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Why Jack From Downton Abbey: A New Era Looks So Familiar

"Downton Abbey" took the world by storm in the last decade. Premiering in the United Kingdom in 2010 and making it stateside a year later, the historical drama follows the aristocratic Crawley family and their fictional Yorkshire estate from 1912 to 1926, seeing the sinking of the Titanic, the First World War, and the British general election in 1923. In 2011, "Downton Abbey" became the most critically acclaimed series of all time, according to Guinness World Records (via Deadline), although this achievement has since been topped by "Breaking Bad" (via Guinness World Records). While the show ended in 2016, two feature films followed the series: "Downton Abbey" in 2019 and "Downton Abbey: A New Era" in 2022.

The new film brings the Crawleys into the modern world when the family matriarch, Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham (Maggie Smith), drops the bomb that an old acquaintance surprisingly left her a villa in the south of France. If that weren't enough of a scandal for the aristocrats, the Yorkshire estate becomes host to a silent film, bringing director Jack Barber to Downton. And if you recognize his face, it's likely because you saw him in one of these places.

Hugh Dancy was Prince Charming-ish in Ella Enchanted

Hugh Dancy spent most of the late '90s and early 2000s in TV movies and series. He appeared in two films each in 2001 and 2003, including "Black Hawk Down," before landing his first significant role in 2004's "Ella Enchanted" alongside Anne Hathaway.

Prince Char (Dancy), who is unenthusiastic about one day becoming king, meets Ella (Hathaway) when running from his obsessed fangirls. The prince is immediately drawn to the woman who doesn't fawn over him like others often do, and the two uncover a plot to steal the throne and eventually become husband and wife.

Dancy and Hathaway found some great chemistry on-screen, enough to jump-start their careers to higher levels. In an interview with Blackfilm, when asked about how the chemistry developed between the two, Hathaway said, "We had it from the first time we met, his audition. I mean, people often ask me if I fell of [sic] my chair for the 'Princess Diaries' audition. I did. For his Char audition, I fell of [sic] my chair again, but just because I thought, 'Oh my God, I get to work with this guy for three months? Woo-hoo.' And then I fell over."

He sat at the Round Table as Galahad in King Arthur

The romance of kings and their knights has entertained and inspired people for hundreds of years, and none have done more than King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table. 2004 saw the release of Antoine Fuqua's "King Arthur," a dark and gritty take with a collection of what we know today as a dynamic group of actors. Clive Owen plays the future king, Keira Knightley portrays a more rugged Guinevere, and then lesser-knowns Ioan Gruffudd, Mads Mikkelsen, Joel Edgerton, Ray Winstone, and Ray Stevenson make up most of the valiant knights.

The last of the knights is Hugh Dancy's Galahad, a reluctant but loyal warrior with the primary goal of getting back home after his mandatory servitude ends. Much to his chagrin, he is pulled back in with his compatriots for one final mission, changing the course of all their lives. Like all the actors, Dancy went through a rigorous training program lasting three months, according to "King Arthur: A Roundtable Discussion." The actor spoke about what was special to him in training: "The best bit for me ... was the horseriding as well as learning to fire the bows from a moving horse."

He went toe-to-toe with Lecter in Hannibal

Thomas Harris created one of the world's most famous and terrifying villains when he brought Hannibal Lecter to life on the page. Lecter became one of the evilest personas ever to appear on-screen thanks to a career-defining performance by Anthony Hopkins spanning multiple movies, and in 2013, NBC brought him to life for the small screen in "Hannibal."

Hugh Dancy appeared in the series as FBI special investigator Will Graham, a brilliant albeit troubled profiler with a unique ability to get in the head of serial killers. He forms a bond with Lecter (this time played by Mads Mikkelsen, reuniting the two "King Arthur" knights) as the psychiatrist preys on his fragile mental state.

Dancy's portrayal of the character is a darker and more troubled version than Edward Norton's in "Red Dragon." In an interview with Collider, Dancy spoke about what drew him to the character. "I read the script of the first episode and I wondered to myself, as I think most people would, 'Why do this?,' and a lot of fascinating questions seemed to be raised in that script. I wanted to know where they were going to go," Dancy said. He sat down with creator Bryan Fuller and executive producer Martha De Laurentiis and listened to their plan for the character and the show. "I realized that he had an enormous and expansive imagining of this world and the characters. From that conversation on, I was hooked."

He led the Meyerist Movement on The Path

Hulu jumped into the arena of religious cults with its series "The Path." Premiering in 2016 and running three seasons, the series follows Eddie Lane (Aaron Paul) and his wife, Sarah (Michelle Monoghan), as they face a crisis of faith in the fictional cult of Meyerism. Hugh Dancy appears as Cal Roberts, a high-level leader in the Meyerist Movement with a goal to expand its reach while keeping the secret that its founder, Dr. Steven Meyer (Keir Dullea), is fatally ill.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Dancy gave some insight into his character's motivations after discovering that he grew up with alcoholic parents. "I think that he's chosen to do something that is incredibly difficult and lonely in order to preserve this thing that he believes in. And I guess what you understand by seeing him with his mum and learning a bit about his background is why it's so important to him and why, in a sense, he couldn't afford to have this belief system collapse, because it's probably the only thing that's holding him together. So the two things inform each other a bit."

He brought new blood to the DA's office on Law & Order

Dick Wolf created one of the most successful TV franchises of all time when he launched "Law & Order," which follows both police and attorneys in New York as they keep the Big Apple safe from all manner of criminals, back in 1990. Three decades later, the show is enjoying a revival. Hugh Dancy appears in Season 21 as Executive Assitant District Attorney Nolan Price, a former defense attorney who works under District Attorney Jack McCoy (Sam Waterston).

In an interview with Stage Right Secrets, Dancy discussed whether there is a specific spin-off he would like "Law & Order" to cross over with. "I hope we cross over with all of the shows at the same time," he said. "I think the more the world of these shows can expand and overlap, the more fun it is, right?" He added that he would love to work with all the actors involved in the other shows.