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Why Declan Murphy From Law & Order: SVU Looks So Familiar

It's no secret that "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" features some pretty amazing talent. Still, it's not just who you cast in the big roles. The true value of a show's commitment can sometimes be seen by looking at the quality of supporting and recurring characters — and, it just so happens, "SVU" nails that, as well. 

Take Declan Murphy, for instance. The NYPD captain with a staunch history as an undercover officer debuts in Season 15, has a complicated history with Detective Rollins (Kelli Giddish), and has a tendency to pop up in the lives of the SVU officers every once in a while. 

The reason Captain Murphy seems like such a familiar face isn't just because he's a longtime recurring character in the show. The actor behind the role is actually a very well-known face, and if you've watched pretty much any TV shows or movies in the last few decades, you've likely seen him many times before. Let's take a look at why Declan Murphy from "Law & Order: SVU" looks so familiar.

Donal Logue is Quinn in Blade

Donal Logue is one of those actors who have been a part of so many quality projects that the only truly fair way to look at his body of work would be to take a deep dive through his entire IMDb page, role after role. He's been acting in TV shows and movies since 1990, and during his decades in the business, you've seen him in everything from the quirky, critically acclaimed (via Rotten Tomatoes) romantic comedy "The Tao of Steve" to the video game horror stylings of "Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City." 

However, in the interest of starting somewhere, we'll travel to the year 1998, when Logue faced off against Wesley Snipes' half-vampire superhero in "Blade." Logue's character, Quinn, is a particularly strong vampire who acts as an enforcer to Stephen Dorff's dangerous Deacon Frost. 

As Logue told Entertainment Weekly, he was already pretty much channeling the character in the audition, and he got along with Dorff and director Stephen Norrington so well that Quinn ended up receiving far more screen time than originally intended. "I had long hair at the time, and my friend braided it kind of Snoop Dogg style," Logue said. "So I went in to audition with this cowboy hat and these braids, and there was this waiting area full of guys in polo shirts and Dockers. But Stephen Norrington was just like, 'Oh yeah!' He was into it. Honestly the part of Quinn was so negligible at the beginning, but because Stephen Dorff and I got to be so tight, and because we found this kind of rhythm, Norrington said, 'Just go further, be funny, do this color'."

Donal Logue is in Sons of Anarchy

In 2012, Donal Logue become one of the more dangerous characters to ever haunt the FX biker show "Sons of Anarchy," which is saying something. He plays recurring antagonist Lee Toric, a dangerous and violent former law enforcement agent with a Special Forces background, and a very particular bone to pick with Otto Delaney (show creator Kurt Sutter). Toric establishes his dangerous nature in Season 5, and becomes more and more prominent as Season 6 kicks off. 

Though they don't share the screen together, "Sons of Anarchy" is notable for being one of the projects where both Logue and his great friend Danny Trejo — who plays Romero Parada in Seasons 4 and 5 — appear. They're such good friends that Logue actually co-authored Trejo's memoir, and in a 2021 interview with Screen Rant, Trejo noted that when they met in the early 1990s, it was actually Logue who was the scary one. 

"I first met Donal in 1991. I went to a meeting at the Drug and Alcohol Center in Hollywood. [...] this was the late-night meeting in Hollywood. Donal was probably one of the angriest people I ever met." However, the pair met again a few years later when they both appeared in the Ben Affleck movie "Reindeer Games," and hit off pretty much immediately. "It was just Godsent because eight years later, I ran into him on a film called 'Reindeer Games'. We became friends. And then we stayed friends," Trejo said.  

Donal Logue is King Horik in Vikings

History's "Vikings" is a loosely fact-based tale of the titular Nordic conquerors and the many ways they influenced other countries ... and how other countries influenced them. The early seasons of the show focus heavily on the charismatic raider Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel), and to balance things out, the show rolls out multiple magnetic foes for him and his people to face. After facing foes like Jarls Haraldson (Gabriel Byrne) and Borg (Thorbjørn Harr), things take a more kingly turn when Ragnar has to start dealing with King Eckbert of Wessex (Linus Roache) and Donal Logue's initially friendly King Horik of the Danes. Logue's Horik is one of the show's more complicated characters, and when he decides that Ragnar is a threat to his own throne, he proves to be a cunning and ruthless antagonist. 

"At the time, it was just like Ireland, where there were four kings and different warring factions, and he was the most recognizable,"  Logue described his character's position to Complex. So in the show he's always being challenged." 

On a funnier note, the actor also waxed poetic about the very cool — and very, very real — beard he sports as Horik. "Like most things in life, the beard always comes first. And it sends out some kind of pheromonal call to the universe that brings the roles appropriate to it. It was funny because I did a cool western called 'Tin Star' where it worked, but that didn't end up going as a pilot, and then I did this movie 'CBGB' and it worked, and then I agreed to do ”Vikings', and they said it was great and I should keep it, and then it worked for 'Sons of Anarchy,' and it definitely works for the Civil War-era, playing General Brendan Donovan on 'Copper'."

Donal Logue is Harvey Bullock in Gotham

A Batman show without Batman himself is a challenging premise to say the least, but Fox's "Gotham" takes the ball and runs with it to places the viewer won't see coming. With young Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) still a few sizes too small for the iconic batsuit, and a number of his rogues gallery still finding their feet, the show's focus is on the perennially overemployed Gotham City Police Department — specifically detective Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) and his older, more morally ambiguous partner, Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue). 

Logue's detective Bullock starts out as a borderline villain himself, but he turns out to be a pretty capable guy ... who, unfortunately, is targeted by plenty of colorful villains that haunt Gotham City. "He's seeing a lot of do-gooders coming down the pipes, and he's just watching them crash and burn," Logue discussed Bullock's motivation with Lamplight Review. "Then James Gordon shows up, and he's someone who is a different level of human being. He just has a different skill set. He's kind of the varsity version of the do-gooders. It changes Bullock and it kind of reinvigorates something in him about who he used to be."

Donal Logue is Donal Logue in What We Do in the Shadows

Donal Logue returned to the world of vampires in a drastically different manner in 2021, when he appeared as a heavily fictionalized version of himself in Season 3 of the excellent vampire comedy series "What We Do in the Shadows." Like the show's version of his "Blade" co-star Wesley Snipes, and many other actors who have played vampires, this Logue is a very real vampire, as well as a ranking member of the Worldwide Vampiric Council. One of the standout character of the season, the chatty and artistic vampire Logue returns for the season finale to paint the main group's portrait as tensions crackle. 

In an interview with Collider, "What We Do in the Shadows" writer Paul Simms made very clear that Logue was a delight to work with, and that the actor actually came up with some of the character's funniest lines himself. "[...] Donal was great because so much of what he did was ad-libbing stuff that was perfect, about just being a working actor and having to self-tape for a 'Law & Order' part, and a lot of those details," Simms enthused. "He got it immediately. He was really laughing at it. But it was one of those scripts where, when I sent it to him, I was worried that he would go, 'Are they making fun of me for being a journeyman actor?' But he loved it, so that was fun."