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Why Simon Hoxley In Prodigal Son Looks So Familiar

Created by Chris Fedak (also known for co-creating and showrunning NBC's "Chuck") and Sam Sklaver (also known for his work as a writer on HBO's "Bored to Death" and as a producer on Fox's "Ben and Kate"), Fox's "Prodigal Son" garnered a significant fan following during the two seasons it aired before a dispiriting May 2021 cancellation announcement. The procedural drama series follows a criminal psychologist, Malcolm Bright (Tom Payne), who helps the NYPD solve crimes while managing a fraught relationship with his infamous serial killer father Martin Whitly (Michael Sheen).

In addition to Payne and Sheen, "Prodigal Son" also boasts a strong supporting cast, including Lou Diamond Phillips, Halston Sage, and Bellamy Young, and has featured a number of notable guest stars over the years, from Dermot Mulroney to Catherine Zeta-Jones to Anna Gunn. One of those guest stars is the actor who plays Europol detective Simon Huxley, with whom Malcolm partners up in order to solve a murder in Season 2. This prolific British actor has appeared in many movies and TV shows; here are a few of the places where you might have seen him.

Alan Cumming broke through as a character actor in the 1990s

Alan Cumming was born in Perthshire, Scotland, in 1965. In his 20s, he broke into the Scottish stage scene with a series of repertory theater roles (via Biography.com), even earning a Laurence Olivier Award nomination at the age of 23.

In the mid-1990s, the film industry took notice of his talent and began to cast him in what would become one of the most celebrated runs of character actor performances of the late 20th century. He starred in the 1995 James Bond film "GoldenEye" as secondary villain Boris Grishenko, and played Philip Elton in the 1996 Gwyneth Paltrow-starring adaptation of Jane Austen's "Emma."

Not long after, he crossed over to Hollywood with the role of Sandy Frink, the rich guy who used to have a crush on Michele (Lisa Kudrow), in "Romy and Michele's High School Reunion." This was followed by a minor yet memorable role as vérité filmmaker Piers Cuthbertson-Smyth in "Spice World," and a highly acclaimed supporting turn as Saturninus in "Titus," Julie Taymor's lavish, beloved adaptation of "Titus Andronicus" by William Shakespeare.

He became known to a whole generation as Fegan Floop in the Spy Kids franchise

For all their silliness and child-friendly fantasy antics, the "Spy Kids" films sure managed to attract incredibly strong adult ensemble casts with each new installment — perhaps because of creator and director Robert Rodriguez's lofty standing in Hollywood. Antonio Banderas and Carla Gugino as parents Gregorio and Ingrid Cortez go without saying, of course, but then there's also George Clooney, Danny Trejo, Tony Shalhoub, Cheech Marin, Steve Buscemi, Ricardo Montalbán, Teri Hatcher, Bill Paxton, Holland Taylor, Sylvester Stallone ... even a young Elijah Wood at the height of his "Lord of the Rings" fame.

Alan Cumming was one of the many highly respected actors to join in on the surreal fun, right in the first installment, 2001's "Spy Kids." Playing nefarious children's TV show host Fegan Floop, who backtracks on his evil plan and does a face turn at the end of the movie, Cumming became widely known to a whole generation of kids.

He was the 'original' live-action Nightcrawler in X2

Kodi Smit-McPhee has climbed to a new level of critical and industry recognition with his haunting performance in Jane Campion's "The Power of the Dog," which even netted him an Academy Award nomination. This has prompted movie fans to look back on his somewhat overlooked recent turn as Kurt Wagner, better known as Nightcrawler, in the "X-Men" films "X-Men: Apocalypse" and "Dark Phoenix." Like any actor who plays the physically transformed blue mutant, Smit-McPhee veritably disappeared into the role; it's easy to forget that it's him under all the makeup. This, incidentally, also explains why not everyone might remember that Alan Cumming was the "original" live-action Nightcrawler.

Cumming played the role in 2003's "X2," where he was cast in part because he was fluent in German, Kurt Wagner's native tongue (via CBR News). The plot of "X2" largely pivoted on Nightcrawler's use as a decoy by William Stryker (Brian Cox); thankfully, the kind-hearted mutant was able to be rescued from Stryker's control and join the good guys' side in time.

He received multiple Primetime Emmy nods for The Good Wife

By the late 2000s, Alan Cumming was already an established and beloved enough character actor to qualify as a luxury guest star on a network TV drama such as "The Good Wife." He joined the acclaimed CBS legal drama on Season 1 as political consultant and crisis manager Eli Gold, then a recurring character mostly tied to Peter Florrick's (Chris Noth) storyline.

The role became an immediate success for Cumming, earning him a Primetime Emmy nod for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series (via IMDb). Eventually, Eli Gold's storyline evolved beyond his services to Peter and into an approximation with Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski) and Will Gardner (Josh Charles), and the character became prominent enough to join the regular ensemble of "The Good Wife." Cumming stayed on as a series regular until the end of the show's run in 2016, earning two more Emmy nods — now for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series — in the process.

He earned raves and awards for the indie drama Any Day Now

A prominent facet of Alan Cumming's persona as both artist and public figure is his queerness. Openly bisexual since 1998 (via The Advocate), he has often taken on roles and projects which allowed him to explore themes such as androgyny, sexual diversity, camp aesthetics, and the general grunt work of everyday queer life.

Arguably, his most acclaimed queer-themed project is "Any Day Now," a Travis Fine-directed indie drama about the life and times of West Hollywood drag performer Rudy Donatello, his partner Paul Fliger (Garret Dillahunt), and their efforts to assume guardianship of Marco (Isaac Leyva), a neglected teenage boy with Down syndrome, at the height of judicial homophobia in 1979. The role was considered a crowning display of Cumming's talents as a performer, with Variety's Boyd van Hoeji observing, "That Rudy can sling hilarious zingers at anyone in the room without ever coming off as a snooty, acid-tongued diva is but the least of Cumming's accomplishments in a performance that also delivers the necessary warmth and combat-strength." Cumming earned many accolades for the role, including Best Actor honors at the L.A. Outfest and the Seattle International Film Festival (via IMDb).