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Why Charlie From Wonder Woman Looks So Familiar

Charlie, the Scottish, nightmare-haunted drunken lout from Wonder Woman, is an expert marksman and the weary heart of Steve Trevor's merry band of Great War misfits. He's one of the most memorable characters in the movie, with a melancholy that makes his moments of joy all the more relatable, and if you watched the movie thinking you'd seen that face before, you're not alone. 

Charlie is played by Ewen Bremner, a character actor with a robust career that's seen him through tons of great movies. He's the kind of actor who can take tidbits off the page and turn in a fully fleshed performance—and he's been doing it for years. Here's a rundown of some of the more major roles you might have seen Bremner disappear into over the course of his long career.

Trainspotting / T2 Trainspotting

Perhaps Bremner's best known role came as hapless heroin addict Spud in Danny Boyle's Trainspotting. Playing one of a gang of working-class scumbags, Bremner brings an essential humanity to a role that's hard to get right; even as he goes from one bad, destructive decision to the next, you can't help but root for him and at least hope he'll be okay. Twenty-one years after the release of the 1996 original, Bremner returned along with the rest of the principal cast for a sequel, T2 Trainspotting, which saw his character as an older but not necessarily wiser junkie, with a new plan to turn his misadventures into a memoir.


Bremner went toe-to-toe with an absolutely stacked cast in Guy Ritchie's 2000 caper film Snatch, set in the London underworld following a sprawling group of thugs, thieves, match fixers and murderers. In a smaller role, Bremner plays the character Mullet, a scrawny bug-eyed sleazeball who, despite the name, has a sensible haircut. Bremner puts his nervous energy to good effect here, in a role that mostly has him squirming in the faces of the film's more intimidating characters. One of the movie's funniest bits of physical comedy belongs to Bremner, as he's yanked headfirst into a car window and taken for a ride.

Pearl Harbor

Michael Bay's sprawling three-hour action-romance Pearl Harbor is a snore of a movie, a Titanic-influenced drag that takes just shy of forever to get to the point. That being said, Bremner plays one of the movie's more likable characters—a stuttering lieutenant named Red, a good-natured soldier who seems to be everyone else's punching bag until it's time to throw down. Bremner does his best with the cornball material, but he really shines during the Pearl Harbor invasion, conveying panic and resolve as he overcomes his stutter to announce an attack has begun. Even though the actor himself would say he's just there to make Ben Affleck look good, he's low-key one of the best parts of the movie.


In Bong Joon-ho's high-concept caste parable Snowpiercer, the last residents of an Earth destroyed by climate change circle the planet endlessly, confined inside a long ice-busting train. In a story about a lower class revolt against the oppressive upper class at the front of the train, Bremner plays one of the starved, impoverished residents forced to live in squalor at the back. Actually, calling it squalor is putting it lightly—it's hell on Earth back there, with survivors barely able to keep from turning on each other as they're deprived to the point of cannibalism and their children are kidnapped by front sectioners. Bremner's soulful eyes convey a sense of desperation as his character Andrew works with fellow residents of the train to fight their way to the front. He's also got one of the most gruesome scenes, losing an arm to the cold in spectacular fashion.

Alien vs. Predator

In 2004's Alien vs. Predator, Bremner plays a chemical engineer among the film's academic research/mercenary squad, investigating a newly-discovered subterranean pyramid beneath Antarctica that—unbeknownst to them—serves as a sort of battlefield for the competing Alien and Predator races. (In the fight between the two, the humans basically lose big.) Bremner isn't given a lot to do here, but given his gentle nature and backstory as a proud father of two, you have to feel bad for him when he goes, murdered in the dark as a casualty of the Aliens. The moral of the story: if your scientific expedition requires as many dudes with machine guns as it does researchers, maybe don't go.

Black Hawk Down

Based on the true story of a rescue mission behind enemy lines following the crashing of two helicopters in hostile territory, Ridley Scott's Black Hawk Down was produced with input from military personnel, giving it a dash of verisimilitude that many more over-the-top and stylized war movies sometimes lack. Bremner is part of the cast as a member of the 75th Rangers, affecting an American accent alongside a young Tom Hardy. As is common with Bremner's performances, he's a source of levity in intense circumstances, injecting humor into the proceedings even as circumstances on the ground go from bad to worse.

Death at a Funeral

Released in 2007, the British Death at a Funeral is a black-tinged comedy of errors, following a less-than-likable extended family as they gather to send off a departed family patriarch. A mixture of drugs, violence, unrequited love and unexpected guests threatens to send the funeral spiraling into chaos, and at least a few of the attendees to jail. In the midst of it all, Bremner plays Justin, a lecherous guest at the funeral whose efforts to get laid end up nearly driving another character, in a convoluted, roundabout way, to throw himself off the roof. It's a fun movie, full of selfish, awful people trying to maintain balance in a situation spiraling out of control, and Bremner's single-minded goal of getting some provides comic contrast as the other attendees deal with the death of a family member—and other much, much bigger problems.

Jack the Giant Slayer

Bremner made an appearance in Bryan Singer's action-fantasy reimagining Jack and the Beanstalk in 2013, reuniting with his Trainspotting co-star Ewan McGregor as a volunteer member of a band of giant killers. It's a dangerous job, obviously, and Bremner's character suffers one of the more memorable deaths, getting his head bitten off by one of the fearsome giants while squirming helplessly in his fist—you know, that classic giant bit. Is it a great movie? No, but it is more fun than its reputation suggests. Just because a movie doesn't make big returns at the box office doesn't mean it can't still be a good time.

Exodus: Gods and Kings

Working under the direction of Ridley Scott once again, Bremner went old school for this Biblical epic adaptation of the story of Moses. A bigtime critical misfire, Exodus: Gods and Kings was raked across the coals for its head-scratching casting, going beyond the maligned practice of whitewashing to an extent that's just plain weird. The logic of casting a Scotsman like Bremner in this movie at all is one of the bigger absurdities in a movie full of them, as he plays a dubiously-accented scientific expert trying to find a logical reason behind the holy plagues visiting Egypt. It's bizarre, but hardly Bremner's fault. He does as good a job as possible with a bum role and a bad haircut.

Julien Donkey-Boy

Bremner turns in a fearless performance in a starring role as an awkward schizophrenic in this second feature by the Nashville-based filmmaker Harmony Korine. As a director, Korine is a singular artist, strange and experimental, his works steeped in low and/or trashy culture (sometimes literally). He makes uncomfortable movies about weird people living on the fringes, and as the titular Julien, Bremner embodies that expertly. Though the movie's certainly not for everybody—like a lot of Korine films, at times it feels as though you're being somehow punished while you're watching it—it's a great performance from the lead, showcasing exactly the traits that make Ewen Bremner the fine and memorable actor he is.