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Why Hari Seldon From Foundation Looks So Familiar

Apple TV+ has several hit series under its belt with shows such as "Ted Lasso" and "The Morning Show." They've also added an incredibly interesting sci-fi project to their library in the form of "Foundation," a series based on the works of legendary science fiction writer Isaac Asimov. The series, which premiered in September 2021, has a number of memorable actors in its ensemble, including Lee Pace as Brother Day, and another particularly familiar actor who has taken on the role of Hari Seldon.

Hari Seldon probably looks very familiar to some viewers. That is because he is portrayed by film and television legend Jared Harris, a beloved actor in his own right and the son of the late Richard Harris. Harris has been acting in movies and TV shows for over thirty years and has amassed an incredible IMDb list of credits. With that in mind, let's dig in and take a look at some of his biggest roles to date.

Harris played a British officer in The Last of the Mohicans

Jared Harris has been consistently acting in large and small roles for the better part of the last three decades, slowly but surely amassing an incredibly robust filmography. One of the earliest significant films on his résumé is Michael Mann's "The Last of the Mohicans," which hit theaters in 1992. Based on the novel of the same name, the film follows three trappers (led by Daniel Day-Lewis as the iconic Hawkeye) as they fight to protect the daughters of a British general during The French and Indian War. In the film, Harris portrays an unnamed character simply credited as "British Lieutenant."

Though his role in "The Last of the Mohicans" is a small one, it would very much set the stage for the types of performances that Harris would become known for later in his career. In particular, his subsequent roles would often see him bring his immense gravitas to the realm of historical fiction. In the years since his appearance in Michael Mann's historical epic, Harris would subsequently go on to appear in plenty of other historical dramas, earning numerous accolades in the process.

Harris helped create the T-Virus

The "Resident Evil" franchise is one of the most successful and longest-running video game adaptation franchises in existence. While Milla Jovovich was always the star of the show, the series has seen numerous talented actors come and go throughout the years, including Jared Harris. Specifically, Harris appeared in 2004's "Resident Evil: Apocalypse" as Dr. Charles Ashford, one of the creators of the T-Virus that broke free from The Hive at the end of the first film. Though he created the virus, Dr. Ashford is portrayed as generally sympathetic in "Apocalypse." Above all else, he simply wanted to be reunited with his daughter.

Unfortunately for Ashford, he is unable to survive the events of "Resident Evil: Apocalypse." Towards the end of the film, his reunion with his daughter is cut short when he is shot as a way to coerce Alice (Jovovich) to battle Nemesis. He later turns into a zombie and is finally put down when Raccoon City is nuked.

Harris sailed the seas with Benjamin Button

In 2008, Jared Harris teamed up with legendary director David Fincher for the filmmaker's adaptation of "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button." Based on a short story of the same name by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the film follows a man named Benjamin Button (Brad Pitt) who is born with the characteristics of an old man, but gradually ages backward to the form of a baby over the course of his life. In the film, Harris plays Captain Mike Clark, a gregarious tugboat captain who Benjamin Button serves with during World War II, and who ultimately dies at the hands of a Nazi U-Boat.

Due to the sprawling nature of its narrative, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" served as a platform for numerous character actors upon its release in 2008. In addition to Jared Harris, the film's ensemble of supporting characters also included Hollywood heavy hitters such as Tilda Swinton, Taraji P. Henson, Mahershala Ali, and more. That said, among all of them, there's an argument to be made that Harris is the actor who had the most fun in the movie with his portrayal of Captain Mike.

Harris squared off against Sherlock Holmes in A Game of Shadows

Jared Harris has appeared in numerous big-screen franchises during his long career in Hollywood, but his performance in "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows" was arguably his biggest franchise play at the time of the film's release in 2011. A sequel to Guy Ritchie's original Robert Downey Jr. starring "Sherlock Holmes" from 2009, "A Game of Shadows" saw Harris step in as James Moriarty, Holmes' arch-nemesis who was teased throughout the first film. A foil to Sherlock Holmes (Downey Jr.) himself, Moriarty is just as brilliant as the famous detective, but also far more ruthless.

The battle of wits between Holmes and Moriarty eventually culminates in a battle at the iconic Reichenbach Fall. Holmes makes the only calculation he can think of to protect the people he cares about from Moriarty: grabbing the villain and taking them both over the falls together. With "Sherlock Holmes 3" on the way, it's unclear if Jared Harris will return as Moriarty after that presumed death. That said, it is not an impossible scenario, so we may see a rematch.

Harris broke our hearts on Mad Men

"Mad Men" saw a number of instantly iconic characters come and go over the course of its seven-season run, such as Don Draper (Jon Hamm), Pete Campbell (Vincent Kartheiser), Roger Sterling (John Slattery), Peggy Olson (Elisabeth Moss), and more. However, one of the most instantly compelling of the bunch was Lane Pryce, who was portrayed by Jared Harris from 2009 to 2012. A friendly and sociable (if somewhat awkward) English employee of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, Lane was good at his job but ultimately found himself in dire financial straits during his time working at the agency. Out of options after trying to embezzle money from the company to cover tracks, Lane ultimately hangs himself in his office and is discovered by Pete and Joan (Christina Hendricks) the next day.

Though not an original member of the "Mad Men" ensemble, Lane Pryce quickly became a fan-favorite during his tenure on the show, which made his death all the more shocking. Brandon Marcus of Fandom wrote, "Like Don and the other characters on the show, it surprised us and shook us deeply. ... It made me so sad for Lane and the desperation he felt." If nothing else, that is a testament to the "Mad Men" writing team's ability to craft a beautiful character and Harris' ability to portray him so well.

Harris was royalty in The Crown

"The Crown" has consistently remained one of Netflix's most powerful dramas since its debut in 2016. As the name suggests, it follows the British royal family, specifically tracking the reign of Queen Elizabeth II across multiple decades. In the series, Jared Harris portrayed King George VI in Season 1 (as well as a flashback in Season 2). Despite his untimely death providing the impetus for his daughter Elizabeth (Claire Foy) to take the throne, his warm presence is felt in the series long after his character is gone.

"The Crown" has moved further and further away from the era of King George VI in its recent seasons. Season 4 brought the show into the 1980s, and covered events including the Falklands War, and the marriage of Princess Diana (Emma Corrin) to Prince Charles (Josh O'Connor). Season 5 is set to premiere on Netflix in 2022 and, unfortunately, unless there's a flashback to the good old days, it is safe to assume audiences won't see Jared Harris return.

Harris helped lead the cleanup of Chernobyl

In 2019, few TV series could compete with the buzz generated by HBO's "Chernobyl." Based on the real-life nuclear meltdown at the now-infamous Soviet nuclear reactor, the miniseries followed Jared Harris as Valery Legasov, a Russian scientist who fought against calcified bureaucracy in an attempt to clean up the accident and make sure the world learned the truth. For his performance in the miniseries, Harris was nominated for Golden Globe, Emmy, SAG, and BAFTA awards.

Though not overtly horror in the traditional sense, "Chernobyl" was praised for its use of horror tropes in its storytelling at the time of its debut. Much of this stemmed from Jared Harris' performance as Valery Legasov and his ability to distill the horrors of the radioactive wasteland through the miniseries' expert writing. Harris' performance consistently sold just how awful the meltdown was and what the fallout did to the people of the town.