‘The Sympathizer’ Trailer: Watch Robert Downey Jr. Turn Into 4 Villians

The latest glimpse into HBO and A24’s ‘The Sympathizer’ promises a thrilling ride filled with espionage, intrigue, and the multifaceted talents of Robert Downey Jr.

Unveiled by Max, the trailer transports viewers back to 1975 Vietnam, offering a glimpse into the tumultuous final days of the war between the country’s north and south regions. Seamlessly shifting between Vietnam and the U.S., the trailer introduces us to North Vietnamese spy Captain, portrayed by Hoa Xuande, as he navigates encounters with the likes of Sandra Oh and Downey Jr., who impressively takes on four distinct antagonistic roles in the limited series.

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Joining the cast alongside Downey Jr. are Fred Nguyen Khan, Duy Nguyễn, Vy Le and Alan Trong.

“Don’t hold back, let’s dive right in!” Downey exclaims, sporting tourist attire and a sun hat in one of his character incarnations. Adapted from Viet Thanh Nguyen’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, ‘The Sympathizer’ delves into the story of Captain, a mole deeply embedded in the South Vietnam army. Following the war’s conclusion, he flees to the U.S. alongside his general, played by Toan Le, where he grapples with his dual allegiances while continuing to relay information to the Viet Cong.

The Sympathizer Trailer
Image Courtesy: The Hollywood Reporter

Fresh off his ‘Best Supporting Actor’ win at the 2024 Oscars, Downey hinted at his ‘Sympathizer’ role to PEOPLE, teasing, “I’ve got other tricks up my sleeve.” Reflecting on his performance, the ‘Oppenheimer’ actor expressed pride, stating, “It wasn’t particularly subtle, it wasn’t meant to be, but I’m already proud of what I’ve seen.”

In a February 2024 trailer, Xuande’s Captain finds himself under scrutiny from both his Vietnamese and American connections, leading to a web of suspicion and intrigue. “Maybe there is no spy,” Captain muses, prompting a cryptic response from one of Downey’s enigmatic characters.

The Sympathizer Trailer
Image Courtesy: DailyMotion

Filmed in late 2022 and early 2023, the seven-part series showcases Downey’s transformative dedication, as evidenced by his bleached eyebrows, curly red hair, and receding hairline. The Oscar winner, who also serves as an executive producer on the show, even shared a behind-the-scenes video on Instagram, depicting his children helping him shave his head for the role.

“The things we do for our work… and our kids. #Sympathizer set ready,” Downey captioned the clip.

‘The Sympathizer’ premieres on Max on 14th April.