Considered one of the former Yugoslavia's finest actors, Rade Serbedzija (also credited as Rade Sherbedgia) appeared in over 40 of the fractured country's feature films and was a two-time winner of the Pula Film Festival's coveted Golden Arena for Best Actor. In addition to his film credits, Serbedzija was also a distinguished stage actor, once heralded as Yugoslavia's definitive Hamlet. In cinema, he gained international exposure in the Oscar-nominated Pred Dozhdot/Before the Rain (1994). The film earned ten awards at the 1994 Venice Film Festival, including the Grand Prix Golden Lion; Serbedzija also won the festival's Critics' Award for Best Actor.
Thereafter, Serbedzija continued to star and co-star in international productions such as Italy's La Tregua (1997); however, beginning with the 1997 Hollywood adventure yarn The Saint, his presence in American films increased tenfold. He racked up subsequent A-list credits including Mighty Joe Young (1998), Polish Wedding (1998), Eyes Wide Shut (1999), Mission: Impossible II (2000), and The Fog (2005). He also made memorable appearances on such U.S. television programs as the hit action thriller series 24 (as the villainous former Soviet Red Army general Dmitri Gredenko during season six) and the short-lived sci-fi show Surface (as a mysterious Serbian scientist). In 2008, Serbedzija teamed up with co-directors Xavier Palud and David Moreau and star Jessica Alba for a supporting role in the psychologically charged horror opus The Eye. He went on to appear in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, as well as in Angelina Jolie's directorial debut In the Land of Honey.