtitle, "This is beyond dedication! Y'all are next level amazing." That's just one example of the incredible devotion the Wynonna Earp fan base has shown over the years.

The TV exposure helped Anderson land bigger film roles

As Anderson became a familiar face on television, his film roles leading up to Stowaway began to get bigger and more visible. In 2016, he starred alongside his brother Stephan James in the Jesse Owens biopic Race, playing Owens' sprinting rival Eulace Peacock. James and Anderson share one of the film's most important scenes (pictured above), when Peacock, retired from tracks due to a hamstring injury, encourages Owens to attend the 1936 Berlin Olympics even with Hitler's Nazi Party lording over the event — if only to stick it to them. Owens goes on to make history by winning four gold medals.

Two years later, Anderson played the romantic lead in Canadian rom-com Love Jacked, about Maya (Amber Stevens West), a young woman who gets engaged while on a trip to South Africa, only for the relationship to fall apart suddenly. She is then forced into an agreement with on-the-run criminal Malcolm (Anderson), whom she will introduce to her family as if he were her South African fiancé. The film received middling reviews but marked Anderson's first leading movie role.

Anderson also had a prominent role in the Nicole Kidman neo-noir Destroyer, directed by The Invitation and Jennifer's Body auteur Karyn Kusama. He played Antonio, the partner of LAPD detective Erin Bell (Kidman), who's been doing his best to get through to her after the trauma of a previous case left her closed-off and self-destructive. The movie became notorious for Kidman's radically changed physical appearance, but somewhat lost in the critical shuffle was its merit as a stark, effective, and existentially weighty character study, with Anderson as the much-needed voice of reason in a cast of lost souls that also included Tatiana Maslany and Sebastian Stan.