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Why Albi Briscu From Law & Order: Organized Crime Looks So Familiar

With over 1200 episodes spanning seven different series, "Law & Order" is one of the most successful franchises in television history. Beginning with the original "Law & Order" created by Dick Wolf and premiering in 1990, the series ran until 2010 before getting a relaunch this year. One of the current running spin-offs, along with "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," is the two-season old "Law & Order: Organized Crime." The first season of "Law & Order: Organized Crime" ran for eight episodes and features Detective Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni) after his brief return to "Law and Order: SVU" following his 10-year absence from the franchise. 

The second season of the series follows Stabler's undercover work in the mafia, where he meets and befriends the murderous Albi Briscu. Briscu acts as an antagonist throughout the first eight episodes of the season. He is a murderer, bomber, and enforcer for the organization and is initially suspicious of Stabler. Stabler earns his trust when he discovers he is gay and keeps it secret from the rest of the mafia. Briscu is captured in Season 2, Episode 8, "Ashes to Ashes." 

Briscu is a tough and formidable adversary for Stabler in the first part of "Law & Order: Organized Crime" Season 2, but where have you seen the actor before? Here is why Albi Briscu looks so familiar.

He played Big Chris in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels

British big-man Vinnie Jones plays the brutish Albi Briscu. In the late '80s and early '90s, before he became an actor, Jones was an accomplished football player and member of the Wimbledon Crazy Gang (via The Sun). This was where acclaimed director Guy Ritchie first found him and why he wrote the role of Big Chris specifically for Jones in his first feature film, "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels," which Jones discussed in an interview with Scott's Menswear.

Jones plays the brutal collector like a professional, but he felt he needed to help the other actors see him as more than the brute the papers always painted him as on the field. In the aforementioned interview, Jones revealed how he broke the ice with his fellow performers. "I had everyone over for a big party at my place, and I think that put to rest all the stuff the boys might have read in the papers. I remember reading an interview with Guy after the film came out where he called me 'An absolute diamond.' That meant a lot to me."

This film is the project that kickstarted his career, which would grow to include over 100 roles spanning the last three decades. Jones still credits his original costars for helping him feel comfortable as a new actor in the business, saying, "The guys were great to me. They couldn't have done more to make me feel welcome."

He was a silent Sphinx in Gone in 60 Seconds

Two years after his debut in "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels," Vinnie Jones did back-to-back movies that are still watched on repeat today by fans. The first of these is the Nicolas Cage-led remake of the classic car heist film "Gone in Sixty Seconds."

The film follows Memphis Raines (Cage) as he gathers his old team consisting of Sara 'Sway' Wayland (Angelina Jolie), Atley Jackson (Will Patton), Donny Astricky (Chi McBride), and Otto Halliwell (Robert Duvall) for a one-night, 50-car super boost to fill an order taken on by his little brother, Kip (Giovanni Ribisi). Jones is the final member of the team, a silent but deadly car thief named Sphinx. Jones says nothing the entire movie until the last scene during a celebratory barbecue, during which he delivers some sage wisdom to the younger car thieves in his thick accent. While everyone looks stunned at the fact that he actually speaks, Cage delivers one of the best lines in the movie: "Hey man, I thought you were from Long Beach."

It's difficult to make an entire movie without any dialogue and still come out as one of the more memorable characters in the film, but Jones shows his ability to command the screen through sheer force of will in "Gone in Sixty Seconds."

He was Bullet-Tooth Tony in Snatch

The second film in Vinnie Jones' back-to-back follow-up to "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" is another movie directed by the man who gave him his start in the business, Guy Ritchie, called "Snatch." 

"Snatch" is a story all about boxing, a diamond heist, the characters' drive for survival, and extreme chaos. Jones plays the hired hand and collector, Bullet-Tooth Tony. While the film focuses on trying to find a diamond and recouping the loss from a botched boxing match, the characters in the movie all have their own chaotic nature. Tony spends the entire time intimidating (and making good on that intimidation) nearly every person he runs across.

With this being the third straight brute character to begin his acting career, most actors would worry about being typecast. In a 2012 interview with IGN, Jones responds to whether or not he is worried about it. "No. I understand what you're saying, but no. I just think that I've got to get my feet on the ladder before I start picking and choosing. I think John Wayne, Steve McQueen, people like that, they don't go far off that line. At the moment, it's just about getting good work."

He joined the Brotherhood in X-Men: The Last Stand

Bryan Singer's "X-Men" debuted when comic book movies were few and far between. Much earlier than the environment today, when every studio is trying to create their own comic book story franchise, the film brought to life one of the most popular groups of superheroes in comics, the X-Men. Vinnie Jones appears in the franchise's third installment, "X-Men: The Last Stand," as Juggernaut.

"X-Men: The Last Stand" brings together two storylines from the comics that fans should've been thrilled to see: the war between the X-Men and the Brotherhood of Mutants and the transformation of Jean Grey (Famke Janssen) into the Phoenix. While it has all the ingredients needed to create a great comic book movie, "X-Men: The Last Stand" falls far short of its predecessors, scoring a full 28% lower rating than the previous film, "X2," on Rotten Tomatoes. Jones also expressed his disappointment in the part he played in the film in an interview with ComicBookMovie.com. "I basically got mugged off. Matthew Vaughn signed me up, and it was a great role and a great script, and Juggernaut was a great character. I signed up for three of them, and that will show you how serious I was about it. Brett Ratner basically dissolved the character."

The storyline wasn't the only thing disappointing about his character. His dialogue was cut down to almost nothing except for his meme-worthy scream, "I'm the Juggernaut, *****." Even his costume in the film gets lost between the page and the screen. As excited as fans might've been to see this character come to life, we have to agree with Jones that it's a disappointing depiction.

He faced Oliver Queen as Danny 'Brick' Brickwell in Arrow

The CW changed comic book shows for good when they launched "Arrow" in 2012. Not only does the series finally bring to life a character who was previously overshadowed by more prominent DC names like Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, but it became the unlikely catalyst in the emergence of DC's first live-action shared universe. It was the origin point for six other series, with multiple crossovers and nearly every character you've ever heard of (and sometimes not heard of) showing up or being mentioned.

Vinnie Jones shows up in "Arrow" as Danny "Brick" Brickman, who has near-superhuman durability. He lands on Oliver Queen's (Stephen Amell) list and is mentioned a lot in the show until he finally shows up and attempts to take over The Glades in Season 3. Jones' appearance as Brick also fulfills a long-lost movie idea set by David S. Goyer years before. Goyer revealed to Den of Geek (via Heroic Hollywood) that he pitched an idea for a feature film in 2008 about Queen escaping from prison by teaming up with an assortment of villains. 

In Season 7 of "Arrow," Queen finds himself in Slabside Prison, where he eventually escapes with the help of Brick, Bronze Tiger (Michael Jai White), and Talia al Ghul (Lexa Doig). Brick unfortunately dies from a stab wound, but much like his character redeems himself near the end, so too does Jones in the world of on-screen comic book characters.