Why Thomas Clay From Without Remorse Looks So Familiar

Amazon Studios is set to expand the Clancyverse with the feature film "Without Remorse," starring "Black Panther" and "Creed" star Michael B. Jordan as John Clark, a former Navy SEAL who acts as the shadow self to Jack Ryan. "He's Ryan's dark side," Clancy told The Washington Post in 1993. "He's more inclined to take physical action than Jack is." 

In "Without Remorse," Clark definitely does take physical action, tracking down his wife's killers and playing with the balance of Russian-American geopolitics in the process. Meanwhile, on the more diplomatic side of things stands Secretary of Defense Thomas Clay, who works with CIA operative Robert Ritter (Jamie Bell of "Rocket Man") and former SEAL Karen Greer (Jodie Turner-Smith) to make sure Russia and America do not escalate their fraying relationship into a full-out war. 

Clay has a face you've definitely seen in some major projects over the years, and that's because it belongs to actor Guy Pearce. Born in England but raised in Australia, Pearce is a beloved Aussie actor with an extensive and hugely varied filmography. Here's how you might know Guy Pearce.

Guy Pearce's big break was a total drag

Like most Australian actors of note, Guy Pearce did his time on the long-running Australian soap "Neighbors." However, his breakout role came from the international hit "The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert." Pearce played baby drag queen Felicia Jollygoodfellow, whose brazen vibe ticks off her travelling companions. Felicia joins fellow drag queen Tick ("The Matrix" villain Hugo Weaving) and trans drag performer Bernadette Bassenger (Terrence Stamp) on a cross-country trip from Sydney to Alice Springs. Along the way, the trio meet friendly indigenous Australians, hostile hicks, and even a love interest or two. 

Priscilla was praised for its stunning visuals and warm humor. The film holds a 96% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It helped usher in a new Australian film boom, along with movies like "Muriel's Wedding" and "Strictly Ballroom." The Australian government named it one of the most enduring Australian films of all time, according to LGBTQ Nation's Matt Baume.

Guy Pearce's memorable performance in Memento

Guy Pearce's big, American starring turn came in Christopher Nolan's "Memento." In the film, Pearce plays Leonard Shelby, a man with anterograde amnesia — meaning he cannot form any new memories. 

The story plays out backwards, from the ending to beginning – inspired by Leonard's own perception of events – slowly revealing that before the movie's events, Leonard and his wife were attacked in their home by two men. Leonard believes these two men sexually assaulted and murdered his wife, and that he killed one of them, but another remains at large. In order to help him remember certain pieces of information, Leonard gets tattoos that serve as clues for the future him to decode. 

"Memento" was a success, critically and financially. It helped launch the career of Nolan, as well as bolstered the careers of Pearce and his co-stars Joe Pantoliano and Carrie-Anne Moss. The movie was praised for its complex plotting and non-linear format, with the Writers Guild of America listing it as the 100th best screenplay of all time.

Guy Pearce joins the Warhol factory

Guy Pearce co-starred as notorious art provocateur Andy Warhol in the 2006 flop "Factory Girl." The film features many notables of the early aughts playing the superstars of the mid-sixties, including Sienna Miller as Edie Sedgwick, Jimmy Fallon as Chuck Wein, Weezer's Patrick Wilson as John Cale, Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Ingrid Superstar, and Hayden Christiansen as a Bob Dylan expy. Pearce's take on Warhol was one of the more admired aspects of the film, according to The Guardian.

Pearce is one of many actors who have played the pop art superstar. According to The Guardian, Warhol is one of the most cinematically honored artists, noting that 12 people have played him at one time or another, "just behind Da Vinci (13) and Van Gogh (13), ahead of Caravaggio (5) and Toulouse-Lautrec (4)." Warhol has been portrayed by Crispin Glover in "The Doors," Mad Men's Jared Harris in "I Shot Andy Warhol," David Bowie in "Basquiat," and Evan Peters in "American Horror Story: Cult," just to name a few.

Guy Pearce was the man behind the Mandarin in Iron Man 3

Guy Pearce joined the MCU in Iron Man 3, playing industrialist Aldrich Killian. Killian uses the experimental regenerative treatment Extremis to cure himself of a disability. He's also the head of Advanced Idea Mechanics, a super-science organization with a sinister bent. 

Toward the back half of Iron Man 3, a major plot twist reveals that "the Mandarin" — an alleged overseas terrorist that has been attacking America generally, and Tony Stark specifically — is actually a paid actor, with Killian being the real figure pulling all the strings (though as Marvel fans now know, a different version of the Mandarin will soon appear in the MCU via "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings," played by Hong Kong cinema legend Tony Leung). 

"Iron Man 3" was a lynchpin film for the MCU, as the first post-"Avengers" film. It wrapped up Marvel's first big franchise trilogy while also leaving connective tissue to further franchises. The expanded agency of J.A.R.V.I.S.-powered Iron Man suits presages "Avengers: Age of Ultron" and the eventual creation of Vision. So in a way, without Pearce's Killian, we'd have no "WandaVision." Makes you think.