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Why Boastful Loki Looks So Familiar

Contains spoilers for "Loki," Season 1, Episode 4: "The Nexus Event"

For many MCU fans, seeing the multiverse starting to get fleshed out is one of the most exciting parts of the latest Disney+ series, "Loki." Not only are we learning more about the concept of alternate timelines, as introduced in "Avengers: Endgame," but we're also discovering the truth about variants, as they're called in the universe. Loki, even in his Norse mythology origins, has always been a shapeshifter, and it's exciting to see the many different versions of god of mischief play out in the MCU.

So far, though, Lady Loki, better known as Sylvie in the MCU, has been the only other Loki variant we've gotten to know. However, as the Episode 4 post-credits scene – the first in the series — shows, more Lokis are to come.

One, credited in the episode as Boastful Loki, has caught the attention of fans due to a certain object he's holding that looks quite similar to Mjolnir. A Loki being worthy of wielding the mighty Thor's hammer would certainly be an interesting addition to the MCU. 

We're excited to get to know this new character, but who is the actor behind this Boastful Loki?

DeObia Oparei appeared on Game of Thrones

Boastful Loki is played by British actor DeObia Oparei, who got his start as a child working in theater in London, and the actor has continued to build up quite the resume. Notably, fans may recognize him from his work in one of the biggest shows of our time: "Game of Thrones." 

Oparei plays Areo Hotah, the stoic and brutish Bodyguard of Prince Doran. Oparei spoke with Yahoo! about the physical demands of the show, especially the weapons used by his character. "It's a huge axe! Wielding it above one's head is a challenge," he said, even admitting there was "maybe just a close call with Jaime Lannister" when asked if he ever accidentally smacked anyone with his axe.

Of course, even with the intense stunts, joining such a massive franchise was a huge excitement for Oparei. "We're in great locations: very warm, very beautiful, very sunny. It's just really a well-oiled machine," he said of his time filming in Spain. However, the fans certainly were an adjustment. "They were stationed in front of the hotel...I'd never seen that level of fanaticism before," Oparei said, though we're sure the thrill of being part of "GoT" was worth the eager selfie-seekers.

He had a role in Independence Day: Resurgence

After appearing in "Game of Thrones," DeObia Oparei continued to find great success. In 2016, he played Dikembe Umbutu in "Independence Day: Resurgence," along with fellow MCU alum Jeff Goldblum, and the brother of Thor himself, Liam Hemsworth. Speaking to The Digital Fix, Oparei shared that he "really loved" the original "Independence Day" and shared how great it was to work with such a great crew of actors on the film, especially noting that Goldblum was "very inspiring and conspires to have everyone be relaxed on set."

The character of Dikembe is a new one to the "Independence Day" franchise. An African warlord and leader, he's on a mission to free his people and avenge the death of his brother. However, Oparei notes, the character isn't as brutish as he may seem. Speaking to Talk Nerdy With Us, the 6-foot-6 Oparei shares how he's often "played to [his] physical attributes and characteristics." However, he remarks how much he enjoyed "playing against role" with Dikembe, and states he wants to continue playing "men of strong will, with powerful exteriors whose real vulnerabilities lie just beneath the surface."

Oparei plays a father on Sex Education

In a departure from his many action roles, DeObia Oparei also appears on popular Netflix series "Sex Education" as Mr. Effiong. Father of Eric (Ncuti Gatwa), the deeply religious Mr. Effiong often clashes with his son, who is gay.  In an interview with Teen Vogue, Gatwa shared how great it was to work Oparei, as well as Doreene Blackstock, who plays his mother. 

"[They] were just so supportive and really, really kind and nice to me ... they were kind of like parents to me on set and took me under their wing," he said, elaborating, "They're both from the British black community, so all three of us were just really excited that the narrative that's portrayed about black families, especially African families on TV, was gonna get pushed and extended."

According to Oparei's Instagram (via Reddit), he'll be returning for Sex Education Season 3, and we can't wait to see their incredible family dynamic play out even further.

He's included in the upcoming Netflix original The Gray Man

Recently, DeObia Oparei has popped up in many other high-profile projects, including as Rongo in Tim Burton's live-action "Dumbo," and as an elevator guard in "Jumanji: The Next Level."

Notably, he's currently working on a project with very close MCU ties. Espionage thriller "The Gray Man," based on the novel of the same name, is directed by Joe & Anthony Russo, and stars Chris Evans as CIA agent Lloyd Hansen. The rest of the film's cast is quite impressive too, with Ryan Gosling, Ana de Armas, Billy Bob Thornton, Alfre Woodard, Regé-Jean Page, and Eme Ikwuakor. Set to premiere exclusively on Netflix, the film will have the biggest budget of any Netflix original yet, per Deadline

Though Oparei's role in the film is still unknown, we imagine the accomplished actor will continue to wow audiences with his talents for playing varied characters. In the meantime though, we'll be hoping to see him again in the final two episodes of "Loki," and to learn just exactly who Boastful Loki really is.