Stranger Things has welcomed several new cast members in its fourth season, some of which have cause fans to think, Wait, have I seen them before? One actor who caught viewers' eyes is Tom Wlaschiha, who plays Dmitri "Enzo" Antonov, a guard in the Russian prison who becomes an ally to Hopper. While the pair start out with only a monetary alliance—Dmitri ransoms Hopper to Joyce for $40,000, signing the letter with Enzo, the name of the restaurant where Jopper were supposed to go on a date—they quickly bond when facing off against a demogorgon together.
Dmitri has become a popular new character, thanks mostly to Wlaschiha, who has experience playing a fan-favorite in another mega-hit franchise. Here's what we know about the booked and busy German actor.
He started out doing theater in Germany.
The 48-year-old actor was born Dohna, Dresden, East Germany. He traveled young, visiting Massachusetts as an exchange student when he was 17, around the time the Berlin Wall fell. In addition to learning German and Russian growing up, he also speaks French and Italian.
Wlaschiha acted in plays in Germany before moving on to TV shows and films based in the country, and breaking into the U.S. in the late '00s. "I started out doing a lot of theaters in Germany. I love theater, this is where I am coming from basically," he said in a 2018 Metro.style (opens in new tab) interview.
He also said in a Discover Germany (opens in new tab) interview that he wanted to become an actor at age 15 or 16. "My uncle was a famous opera singer and he was allowed to leave East Germany occasionally in order to perform. Maybe I saw acting a bit as a possibility to see the world," he said.
He played an ally of Arya Stark on 'Game of Thrones.'
Wlaschiha is best known for portraying Jaqen H'ghar, a.k.a. the Faceless Man who trains Arya to become "no one," in seasons 2, 5, and 6 of Game of Thrones. There was a three-year break between the actor originating the role in 2012 and returning to the HBO hit in 2016, and he said in a 2015 interview (opens in new tab) that he didn't think he'd return to the show.
"I had some hope, but it was tricky. The character's not in the books anymore, so far, at least," he said. "I was hoping to be back, but normally what you hope for on Game of Thrones doesn't happen."
Besides GoT, he's also starred in Prime Video's Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan, NBC's Crossing Lines, and films including Rush and Berlin Falling.
He also does voice work.
In addition to his on-screen work, Wlaschiha has done a good amount of voice acting, including narrating audiobooks and dubbing content into German. He was even able to dub his own part for Game of Thrones. His latest gig is voicing Buzz in German in the upcoming prequel Lightyear.
He enjoys playing flawed characters.
In an interview with Rolling Stone India (opens in new tab), Wlaschiha said that he finds it more fun to play the bad guy, and aims to portray his characters as complex human beings. "Whenever bringing a character to life, I think it’s important to portray him as a human being, however flawed, because that’s what a viewer can relate to," he said.
"A good script will always provide multi-layered and conflicted characters struggling with the respective circumstances of the story,” he added. "When I play a character, I always try to not judge his actions on a moral base. That should always be left to the audience."
He loves to travel.
Wlaschiha mostly shares snaps of his work on Instagram, which luckily includes selfies with castmates and pics of the many locales where he films. He also has some posts of what seems to be his personal travels, showing off his wanderlust with pics from Egypt, Russia, Ghana, Switzerland, and Northern Ireland.
Quinci LeGardye is a Contributing Culture Editor who covers TV, movies, Korean entertainment, books, and pop culture. When she isn’t writing or checking Twitter, she’s probably watching the latest K-drama or giving a concert performance in her car.
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