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Why Leroy Sawicki From Monster Looks So Familiar

The upcoming drama "Monster" has had a long, tumultuous road to showing up on people's screens. It debuted at Sundance back in 2018 (via The Hollywood Reporter), and it's finally premiering on Netflix on May 7, 2021. It comes at a timelier moment than ever before seeing as how the film follows a 17-year-old Black student, Steve Harmon (Kelvin Harrison Jr.), whose life is thrown into turmoil when he's charged with murder. The film navigates racial issues and how they apply to the prison industrial complex. On top of that, there are bound to be some incredibly emotional performances from powerhouse actors like Jeffrey Wright, Jennifer Hudson, John David Washington, and Tim Blake Nelson.

That last name may not immediately jump out at you, but he's a prolific force in Hollywood. He's a character actor whose face is familiar, but you probably couldn't place right away. His filmography, as seen on IMDb, is one of the most extensive around, including roles in the likes of "Minority Report," "Holes," and "Meet the Fockers" just to name a few. A recap going over every single one of his roles would be massive, so to keep things brief, here are just a few of the most notable performances he's given over the years. 

He broke out in the mainstream with O Brother, Where Art Thou?

"O Brother, Where Art Thou?" may just be the best Coen Brothers movie ever made. The film takes the story of "The Odyssey" and transposes it into the rural South with three convicts making a break from their chain gang to finally live their lives. Of course, they run into all kinds of strange and fantastical happenstances, including an encounter with Sirens and meeting a man who sold his soul to the Devil. What most people probably remember best from the film is the fantastic soundtrack, comprised heavily of songs from The Soggy Bottom Boys. 

Tim Blake Nelson plays one of the convicts, Delmar, and he's able to bring equal parts pathos and bathos to the role. Some fans of the film may be surprised to learn that Nelson actually sings on the soundtrack as part of The Soggy Bottom Boys. He spoke about that aspect of the film and the surprising award he won in an interview with GQ (via YouTube) in 2019: "Because the movie got a Grammy for Album of the Year, I actually have a Grammy. I like to think of it as one of the most undeserved ... there's no reason I should have a Grammy."

That's not the only surprise Nelson has in store for moviegoers who only have a passing familiarity with his work. He returned to the realm of old Greek adaptations with a play he wrote, titled "Socrates," which premiered at The Public Theater in 2019. 

He pops up in 2015's Fantastic Four

2008's "The Incredible Hulk" is often relegated to the forgotten middle child of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Aside from General "Thunderbolt" Ross cropping up once again in "Captain America: Civil War," nothing from that movie has really influenced the rest of the universe. They even recast the central role of Bruce Banner from Edward Norton to Mark Ruffalo. Plus, the tease of Samuel Sterns (Nelson) turning into the Leader has yet to have a payoff over a decade later. 

Instead, Nelson went over to the 20th Century superhero movies with a role in 2015's "Fantastic Four." In case you don't remember much from the oft-forgotten movie, Nelson plays Dr. Allen, who's the one with the initial plan to send a team into a parallel dimension, and as one could surmise, things go very badly. Even though the mission goes awry, he again seeks the help of the Fantastic Four members to try to get back to that realm, but that only brings the deadly Doctor Doom (Toby Kebbell) to Earth — where he quickly dispatches with Dr. Allen.

A lot of critics didn't have nice things to say about the movie, but Nelson tried to spin it in a positive direction in an interview prior to the film's release, stating, "We get a very dark psychological version of [a superhero movie]. That also has a lot of action, and that, to me, is the perfect superhero movie."

Tim Blake Nelson returned to superhero territory with HBO's Watchmen

After two previous outings within the superhero genre, Tim Blake Nelson finally had the chance to don a mask of his very own as Wade Tillman, aka Looking Glass in 2019's "Watchmen" on HBO. While sequels have been attempted with the "Watchmen" series, most notably with DC's "Doomsday Clock" arc (via Polygon), Damon Lindelof took the universe in an entirely different direction. The series builds off the great lie that was established at the end of the original "Watchmen" comic where Ozymandias creates world peace by instilling a sense of fear within all countries on Earth. With the belief that various cities were attacked by a giant squid monster, the worlds maintained a fragile peace, but now, a group of white supremacists who model themselves after Rorschach seek to expose that lie. 

Among reappearances from Laurie Blake (Jean Smart) and Ozymandias (Jeremy Irons), there's a new crop of masked vigilantes, including Looking Glass. He's a haunted, introverted member of the Tulsa police force who's still traumatized from the time a squid decimated New York. He was one of the only people in the surrounding area to survive, and fortunately, by the series' end, he manages to find some semblance of closure on the event.

It's unlikely we'll see Nelson mask up again as a second season seems increasingly unlikely (via USA Today). However, given all that the actor has been able to accomplish so far, there's plenty of work ahead for him.