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Why King Durin III From The Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power Looks So Familiar

In "The Rings of Power," the new series in the "Lord of the Rings" franchise, we meet Galadriel (Morfydd Clark) as a child, who sums up the innocent and carefree lives of the Elves by remarking that they "had no word for death. We thought our joys would be unending, we thought the light would never dim." But then the Elves went to battle against Morgoth, once known as Melkor, the greatest of all the angels. Galadriel left her home in Valinor to help defeat him in Middle-earth, but the war raged for centuries. After Sauron, a dark sorcerer loyal to Morgoth, killed Galadriel's brother, she sets out to find him herself.

When Celebrimbor (Charles Edwards) goes to Elrond (Robert Aramayo) for help with something he's creating for the High King Gil-galad (Benjamin Walker), he convinces him that he should seek the Dwarves' help. Elrond goes to Khazad-dûm to talk to his friend, Prince Durin IV (Owain Arthur) but is rebuffed. After Elrond apologizes for missing Durin's wedding and the birth of his two children, Durin reluctantly forgives him and hears him out. Later, Durin's father, King Durin III, tells him to be wary of Elrond's arrival with a cryptic statement that "There can be no trust between hammer and rock, eventually one or the other must surely break."

Beneath all the prosthetics and makeup, it's hard to tell who the actor is playing King Durin III, but once we realize who the actor is, it's hard to forget how many films and shows we've seen him in.

Peter Mullan's first major film appearance was in Ken Loach's Riff-Raff

Scottish actor Peter Mullan grew up as one of eight kids in Glasgow, Scotland. His family was poor, and by 14 he'd quit school and joined a gang. Looking back, he told The Guardian, "I was a total tourist," because he was secretly keeping up with his school readings. He ended up going back after a year with the gang and then began studying at Glasgow University when he was 17.

Mullan originally auditioned for the lead role in Ken Loach's critically acclaimed 1991 film "Riff-Raff," but at 29, he was told he was too old for the role. Instead, he got the role of Jake, Robert Carlyle's brother-in-law. Mullan didn't mind, later telling the Orlando Sentinel, "I learned more in three days watching Loach than I'd learned in three years previous." While he's on screen no more than five minutes, he's in a memorable scene in which he, Stevie (Carlyle), and Fiaman 'Fi' (Ade Sapara) are trying to spread Stevie and Fi's mother's ashes, and instead they get the ashes all over everyone in the funeral party. The scene ends with everyone arguing and trying to brush ashes off their clothes.

Mullan played a Scottish Highlander in Braveheart

In 1995 Peter Mullan got his first role in a big Hollywood film: "Braveheart." He plays one of the recurring foot soldiers of William Wallace (Mel Gibson) who kept showing up throughout the film, beginning with the first big battle. Fans will remember him as the Scottish clansman who, when he sees all the English soldiers approaching, yells out, "All right lads, I'm not dying for these b*******. Let's go home," urging his fellow clansmen off the battlefield. When Wallace approaches and his friend asks him if it's really him, he responds, "It can't be, he's not tall enough."

Mullan told The Guardian in 2003 about witnessing Gibson have a breakdown on set. "Gibson went catatonic on 'Braveheart' for a day — he sat there with 3,000 people in the baking sun, and he said nothing for a day," he said. "You were afraid to even cough. We were spear carriers with lines — there were eight of us — and we stood behind Mel as he sat watching these monitors, and for four to six hours he didn't say a word."

Mullan reunited with friends Robert Carlyle and Danny Boyle for Trainspotting

In 1996 Mullan reunited with Robert Carlyle and director Danny Boyle for "Trainspotting," the cult film that would help kick off the careers of Ewan McGregor, Jonny Lee Miller, Kevin McKidd, and Kelly Macdonald. Mullan plays drug dealer Swanney, whom Renton (Miller) refers to as Mother Superior. Thanks to the heroin Swanney gives Renton, Renton ends up overdosing. Swanney is kind enough to call a taxi for Renton, even tucking money for the cab in Renton's front pocket, sending him off to the hospital.

While most people look at "Trainspotting" as a movie based around drugs, Mullan has a different take, seeing it as more of a comedy. "It's very funny. It doesn't take itself too seriously. It nods to the seriousness of the issue," he told Radio Prague International. He also felt it became a hit because it had "the spirit of the Beatles in the '60s but it had the music of the '90s. It had done something no other film had done up to then, which was not even really be a film. I mean it's certainly no comment on drugs. It's a pop movie. And there hadn't been a pop movie in a long time."

Mullan reunited with Ken Loach for My Name Is Joe

In 1998, Peter Mullan reunited with Ken Loach for "My Name Is Joe," one of his most recognizable and powerful roles, for which he won the Cannes award for Best Actor. He played the part of the unemployed, recovering alcoholic Joe, who's trying to make a relationship work with Sarah (Louise Goodall), a social worker. Mullan's performance is intense, as a man full of guilt for his actions when he's drunk. After trafficking drugs to help his friend, Liam (David McKay), things get worse and worse for Joe, and by the end of the film, he's relapsed and must deal with a terrible tragedy caused by his actions.

He tried to sum up his feelings about working with Loach, whom he refers to as one of the "genuine masters of cinema," in an interview with The Guardian, saying Loach is "a guy who just wants you to do your best, and that's an amazing feeling. And he's so skillful at it — it would literally take seven lectures like this to explain how unique Ken's working method is, and how complex they are, because everything he does is off-camera to make what happens on-camera feel very natural. So you can improvise one scene and then you can work with the script in the next scene." Mullan clearly has a lot of respect and admiration for Loach, as "My Name Is Joe" was also the third film of his he'd auditioned for.

Mullan played Yaxley in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows: Part 1

In 2010 Peter Mullan took on the role of Yaxley in "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1." As the blonde, braided Yaxley, he is a Death Eater and dark wizard who is obviously trusted by Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes). In the film, he disagrees with Snape (Alan Rickman) about what the aurors' plans are for Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), as the boy is about to turn 17. Later at the Ministry of Magic, Yaxley chases Harry, Hermione (Emma Watson), and Ron (Rupert Grint) after they retrieve the locket Horcrux, and he tries to follow them into a portal. It's unclear what becomes of him after Hermione admits he was grabbing onto her and she couldn't shake him off, so she switches their destination and sends them to a forest instead. Yaxley is not seen again.

Mullan doesn't have much screen time as Yaxley, but as is the case with most of his characters, viewers remember his gravelly voice and commanding presence. Mullan was making his autobiographical film, "Neds," at the same time as "Harry Potter," and he has said that part of the reason he decided to play the character was so his kids could meet Radcliffe, whom Mullan has referred to as the "sweetest, nicest multimillionaire I've ever met" (via The Herald).

Jacob Snell in Ozark was written specifically for him

Fans of "Ozark" will immediately recognize Peter Mullan, as he was the main antagonist in Season 1, and he made a smoldering impression as crime boss Jacob Snell. Fans first meet Snell when strip club owner Bobby Dean (Adam Boyer) comes to him to talk, and they have a discussion about who Marty Byrde (Jason Bateman) is and what he wants. As Snell calmly looks on, his wife, Darlene Snell (Lisa Emery), injects Dean with a fatal dose of poison.

Bateman and executive producer Chris Mundy have both talked about how they were determined to get Mullan for the role of Snell. "He blew my mind when I saw him in Jane Campion's 'Top of the Lake,'" Bateman said (per The Herald). Mundy said he had Mullan in mind for the role before the script was even written: "We had him in mind from the very beginning, to play our main threat, locally, and went after him, in a really aggressive way. I was a little starstruck." As for Mullan, he felt that Snell was a bit different than many of the bad guys he'd played, telling Showz Update, "I think he's a very calm individual. He is patient. He is in control of his emotions and situations."