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Why Uncle Matthew From The Pursuit Of Love Looks So Familiar

Based on the classic novel by Nancy Mitford, "The Pursuit of Love" depicts the lives of two young women coming of age in 1930s British aristocracy. Free spirited Linda (Lily James) and the more sheltered Fanny (Emily Beecham), Linda's cousin, must decide whether to pursue the traditional path of becoming a proper wife and mother, or to pursue love and a more unpredictable life.

Andrew Scott of "Fleabag" co-stars as Lord Merlin, the eccentric neighbor who comes to take an interest in Linda, and John Heffernan plays Davey Warbeck, Fanny's hypochondriac uncle.

A key character on the show is Uncle Matthew, Linda's severe and bullying father. The actor is perfectly cast as a xenophobic, stiff upper lip Englishman of a certain era, but savvy TV and films fans will likely recognize him from the various other shows and films in which he's appeared. He's arguably best known for his role as an arrogant police detective on a beloved HBO series, though his upcoming appearance on "The Crown" may change that.

Here's where viewers may have seen actor Dominic West before.

Dominic West's first big American role was on cop drama The Wire

Although Dominic West got started in community theater before eventually getting into film, the actor is likely best known here and abroad for his prolific television work.

Overall, his most famous TV role is as Jimmy McNulty, the hard-drinking, hard-living Baltimore police detective who anchors HBO drama "The Wire." McNulty, regularly disparaged even by his friends as a self-destructive jerk, is such an arrogant cop that he drunkenly crashes his car twice in a row to see if he can avoid it the second time. West never forgot the character's humanity even as McNulty's bad behavior worsened over five seasons.

West noted in an interview with Complex that his unease with the character turned out to be an advantage: "With much shorter-running shows and performances that I've done, I felt that I had a closer handle on the character than I did with Jimmy McNulty. But that's often a good thing. Very often, if you're not very comfortable, or you're slightly on the edge with a performance, that makes for a better performance."

West next appeared on The Hour and The Affair

After "The Wire" ended in 2008, West went on to star in various British and American TV series.

This included BBC series "The Hour," where he played Hector Madden, the ambitious, telegenic anchor of a news hour circa 1956. The show received critical praise, with Nancy Franklin of The New Yorker calling it "absurdly gratifying." But the show ultimately wasn't renewed by the BBC after two seasons and only twelve episodes.

In 2014, West signed on to "The Affair," a steamy Showtime relationship drama about, well, an affair between author Noah Solloway (Dominic West) and heartbroken waitress Alison Bailey (Ruth Wilson). The adulterous relationship slowly tears apart anyone unlucky enough to cross its path. Wilson unexpectedly left "The Affair" in Season 4, however, with the series itself ending the next year.

Dominic West hasn't taken a break. The actor will have appeared in four TV shows and mini-series between 2021 and 2022, including "SAS: Rogue Heroes" and UK series "Call My Agent." Most notably for domestic audiences, West will be playing an older version of Prince Charles in Seasons 5 and 6 of Netflix hit "The Crown," taking over for Josh O'Connor in the role (via IMDb).

West has also stayed busy with film roles as well

The British actor has also made a number of film appearances in between TV roles. His first great performance in cinema was arguably as Henry in the 1995 adaptation of "Richard III," where his character got to flash his trademark smug McNulty grin straight to the camera once he'd defeated Richard. 

In the same year "The Wire" premiered, he was Fred Casely in "Chicago," the two-timing liar whose shooting by lover Roxie Hart leads to her arrest. After the HBO series began to give West some fame, he took on roles in "300," where he played traitorous senator Theron, as well as slathering on makeup to become the deformed villain Jigsaw in cult superhero film "Punisher: War Zone."

He's taken on several films since then, including "Finding Dory" and "Tomb Raider," where he triggered the events of the plot as Lara Croft's missing father. His upcoming movie projects include crime film "I Feel Fine" and "Downton Abbey 2" (via IMDb).

West noted in an interview that he ultimately prefers to stay busy as an actor: "The harder that aspect of the work gets, the more enjoyable it is. Actual graft is what's great about acting. That's something I relish, because most of the time, it's about coping with tedium" (via Esquire).