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Why Ajax From Deadpool Looks So Familiar

The film adaptation of Marvel's "Deadpool" came out in February of 2016, just in time for Valentine's Day. Featuring Ryan Reynolds as the eponymous antihero who gets diagnosed with cancer, cured but disfigured, breaks up with his girlfriend, and goes on an epic adventure to rescue her, the movie had lots of wonderful things going for it: action-packed fight scenes, a love story that made you want to root for the good guys, gut-busting wisecracks punctuated with Reynolds' signature charm, and Ed Skrein in one of his best roles as the formidable bad guy, Ajax.

Believe it or not, though, you've seen Ed Skrein before. Skrein actually started out trying to forge a music career in the British rap scene (via Inverse), producing notable collabs alongside Asian Dub Foundation, Foreign Beggars, and Plan B. He transitioned into the entertainment scene back in 2012 when he got his first leading role in British rapper Plan B's crime drama "Ill Manors," and he has been in several productions since, which includes playing the leading man in a well-known action movie franchise (but more on that later). 

While Ajax in Deadpool may be Skrein's most well-known appearance to date, quite a few people will certainly recognize him from the following roles, as well.

Ed Skrein bent the knee to the dragon queen on Game of Thrones

If you were an attentive "Game of Thrones" fan, you might remember that not one, but two different actors played the part of Daario Naharis on HBO's (mostly) hit series. Michiel Huisman filled the role starting at the beginning of Season 4. But originally, Skrein played the cold-hearted mercenary who warmed Daenerys' heart (and her bed).

There was a bit of a controversy surrounding his departure from the show, however. According to an interview he gave to the Huffington Post back in the day, his departure from the show was a mix of studio "politics" and his upcoming roles in other movies. He did emphasize, though, that as much as he enjoyed playing the role and would have loved to continue, that he's not the type of man to focus on the past. "It was a character that I would've loved to have continued to portray, and he's a wonderful character, but you know Michiel Huisman's done a great job taking over the mantle, and that's the way it goes, you know?" he said.

Ed Skrein replaced Jason Statham in the Transporter series

One of Jason Statham's most iconic roles was that of Frank Martin in the "Transporter" movie franchise. The first three movies were high-octane thrillers full of action, suspense, butt-kicking fight choreography, and an extra helping of even more action just for good measure. 

However, when Luc Besson wanted to strike gold again with a fourth installment of the franchise, he ended up having to reboot it with an entirely new leading man. In case you hadn't guessed it already: yes, that man was Ed Skrein.

Unfortunately for Ed, the movie was not received well by critics and audiences. It was eviscerated on sites like Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic with an average approval rating below 40%. Reviewers CinemaScore and IGN were much more favorable, however. As a matter of fact, when IGN wrote about the movie, they even went so far as to say that they liked Skrein's performance (but not much else, apparently).

Ed Skrein was a big bully in Alita: Battle Angel

One of Ed Skrein's most recent formidable roles was that of Zapan in "Alita: Battle Angel." In the movie, he is a cyborg warrior who terrorizes Alita and her friends as the plot unfolds. Though Zapan is an altogether villainous presence, he is brought to life through an intense performance from Skrein and some state-of-the-art CGI wizardry, with many unique visual details

Things don't go well for Zapan: throughout the course of the film, he gets beaten up by the protagonist, stabbed with his own sword, tries to get revenge by framing her friend Hugo for murder, and (of course) ultimately fails in the end when good triumphs over evil. It's worth noting that Ed Skrein seems to have no problem playing the bad guy in most of his professional roles — especially since it's those roles that grant him the most notoriety. Is he the perfect Hollywood bad guy that movie studios are sleeping on? Or is he a victim of Hollywood typecasting? Either way, he's done some great work over the years, and his part in "Alita: Battle Angel" was no exception.