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Why Darcy From Dead Man Down Looks So Familiar

"Dead Man Down," from director Niels Arden Oplev (of the original Swedish "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" and its sequels), is a truly star-studded international crime drama. Oplev joins forces with "Dragon Tattoo" breakout Noomi Rapace, who stars as Beatrize Louzon, opposite Colin Farrell's Victor. Both of them are vengeful characters who become entangled in criminal activities for their own reasons, as acting powerhouses from Terrence Howard to Isabel Huppert and F. Murray Abraham round up the cast. 

Amidst all this, Victor's friend, Darcy, investigates the strange threats that rain on his crime boss superior, Alphonse (Howard). In a tangle of deceit that features organizations from across the globe, Darcy is the arrow that points at the heart of the plot, and in many ways, he's also the heart of the movie. As befits a film so full of famous faces, he's also played by an actor with some pretty high-profile miles behind him. Let's take a look at why Darcy from "Dead Man Down" looks so familiar.

Dominic Cooper is Uday Hussein and his body double in The Devil's Double

Those in the know realized early on that Dominic Cooper can play virtually anyone or anything. Those left unimpressed by his significant stage chops may have taken note of his turn as Sky in the ABBA musical "Mamma Mia!" or perhaps his role as Dakin in "The History Boys." For those with campier cinematic sensibilities, 2012's "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" probably did the trick. Still, regardless of your views on acting, if one has to point at a role that shows Cooper going all in, look no further than 2011's "The Devil's Double."  

"The Devil's Double" is a story of Saddam Hussein's volatile son, Uday (Cooper), and Latif Yahia (also Cooper), a soldier who is forced into acting as his body double. In a once-in-a-lifetime chance, Cooper gets to play both the unhinged villain and the conflicted hero, as the increasingly desperate Latif struggles in his gilded cage, while the sadistic Uday goes about his various atrocties, unwittingly marching toward his undignified demise in the Second Gulf War.  

In an interview with Indie Wire, Cooper revealed that he studied the real-life Latif Yahia's book in preparation for the role, and that he found the whole thing such a difficult task that he doesn't really know why he took it in the first place. "So, it was such a challenge and I don't know what made me or inspired me to chase it or even believe that I could possibly play an Iraqi guy or Saddam's son," he said. "It was something that I just instinctively felt it a necessity to chase."

Dominic Cooper is Howard Stark in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

You could make a decent argument that Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is the most important superhero character in the history of cinema. The genius billionaire playboy philantropist with a heart of gold (and a handy, portable arc reactor) single-handedly paved the way for the all-encompassing Marvel Cinematic Universe, and did much of the heavy lifting during its first three phases. There were many things that fueled Tony, but his vast daddy issues were definitely at the top of the list. So, when "Captain America: First Avenger" came along and it was time to meet the man who managed to overshadow Iron Man himself at an early age, what acting powerhouse did the MCU turn to?

Dominic Cooper, that's who. Cooper's affable and professional, yet very Stark-ishly smarmy and aloof take on Howard Stark is part Tony Stark, part Clark Gable, and possibly the only man on earth who can act as a potential romantic rival to Captain America (Chris Evans), the paragon of human ability. Oh, and he does make Cap's famous shield, so there's that. 

Cooper's charismatic Howard returns as an ever-welcome recurring character in ABC's "Agent Carter," and seeing as he'll provide the character's voice in 2021's "What If...?", it certainly seems that the actor and Marvel Studios are very happy with each other. 

Dominic Cooper is Jesse Custer in Preacher

How can you go from a challenging double role to crafting an all-important MCU character, and somehow manage to move on to an even more iconic role? Dominic Cooper cracked this seemingly unsolveable dilemma in 2016, when he started his four-season tenure as the hard-hitting, harder-drinking, Reverend Jesse Custer in AMC's "Preacher." Based on an esteemed comic series by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon, "Preacher" tells the tale of a small-town preacher man, who unexpectedly becomes the mortal dwelling of an incredibly powerful entity called Genesis. After a peculiar series of events, Custer finds himself on a quest to find God in a rather more literal fashion than the average man of faith, accompanied with and antagonized by a seemingly never-ending cavalcade of angels, vampires, secret societies, sheriffs, and an immortal Saint of Killers (Graham McTavish). 

"Preacher" is a peculiar show that needs a lead who knows how to balance the grit and the absurd — and luckily, it has precisely that in Cooper. In a 2018 interview with W Magazine, the actor jokingly recalled how producer Seth Rogen convinced him to tackle the highly unusual role. "I thought, No — this isn't for me, thanks," Cooper said about the meeting. "But, obviously, I had inhaled so much of what they were having that I was mesmerized. I signed up straightaway. And I'm not regretting it. Now it's three years in, could be seven." Suffice to say, even though "Preacher" wrapped up after its fourth season, we're not regretting it, either.