Your Facts to Every Robert Downey Jr. Personality in The Sympathizer

THERE’S NOTHING PARTICULARLY contemporary about Robert Downey Jr. going for it on display conceal conceal. The reigning Perfect Supporting Actor Oscar winner for his flip as Lewis Strauss in Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer is quiet possibly simplest identified for his decade plus within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but make no mistake—the man is aware of how one would possibly well well possibly perhaps make picks.

While Tony Stark is a pretty recognizable hero at this point, Downey has also done advanced Hollywood royalty (Charlie Chaplin in Chaplin), tremendously stunned workaholics with a drinking misfortune (Paul Avery in Zodiac), and much-too-committed scheme actors (Kirk Lazarus in Tropic Notify). Nonetheless none overview to what he’s carried out in The Sympathizer, HBO’s restricted series adaptation of Viet Thanh Nguyen’s Pulitzer-winning soundless of the identical identify.

The Sympathizer: A Novel (Pulitzer Prize for Fiction)

The Sympathizer: A Novel (Pulitzer Prize for Fiction)

The Sympathizer: A Novel (Pulitzer Prize for Fiction)

Treasure Peter Sellers in Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Cease Worrying and Treasure the Bomb and Eddie Murphy in The Nutty Professor, Downey takes on a number of roles in The Sympathizer. We’re first launched to the biggest of them, a CIA agent with wiry red hair named Claude, within the very first scene of the show; he’s a fixed presence within the lifetime of our protagonist, The Captain, who himself is a double agent. In actuality, The Captain is a Northern Vietnamese loyalist embedded as a key cog sooner or later of the remnants of the Southern Vietnamese regime.

Because the series continues, factual about every American The Captain comes into contact with has one thing in frequent: all of them behold factual admire Claude (and are done by Robert Downey Jr.). This involves a head on the end of the series’s third episode, “Treasure It or Drag away It,” when The Captain follows Claude to a steakhouse dinner. There, the pair are joined by three varied men—all done by Downey Jr.

It’s a ways a trippy whirlwind of a scene, but one which is rarely always in actuality factual for Downey or the filmmakers to expose off; it comes with a particular scheme.

“There’s this recurring motif in The Captain’s life—these patronizing American institution characters who provide The Captain one thing, and provide to advantage him, after which find yourself betraying him or being duplicitous,” co-showrunner Don McKellar acknowledged sooner or later of a roundtable interview that Final result sat in on. “These extravagant archetypes of the American institution, who all work collectively, possess a frequent passion, are all participants of the identical club, admire we show in Episode 3.”

To lend a hand you to lend a hand music of that peculiar club as The Sympathizer establishes it an increasing selection of sooner or later of the route of its bustle, we’ve compiled a records to every of Downey Jr.’s peculiar, typically depraved characters. Preserve studying to dive in.

Circulate The Sympathizer here


claude the sympathizer


Clearly the biggest of Downey Jr.’s characters in The Sympathizer is Claude, who works for the CIA and serves as The Captain’s de facto mentor. For sure, “mentor” is roughly a stretch; Claude operates under the realization that The Captain believes in what he says he believes in, and is who he says he’s.

The fact is that The Captain hates factual about all the pieces Claude says, does, and believes in, and sees how duplicitous he’s first hand—because Claude thinks he can in actuality believe The Captain. By intention of his undercover dealings, our protagonist realizes factual how disposable Claude, and by proxy, the usa, sees factual about all individuals spherical him to in actuality be.

Alternatively, The Captain and Claude possess a effectively-established relationship, and following the evolution of it because the series moves thru its seven episodes is one among its most compelling thru lines.

Professor Hammer

the sympathizer professor hammer


Downey Jr.’s most depraved persona in The Sympathizer (which is largely announcing one thing) is Professor Hammer, an Orientalist grad school professor who speaks with an possess an impact on and continuously behaves in a ability that’s every fully unsuitable and culturally exploitative. We did no longer possess to behold Professor Hammer altering into his kimono within the facet hall of his station of work, but we sure would possibly well well possibly perhaps no longer overlook it. On the shining facet, though, on the least The Captain’s interactions with Professor Hammer led him to meet his assistant, Sophia Mori (Sandra Oh), an sensible, down-to-earth one that he’s every drawn to and can talk over with about (virtually) anything else.

Congressman “Napalm Ned” Ned Godwin

the sympathizer napalm ned


The Captain meets Ned Godwin, a congressman from California identified for his war-hawking efforts by the nickname of “Napalm Ned,” in “Treasure It or Drag away It,” the third episode of The Sympathizer. Ned is a classic precise-flit politician, flaunting his brash demeanor alongside with his vulnerable station (and scarred hands) as piece of an strive and allure to the put up-war Vietnamese population of his insist.

Niko Damianos

niko damianos the sympathizer robert downey jr


Launched for the first time sooner or later of the Steakhouse dinner on the end of “Treasure It or Drag away It,” Damianos is a cocky colossal-time American filmmaker about to make a movie known as The Hamlet that touches on the Vietnam war. He’s there because The Captain has been suggested by the many People (all over again, all sharing Robert Downey Jr’s face.) to motivate as Damianos’s book on the movie.

As a hotshot, extremely-acclaimed, shades-carrying director helming a chaotic Vietnam war movie within the ’70s, Damianos is clearly in accordance with Francis Ford Coppola. The legendary director’s time making his bear Vietnam fable, Apocalypse Now, has been effectively-documented.

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