Last week brought the first three episodes of “Peacemaker” to HBO Max. The DC Comics series is a spin-off of “The Suicide Squad,” picking up where we last saw John Cena’s morally questionable character. Though the “superhero” isn’t dealing with anything as big as a giant starfish, there’s a whole new alien threat keeping Peacemaker and his Task Force X teammates busy.
Joining the team in “Peacemaker” is Vigilante, whom showrunner James Gunn thinks might actually be a bigger sociopath than his titular best friend. If you watched the show’s premiere, then you might have found yourself wondering why the actor who plays Vigilante looked so familiar, at least when he’s not wearing that helmet with the red visor. It’s because you’ve probably seen him in one of the biggest film franchises of all-time, one of the most popular shows on Netflix in 2020, one of HBO’s biggest shows of all-time, or the only a cappella film franchise in Hollywood history.
Meet Freddie Stroma
In “Peacemaker,” the character of Vigilante, aka Adrian Chase, is played by Freddie Stroma (though he was originally played by another actor entirely). In the series, Vigilante is usually wearing his identity-hiding tactical suit and helmet while wielding a deadly sword, but when he’s outside of the suit we see the curly-haired, bespectacled face of Freddie Stroma. Though Stroma is playing your average American busboy turned ruthless killer, he’s actually British, and his breakthrough role was in one of the United Kingdom’s most valuable contributions to pop culture.
Freddie Stroma’s first major big screen credit was as Cormac McLaggen, a member of Gryffindor house who subbed in for Ron Weasley during a Quidditch match after he was poisoned by Draco Malfoy in “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.” He also escorts Hermione Granger to one of Professor Slughorn’s exclusive club meetings for specially selected students.
Though “Peacemaker” make-up, hair and costume department does a good job of making Stroma look less like a pretty boy and more like a nerd, he’s got a perfectly punchable face that made him great for a role like McLaggen. Just look at the way he sits on that broomstick, clearly imagining that it represents his manhood. In fact, he would go on to play two more characters with similar douchebag tendencies.
Not long after appearing in both chapters of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” Stroma went on to land a bit part in the original “Pitch Perfect.” No, he’s not one of the Treblemakers, though it’s not hard to imagine Adrian Chase among the ranks of those obnoxious a cappella singers. Instead, Stroma plays the college radio DJ who hires Beca (Anna Kendrick) to organize CDs at the station. He’s a bit of a foil for Beca’s love interest Jesse (Skylar Astin), and he has no problem showing off his chiseled abs when it’s suggested that he maybe eases up on eating cheeseburgers.
Again, Stroma is utilizing his British accent here, and he’s made to look like such a handsome college bro that you just might be shocked that it’s him making goofy faces while trying to conceal his identity as he’s getting his testicles electrocuted and may be on the verge of being killed in an episode of “Peacemaker.” Maybe his superhero name should have been Chameleon.
Game Of Thrones
Years later, Freddie Stroma appeared in the sixth season of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” as Dickon Tarly, son of Lord Randyll Tarly, who refused to bend the knee to Daenerys Targaryen’s armies and ended up being burned alive by Drogon.
However, you might be thinking to yourself, “Wasn’t Dickon Tarly played by Tom Hopper?” You’re right! Hopper did indeed play the character across four episodes until his demise in “Eastwatch.” But when Dickon Tarley debuted in the series, he was played by Freddie Stroma for a single episode. Why didn’t he reprise the role? Stroma had a starring role on ABC’s short-lived series “Time After Time,” where he played H.G. Wells in a series of adventures in his time machine (more on that below). That kept him from recurring in the HBO series, and Hopper stepped up to fill the role, with what appears to be even more abs than Stroma could offer.
Time After Time, Bridgerton, And More
“Time After Time” only last for a single season comprised of 12 episodes. A series adaptation of the 1979 film of the same name, the series follows H.G. Welll as he pursues Jack the Ripper across time. Though the series didn’t last long, it deserves at least some recognition for having each episode title utilize a piece of the lyrics from Cyndi Lauper’s famous song of the same name. Plus, it kept Freddie Stroma in the limelight, which was likely key in him sticking around to land the role of Vigilante in “Peacemaker.”
HBO Max isn’t the only streaming service utilizing Freddie Stroma either. Over at Netflix, Stroma can be spotted using his good looks to his advantage in the period romance series “Bridgerton.” In the series that might as well be called “Gossip Girl 1800-Something,” Stroma played Prince Friedrich (seen above), the Prince of Prussia who has come to London seeking a wife when he should be looking for a new haircut. More often than not it seems Stroma has been able to keep his British accent, making his appearance with an American accent in “Peacemaker” all the more special.
So there you go. Freddie Stroma has been popping around some of your favorite shows, and you might not have realized it until now. Hopefully his turn in Peacemaker will take his career to a new level and we’ll see him popping up even more in the future. Maybe there’s a chance we’ll see him hit the big screen as Vigiliante, assuming Peacemaker returns to theaters someday, perhaps in a sequel to “The Suicide Squad.” In the meantime, enjoy him throughout the rest of the first season of “Peacemaker,” with new episodes arriving on Thursdays.
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The post Why Does the Actor Who Plays Vigilante on Peacemaker Look Familiar? appeared first on /Film.