YOU CAN STOP HELPING NOW, JEFF: There is much odd about Prince of Persia: The Sands Of Time--Jake Gyllenhaal's variable accent, the apparent repeated direction of Gemma Arterton to be stiffer and more mannered, the idea that we're going to believe for one minute that Ben Kingsley's character isn't the bad guy, what's up with Alfred Molina's teeth, and the fact that the final ten minutes of the film turns into a political ramble. But that's not what I want to talk about--I want to talk about an issue posed by one piece of casting--that of Richard Coyle as one of the Princes of Persia. Coyle isn't that well-known on these shores, but for those who've seen Coupling, he is and will always be Jeff Murdock. Jeff, who's Barney Stinson's unsuccessful peer, has theories to explain everything--introducing us to the Giggle Loop, the Melty Man, and the Sock Gap (note, clips 2 and 3 are questionably SFW--no nudity or profanity, but frank sexual talk). Even when he's attempting to be all bold and soldiery, I still hear Jeff. For instance, at point, his character shouts "no man can stop us!" (or something similar). My immediate response was, naturally, "what about the Melty Man?"
The question I have is are there similar actors in the U.S. who are so identified with a single role that we can't see them elsewhere without that coming to mind? The closest I can think of is David Schwimmer, who, in his brief appearance in Band of Brothers, far removed in time and place from Friends, never manages to be anything other than Ross Geller (oddly, not all the Friends fell victim to this--Matthew Perry and Lisa Kudrow in particular have shown decent range).