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Why Vesemir From The Witcher Season 2 Looks So Familiar

Netflix's "The Witcher" Season 2 reintroduces you to many of its iconic characters, but as befits the sophomore season of a series based on a popular fantasy franchise, it also brings many popular figures that have been absent so far in the fold. As such, central characters like Geralt of Rivia (Henry Cavill), Yennefer of Vengerberg (Anya Chalotra), Ciri (Freya Allan), and Jaskier (Joey Batey) are joined by others who might be newcomers to the show, but are well-known to people who have played the games and read Andrzej Sapkowski's original stories. 

Some of the new characters Season 2 of "The Witcher" introduces include the cursed beast-man Nivellen (Kristofer Hivju), and the Redanian spymaster Sigismund Dijkstra (Graham McTavish). However, far and away the most important character the season introduces is likely Vesemir, the old witcher who presides over Kaer Morhen, and the closest thing to a father figure Geralt has. As befits the character's considerable stature, he's played by an actor who has ample experience of complex roles and large productions ... and you might actually have bumped into his work in some pretty surprising places. Here's why Vesemir from "The Witcher" season 2 looks so familiar.

Kim Bodnia is Frank in Pusher

Danish actor Kim Bodnia rose to prominence alongside popular countrymen like  "Game of Thrones'" Nikolaj Coster-Waldau — with whom he starred in the chilling 1994 thriller "Nightwatch" – and Mads Mikkelsen. In 1996, both Bodnia and Mikkelsen received hefty career boosts by starring in esteemed Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn's ("Drive," "The Neon Demon") debut film, the underworld thriller "Pusher." Bodnia and Mikkelsen play Frank and Tonny, two small-time drug dealers who become involved with the Serbian mafia, and a truly impressive run of bad decisions and even more awful luck sends Frank scrambling to survive. 

"Pusher" was well-received by the critics and audiences alike (via Rotten Tomatoes), and as the upwardly mobile career trajectories Bodnia (whose Frank is the main character of the film), Mikkelsen, and Refn prove, this solid crime thriller certainly gave each man a handy push on their respective paths to stardom. In a 2020 interview with Uproxx, Bodnia reflected on "Pusher's" success, and perhaps surprisingly, revealed that a large part of the movie's vibe was due to ... the type of then-new video cameras they used to film the movie. "It was perfect timing, and we all had great energy," the actor described the experience. "We all wanted to work with the new system of video cameras that was coming into the distance. We could move around with that kind of camera and make it more natural, integrated on the street level. That was perfect for how we were wanted to work in the future."

Kim Bodnia is Martin Rohde in The Bridge

Though he's a highly versatile actor, some of Kim Bodnia's best-known roles happen to partner him with a character whose talents far surpass him, but who benefits from his wisdom and mentorship. This dynamic was first on display in the Danish-Swedish joint production "The Bridge," which, as The Guardian notes, made plenty of waves in the English-speaking world as one of the finer examples of the Nordic Noir genre. 

"The Bridge" begins with the discovery of a bisected body in the middle of the Øresund Bridge between Denmark and Sweden, and due to the curious nature of the case, cops from both countries start investigating the case. Taking point on the case are the empathetic, rogue Danish detective, Martin Rohde (Bodnia), and the Swedish Saga Norén (Sofia Helin), who's extremely detached, by-the-book, and implied to be on the neurodevelopmental disorder spectrum. Despite getting off on the wrong foot, the socially skilled Martin and investigative prodigy Sofia play very well off each other, and ultimately form a great partnership. 

Bodnia starred in the first two seasons of the show before departing in 2013, at which point his career was already at a stage where he was directing plays in New York and moving and shaking in international circles. He was also already making full use of the peculiar sense of humor his "The Witcher" co-stars have so praised. When The Guardian asked him to introduce himself to the British audience, he didn't even bother mentioning acting at first, preferring instead to tout some lesser-known facts and skills. "I'm half-Russian, half-Polish and all Jewish," Bodnia said. "At 14 I was the fastest runner in Denmark. I was nearly a professional goalkeeper. I could have been the rival of [famous soccer goalkeeper] Peter Schmeichel."

Kim Bodnia is Konstantin Vasiliev in Killing Eve

In recent years, you might have spotted Kim Bodnia as one of the main characters in one of the coolest TV shows around. Throughout its duration, "Killing Eve" maintains a laser-like focus on the increasingly convoluted relationship between off-the-books MI6 agent Eve Polastri (Sandra Oh) and the disturbed, obsessive assassin Villanelle (Jodie Comer), but the latter's handler and frenemy Konstantin Vasiliev (Bodnia) is a constant presence on the background. 

Konstantin is a morally ambiguous, forever suspicious, yet strangely likable survivor type, which allows Bodnia to put both his genial gravitas and self-professed tendency to play "evil bastards" (via The Guardian) to full use. As such, his performance has impressed not only viewers, but also the makers of the show. In an interview with Uproxx, the actor revealed that he fully expected Konstantin to die after a handful of episodes like his book counterpart, and fully credited the audiences for keeping him around. 

"It was a lovely surprise in the first season that they continued rewriting — so Konstantin was going through the season — because I was hired in to do five episodes," Bodnia said ahead of "Killing Eve" Season 3. "Thank god that everybody loved the relationship between Konstantin and Villanelle, and that paid off, so everybody wanted to see more of that relationship. And it seemed like it happened again in Season 2, and that's why I'm in Season 3, isn't that great?"