Why The Voice Of Khonshu In Moon Knight Sounds Familiar

Marvel's "Moon Knight" is currently streaming on Disney+, with Oscar Isaac suiting up as the multiple-personality superhero. He stars as Marc Spector — a mercenary with dissociative identity disorder who becomes a conduit for an Egyptian god — and Steven Grant, his bumbling "alter" who isn't quite as cut out for this superhero business. 

Khonshu is the Egyptian lunar deity, who marks the passage of time. But when it comes to the Marvel comic books, he's Marc Spector's otherworldly patron — transforming Spector into Moon Knight and often possessing him, using Spector as an avatar of his will. However, in later comic books, he also becomes more of an antagonist. Although Khonshu is based on the real-life Egyptian god, he's actually a member of the Heliopolitan race who lived in an extradimensional realm.

When it comes to the "Moon Knight" series, Khonshu is said to be an "imperious and sort of snotty and vengeful" deity — prone to tantrums and forced to deal with his own insecurities. Depicted as a rather ominous-looking, bird-like creature, he chooses Marc as his champion. But if you recognize his voice, you're not alone.

Khonshu is actually voiced by prolific actor F. Murray Abraham. But why does he sound so familiar? Abraham made his screen debut with "They Might Be Giants" in 1971, and had a breakout role in 1983 as drug dealer Omar Suárez in "Scarface." He's appeared in countless other projects since, including indie darlings such as "Inside Llewyn Davis" and even a part in "Star Trek: Insurrection."

Here are some of his best-known roles.

Amadeus – Antonio Salieri (1984)

One of the greatest movies of all time, "Amadeus" tells the completely fictional story of the rivalry between Italian composer Antonio Salieri (F. Murray Abraham) and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Tom Hulce).

But perhaps 'rivalry' is understating it a bit.

Salieri hates Mozart. In fact, he hates him so much that in our fictional 1823, he's committed to a psychiatric hospital after attempting suicide, and confessing that he killed the legendary composer. What unfolds is a deep dive into Salieri's fictional past — a tale of desperation, revenge, and religion. Back in 1774, Salieri has become the royal composer at the court of Emperor Joseph II in Vienna. But he's enraged to find that God has bestowed such talent upon Mozart, who he discovers is obscene, immature, and downright obnoxious. He then vows to derail Mozart's career with an intricate plot to bring about his downfall ... and he's willing to do whatever it takes.

Abraham's portrayal as the chronically embittered Salieri is a work of art, and he was rewarded for his incredible efforts by winning the Academy Award for Best Actor. Ironically, Tom Hulce was also nominated for his performance as Mozart, but this time Salieri got the upper hand. Abraham is in top form, with a finely tuned performance that walks the line between passion and insanity.

And it's absolutely his best (and most recognizable) role to date.

The Grand Budapest Hotel – Mr. Moustafa (2014)

Wes Anderson's "The Grand Budapest Hotel" follows in the director's tradition of putting together an astounding ensemble cast, and F. Murray Abraham was one of its most prestigious additions. It tells the story of the renowned concierge, Monsieur Gustave H. (Ralph Fiennes) who has dedicated his life to the Grand Budapest — a hotel resort in the fictional eastern-European country, Zubrowka.

Of course, it wouldn't be a Wes Anderson film if things didn't soon come undone.

Gustave H. is soon framed for murder after one of the wealthy clients he has seduced, the dowager Madame D. (Tilda Swinton) dies under mysterious circumstances. The famed concierge is then left a priceless painting in her will and is forced to go on the run with his newfound friend (and lobby boy), Zero Moustafa (Tony Revolori) while trying to clear his name and avoid certain death at the hands of Madame D's unscrupulous family.

The entire film revolves around the friendship between Gustave H. and his lobby boy, with Tony Revolori clearly reveling in the over-the-top antics of his newly hired bellhop. Meanwhile, Abraham plays a grown-up version of the same character, with many of the old-world sensibilities bestowed upon him by Gustave H.

The result is a neat comparison – Zero often comments that Gustave H. was a man out of time, that he was clinging to the ways of the past. This, coming from a reclusive billionaire who never dares to leave the confines of his old, increasingly run-down hotel.

It's a masterstroke in storytelling and a fine performance from F. Murray Abraham — elevating each scene with grace and panache.

Homeland – Dar Adal (2012)

An American spy thriller, "Homeland" originally starred Damien Lewis as Nicholas Brody — a U.S. marine who was captured by al-Qaeda who, after his return to the United States, is thought to have been turned by the terrorist organization.

The show follows CIA officer Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) and her ongoing covert work, often taking her into enemy territory. "Homeland" expands beyond its original premise in later seasons and often sees Mathison trying to leave her former intelligence life behind her.

F. Murray Abraham starred as Dar Adal, a black-ops specialist and former colleague of the CIA's Middle-East Division chief, Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin). First introduced in Season 2, it was one of Abraham's longest-running TV roles, with the seasoned actor becoming a main cast member throughout Season 4 – 6. Abraham's deft character work earned him award nods, too – picking up two Primetime Emmy nominations for the role.

Abraham's stint as Dar Adal is brilliant, playing the aging intelligence maestro with calculated discretion and pinpoint pragmatism. He's a man who's spent so long playing the game, he has no qualms about overstepping moral and legal boundaries to get results ... and that's often a point of friction between himself and Mathison. An old-school CIA agent, Adal is not to be trusted ... and Abraham encapsulates that duality perfectly.

How to Train Your Dragon 3 – Grimmel (2019)

It's no secret that F. Murray Abraham is an accomplished film and TV star, but you may also recognize his voice from one of his many voiceover roles.

"How to Train Your Dragon 3" is one of those, starring Abraham as Grimmel the Grisly – the main villain and dragon hunter who was responsible for hunting Night Furies to near extinction, making Toothless the last of his kind. His arrival couldn't come at a worse time — Hiccup is preoccupied with finding a fabled dragon utopia, the Hidden World, while also coming to terms with Toothless' affections for a female Night Fury.

Grimmel is the proverbial spanner in the works. A seasoned dragon hunter, he's more than a match for the young tribal leader. He's essentially the exact opposite of Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) — a glimpse into the young dragon rider's future had he not changed history among his fellow Vikings. Grimmel is determined, exacting and an even match for Hiccup's intellect, making him a formidable foe. Not to mention, Abraham's voice is a great match for the villainous Grimmel, giving him a calculating, formidable presence without having to stray too far into over-the-top, comic villainy.

It's a clever bit of casting and F. Murray Abraham really steps up to the plate as the notorious dragon killer. Sure, it didn't win him any awards, but Grimmel the Grisly will be scaring kids for years to come.

Mythic Quest – C.W. Longbottom (2020)

One of Abraham's most recent projects, "Mythic Quest" is the acclaimed comedy show from "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" stars, Charlie Day and Rob McElhenney. "Mythic Quest" follows a fictional video game studio as they prepare to launch a major expansion to their popular MMORPG, Mythic Quest. Exploring the tensions when working as part of a closely-knit team, "Mythic Quest" takes a peek at the crazy world of game development.

It's also one hell of a comedy, too.

F. Murray Abraham plays the game's head writer, C.W. Longbottom, who also happens to be one of the world's greatest science fiction writers. Considering George R.R. Martin's recent involvement in creating "Elden Ring," it's a decidedly on-the-nose role that Abraham mines for pure comedy gold. His depiction of a writer who has fallen from grace is wonderful, with all the hallmarks of a classic comedy role – casting light on the truths hidden under the veneer of a purely comic role. The writer was once an award-winning author and now finds himself part of a world he barely understands and often turns to drink to get through the days. Abraham walks a fine balance with this role, elevating it to more than a mere caricature.

As you can see, F. Murray Abraham is a seasoned pro with roles ranging from the sublime to the silly ... and if you recognize Khonshu's voice, it's almost certainly due to one of Abraham's timeless performances.