Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Why The Archbishop From The Seventh Day Looks So Familiar

While psychological horror, slasher cinema, and creature features are among the most popular sub-genres for the horror-loving masses, the most tried and true of the genre's subsets is the possession thriller, with Hollywood churning out several horrifying tales of "demons made me do it" drama every single year. 2021 has been no different. Even as "The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It" is earning the lion's share of raves this year, another possession flick is currently making waves on Netflix.

It's called "The Seventh Day," and it features Guy Pearce as Father Peter Costello, a priest renowned for his exorcism work who's tasked with showing Father Daniel Garcia (Vadhir Debrez) the unholy ropes of the trade. Equal parts "Training Day"-styled thriller and classic exorcism drama, "The Seventh Day" finds Father Costello and Father Garcia desperately trying to save a young boy from a grim fate as the lines between good and evil blur in dangerous ways.

"The Seventh Day" hasn't exactly earned great reviews from critics (it has a mere 10% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes), but even the naysayers agree that Pearce and the rest of his cast mates keep matters interesting. That includes legendary character actor Stephen Lang, who portrays the Archbishop in "The Seventh Day," and no doubt looks very familiar to most viewers. Here's where you've seen him before.

Don't Breathe found Stephen Lang in full villain mode

To be clear, there are literally dozens of other film and television projects you might have seen Stephen Lang's distinctive face in before. The actor has, after all, been working steadily in Hollywood for the better part of four decades now, and over that period has amassed a whopping 132 screen credits (including upcoming releases). Even still, it's a safe bet that if you do recognize him, it's because you were a fan of Fede Alvarez's home-invasion-chiller-turned-survival-thriller "Don't Breathe." 

Released to rave reviews in late summer 2016, "Don Breathe" stars Jane Levy, Dylan Minnette, and Daniel Zovatto as a trio of Detroit thieves seeking an easy, potentially lucrative score by breaking into a blind man's home. Once inside, they find the man is nowhere near as helpless as they believed, with the cats quickly becoming the mice in this supremely twisted cat-and-mouse game. 

Stephen Lang portrayed Norman Nordstrom, aka "the Blind Man," who terrorizes the trio before attempting to pick them off in vividly gory fashion. We can't wait to see what's in store for the Blind Man in the upcoming "Don't Breathe" sequel.

Stephen Lang played a misguided military tough in Avatar

James Cameron's Oscar-winning sci-fi spectacular "Avatar" was literally everybody's thing when it hit theaters back in 2009 — a fact very much evinced by the film's $2.7 billion worldwide box office take (via Box Office Mojo), and nine Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture. There's a lot to love in Cameron's tale of a native tribe on a distant planet called Pandora facing off against a greedy corporate entity seeking to ravage their planet for essential minerals that may save a dying Earth. Cameron bolstered that intriguing story with groundbreaking special effects and the steadfast work of an all-star cast tasked with bringing the almost-entirely-CGI world to life.

Many of those actors did so through breathtaking motion capture work — but Stephen Lang wasn't one of them. Instead, he portrayed the heavily scarred, out-for-blood human Colonel Miles Quaritch, who seeks to protect the corporation's interests at any cost. Here, Lang embraces his inner baddie like never before, becoming the literal face of evil as he seeks to squash the native uprising in brutal fashion. He'll likely continue that endeavor in the upcoming "Avatar" sequels as well, despite Colonel Quaritch having seemingly died in the original movie.

Stephen Lang faced off against a legendary lawman in Tombstone

Stephen Lang has had skin in the acting game for several decades now, and if you look back at some of his earlier roles, he's almost unrecognizable from the square-jawed tough guy we know him as today. Case in point: Lang had a significant role in one of the best Western films of the 20th century, and you may not know it.

The film in question is 1993's beloved Western actioner "Tombstone," starring Kurt Russell and Val Kilmer as legendary Old West figures Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday, who face off against a band of outlaws in the titular town. Lang played one of those outlaws: the cowardly and slightly doughy Ike Clanton, a member of the Cowboys gang.

If you're having trouble placing his face, Clanton was the blustery Cowboy who demanded Earp release the Cowboy big boss Curly Bill (Powers Boothe) after he'd gunned down the town's Marshall (Harry Carey Jr.) in the middle the road. If you're still having trouble, he's the guy whose head Earp threatens to make a canoe of in one of the film's most iconic scenes. Lang fully sold Clanton's cowering fear in that moment, helping make it as tense as it is hilarious.

Stephen Lang came face to face with the Tooth Fairy in Manhunter

On the topic of movies you forgot Stephen Lang played a prominent role in, say hello to Michael Mann's marvelous yet oft-overlooked 1986 serial killer thriller "Manhunter." Based on Thomas Mann's 1981 novel "Red Dragon," "Manhunter" is probably best known for delivering the first big-screen iteration of the writer's legendary creation Dr. Hannibal Lecter, played by Brian Cox in the film years before Anthony Hopkins made Lecter a cinematic icon in "The Silence of the Lambs," or Mads Mikkelson made him a simmering small-screen menace in "Hannibal."

Mann's stylish adaptation of "Red Dragon" also saw the first glimpses of other beloved Lecter-adjacent characters, including Will Graham, Jack Crawford, and Francis Dollarhyde, who've been portrayed by the likes of Edward Norton, Hugh Dancy, Scott Glenn, Laurence Fishburne, Ralph Fiennes, and Richard Armitage since. In "Manhunter," Lang played the muck-raking tabloid reporter Freddy Lounds, whom Philip Seymour Hoffman portrayed in 2002's "Red Dragon." Most recently, Lara Jean Chorostecki brought to life a gender-bent version of Lounds in NBC's cult-sensation "Hannibal," playing TattleCrime blogger Fredricka "Freddie" Lounds.

Lang arguably out-sleazed both his successors with his performance in "Manhunter," proving himself more than capable of making a lasting impact even in spite of limited screen time early in his career.