Q: Are Rufus Sewell and Ian McShane related? They're both British, and there is a strong resemblance. 

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Adam Thomlison / TV Media

The two actors do share similar curly-hairedness and sunken, penetrating eyes, which might be why they've both gravitated toward more villainous, or at least complicated, roles (the eyes might, at least -- I don't know if curly hair is supposed to be particularly villainous). However, the relation ends there.

Though both are English, they hail from very different parts of the country.

Rufus Sewell, best known these days for his recent turn as Lord Melbourne in the PBS historical drama "Victoria" or as John Smith in the Amazon alternate-historical drama "The Man in the High Castle," is from Twickenham, a rather upscale city on the outskirts of London.

Ian McShane, best known as the foul-mouthed saloon owner Al Swearengen in "Deadwood" or previously as the titular antiques dealer in A&E's turn-of-the-'90s mystery show "Lovejoy," is from the very working-class city of Manchester. That said, his family was part of a particular kind of working class -- his dad was a professional soccer player for Manchester United.

Despite these different upbringings, their careers have followed similar paths, which have crossed a couple of times on screen. Most notably, they both starred in the epic 2010 miniseries "The Pillars of the Earth," another period piece, this time on the Starz channel.

On the big screen, they appeared together in the very historical 2014 action-drama "Hercules," adding a little theatrical gravitas to a film starring former pro wrestler Dwayne Johnson.


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