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The handsome actor has often been stranded in bland roles, from Lauren Ambrose's buttoned-down lover on Six Feet Under to Rebecca Hall's cuckolded fiancé in Vicky Cristina Barcelona and Amy Adams' milquetoast husband in Julie & Julia. But as Chris Sanchez, an ethically tortured soldier-for-hire held captive by a military contractor in Afghanistan, Messina fully commits to a grueling role.
This week's standout episode of the thriller, "I'm Worried About My Dog," culminated in a confrontation between John Goodman's cutthroat CEO and Messina's defiant prisoner. The younger actor more than held his own opposite his award-winning elder. Both men deserve serious Emmy consideration — if the TV Academy's voters are luckier than non-DirecTV viewers, who sadly can't see this season of Damages until it's on DVD.
Is Chris Messina impressing you on Damages?