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Why Dan Broderick From Dirty John Looks So Familiar

So you've watched "Dirty John: The Betty Broderick Story." That's all well and good, but now you need something else to focus on besides the creeping suspicion that your significant other is going to either kill you in your sleep or leave you for Rachel Keller from "Legion." We've got you covered.

Boy, the guy who played Dan Broderick in the second season of "Dirty John" sure looked familiar, didn't he? Even if you can't put your finger on where you recognize him from, you're probably positive that you've seen him before. It's the eyebrows, probably, or the distinctive voice.

Both the eyebrows and the voice belong to Christian Slater, the award-winning star of stage and screen who's been popping up in one thing or another since he was a young buck of just eight summers. With over 130 IMDb credits to his name, there's no shortage of places that you might know him from. Here, we'll take a look at some of his more prominent roles, and the road that brought him to being shot to death by Amanda Peet.

Slater opened strong with One Life to Live

As the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu once observed, "the journey of a thousand episodes of 'Mr. Robot' starts with a single step." He was wrong in this particular case — "Mr. Robot" only ran for four seasons (we'll get to that) and Christian Slater's career actually started with a dang old skateboard accident.

Slater, by his own recollection, was roughly eight years old when he broke into show business with his first on screen role, playing "Boy in doctor's office" in a 1977-ish episode of the soap opera "One Life to Live." It's a meaty piece of acting. Slater's character has injured himself doing sick skateboard whatnots. "Listen buddy," his doctor informs him, "the longer you stay off that skateboard, the longer your chances to live are." Did Aaron Sorkin ghostwrite this episode? That's for historians to quibble over.

There's not much else to say about the scene, even if you're Slater, who, when asked about it by Jimmy Kimmel, remembered being eight and living in New York at the time before falling back on calling NYC "the greatest city in the world," which is more or less the talk show interview equivalent of when KISS shouts "How we feeling tonight, Poughkeepsie?" to evoke a cheap audience reaction. Still, from inauspicious beginnings, a career was well on its way to being made.

Christian Slater kills it in Heathers

The 1980s were a different time, when stories about kids trying to bomb their school were the "zany punk rock shenanigans" kind of weird and not the "call the police while I keep them distracted" variety. In the wake of a litany of John Hughes movies about how adolescence can be the cat's pajamas, "Heathers" turned a genre on its head by introducing the aspects of high school that "Pretty in Pink" brushed over, like ingesting drain cleaner and dynamite.

In what would wind up being a cult favorite breakout performance, Slater plays J.D., the new kid in school who's always getting into new kid hijinks like firing a revolver full of blanks at his fellow students or poisoning kids. It's more fun than we're making it sound.

Despite bombing hard at the box office, "Heathers" went on to become a beloved hit with fans of black comedy in the age of home media giving flops a second chance at life. It would even achieve that highest of honors, shared by films like "Groundhog Day" and "American Psycho" — a Broadway musical adaptation that you read about and go "Really? That? All right, sure, whatever."

Christian Slater made merry in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves

Will Scarlet is one of a handful of characters from the Robin Hood mythos that most people could, if pressed, identify thanks to an occasionally distinctive costume. Movies have historically leaned into the fact that he has a color in his name and worked backwards, dressing him in said hues and then presumably waiting for him to kill someone in a conservatory with a candlestick.

"Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves," however, added a whole new layer of intrigue to the character, here played by Christian Slater against Kevin Costner's Robin of Locksley. In a stunning upset, the film posited that Scarlet was secretly the illegitimate half-brother of Robin Hood. It's the sort of twist that leaves audiences aghast, as long as they don't think about how Robin and Will are the only two people in England with American accents. All we're saying is that there were breadcrumbs.

Also, did you know that there's an extended cut of this already two-hour twenty three-minute movie? They use the extra time to explain that the Sheriff of Nottingham was secretly the son of that witch with all of the bloody eggs and spit and whatnot. Secret family members were huge in Sherwood Forest circa 1991.

Christian Slater straight up interviewed a vampire

It's a big deal, landing the title role in a Hollywood blockbuster — and that's exactly what Christian Slater did in 1994 when he landed the part of Interview in "Interview with the Vampire." Or something.

Actually, Slater played Daniel Malloy, the journalist whose one-on-one with Brad Pitt's very sad Louis forms the basis of the film. The story behind Slater's casting is a stone-cold bummer, though: originally, River Phoenix had been tapped as Malloy, but the 23-year-old actor died four weeks before production kicked off. Slater stepped up to take his place, and, as the Gadsden Times reported, donated his entire quarter million-dollar salary to charities that Phoenix felt passionate about, EarthSave and Earth Trust. Even more noteworthy, it seems likely that this was the first time in history that a studio looked at Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, and Christian Slater, said "only two of them can be vampires," and then decided that Slater was the one that didn't fit the bill. It's like he grew those eyebrows for nothing.

Christian Slater was Mr. Robot, technically

It's a big deal, landing the title role in a high-concept cable series, and that's exactly what Christian Slater did in 2015 when he landed the part of Mr. Robot in, well, "Mr. Robot."

If you haven't seen it yet, you'll want to avert your eyes. "Mr. Robot" turns out to be the story of a digital revolutionary with a mean case of Dissociative Identity Disorder, the same condition that keeps Hollywood's Windows so Secret and Tylers so Durden. The program's main character, Elliot Alderson (Rami Malek) is haunted by an idealized version of his dead father, one with the gumption and cutthroat instincts to create lasting social change in a seemingly irredeemable world.

Elliot's brain dad, the titular Mr. Robot, is played by Slater in one of his most critically lauded roles to date. Between 2016 and 2018, the actor received half a dozen award nominations for his work on the series, taking home a Critics Choice Television Award, a Satellite Award, and a Golden Globe.

Christian Slater was a hero in We Can Be Heroes

Robert Rodriguez movies tend to fall into two categories: OTT drive-in theater schlock-violence homage, and chroma keyed children's movies with a visual aesthetic drawn from that Nickelodeon radio alarm clock from the 1990s.

In 2020, the filmmaker gave us a new example of the latter with "We Can Be Heroes," the sequel to 2005's "The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl." A veritable league's worth of new superheroes are introduced in the Netflix original film, making up a team called the Heroics. They include Pedro Pascal's magnetically-powered, sword-wielding Marcus Moreno, Boyd Holbrook's super-strong Miracle Guy, and the speedster Blinding Fast, played by Sung Kang.

And then there is Tech-No, played by Christian Slater. Tech-No was the team's requisite gadgets guy, devoid of powers of his own but replete with colorful doodads and gizmos, who proves irreplaceable during the film's climax. All that, plus he gets to be a cool dad — and isn't that the greatest superpower of all?