With the regular slew of fall television 2015 series about to launch, you’re sure to endure many mind-numbing head scratchers in which you find yourself wondering, “Where have I seen that actor before?”
Even if you have the Internet attached to your fingertips, you might suffer through a few moments of an episode with that annoying earworm of a thought running through your head. She looks so familiar… or I know I know him from somewhere… Us Long Islanders that partake in theater are at even more of a disadvantage when this highly problematic conundrum arises; after all, actors from the stage often grace the small screen as well. Have no fear; I tackled the fall slate of programming to comprise a cheat sheet, hoping to resolve some of your burning questions.
Joining AMC’s The Walking Dead is Merritt Wever, who recently wrapped her Emmy-winning role as Nurse Jackie’s Nurse Zoey. You may also remember her from her recurring role as Schmidt’s girlfriend, Elizabeth, on New Girl. She made her New York stage debut recently in an off Broadway production of Jennifer Haley’s The Nether.
Stark Sands has been nominated for two Tony Awards, one for Journey’s End in 2007 and one for playing Charlie Price in Cyndi Lauper and Harvey Fierstein’s award winning musical Kinky Boots in 2005. Making a switch to his first leading role on the small screen, he can be seen as precognitive Nash on FOX’s Minority Report opposite Meagan Good. Still not sure why he looks familiar? Maybe you caught him in Broadway’s original cast of American Idiot or in a recurring role as Claire’s object of affection on Six Feet Under.
An actor that moves seamlessly between the stage and small screen is Jeremy Jordan, who is best known for Broadway performances as Jack Kelly in Newsies and Clyde Barrow in Bonnie & Clyde. After saying goodbye to the late NBC musical-dramedy Smash, he’s starring in CBS’s Supergirl as Winslow “Winn” Schott, who is introduced as the heroine’s friend (but famously becomes a villain in the comic book series).
Though she has been acting consistently for years, Ashley Johnson of NBC’s Blindspot is perhaps most remembered for her first role as the youngest Seaver, Chrissy, on Growing Pains from 1990 through 1992. She joined the cast at the age of 6. In 2012 she played a waitress who was famously rescued by Chris Evans’ Captain America in The Avengers. On the dramatic action series Blindspot, Johnson plays a forensic scientist.
After tapping and crooning opposite Sutton Foster in both Anything Goes and Violet on Broadway, Colin Donnell steps into scrubs for the third installment of NBC’s Chicago franchise, Chicago Med. As Dr. Connor Rhodes, he plays an attending ER physician.
You may remember Santino Fontana from a slew of Broadway shows, including Billy Elliot (Tony Elliot), Rodger & Hammerstein’s Cinderella (Prince Topher) and Act One (Moss Hart). He’ll be stepping into the CW’s Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, which also features Broadway alum Donna Lynne Champlain (Billy Elliot). If you’re still trying to place him, listen closely; he gave voice to villain Hans in Frozen.
He’s currently playing more than one hundred characters in off Broadway’s The 39 Steps, so there is no question that Arnie Burton can take on any role. You may have caught him as Mrs. Bumbrake in Peter and the Starcatcher, or as Representative Mark Foley in off Broadway’s Tail! Spin! Next up is the Starz dance drama Flesh and Bone, in which he has a recurring role as a New York Times dance critic. Another familiar face on the original series is Damon Herriman, known for his scene stealing turn as Dewey Crowe on Justified.
Katrina Bowden played the sexy, yet dim-witted Cerie on 30 Rock with panache. Still sexy, she takes on high-end call girl Fortune by night and schoolteacher Stacy Potter by day in TNT’s Public Morals.
Abigail Breslin, the moppet star of Little Miss Sunshine, will star opposite stage and screen star Lea Michele (Spring Awakening, Glee) in the FOX satire Scream Queens. Breslin landed her first film role at the age of 5 when she played Mel Gibson’s daughter in Signs. Scream Queens is her television debut.
Josh Peck is most famous for playing one half of the 2004-2007 Nickelodeon tween comedy duo Drake & Josh. Now he plays adult son Gerald to John Stamos’ Jimmy on the FOX comedy Grandfathered, in which the existence of both himself and his baby surprise his notoriously suave and single father.
Zachary Levi is a busy guy this year, with major projects both on stage and screen in the works. After making the archetypical nerd the new sexy for five seasons in NBC’s Chuck, he went on to star on Broadway in critical favorite First Date. Perhaps you recognize his voice from Disney’s Tangled. Next he can be seen in the NBC drama Heroes Reborn, in which he plays Luke, a vigilante taking out his anger on people with special abilities. This Spring he heads back to Broadway in She Loves Me opposite Laura Benanti and Jane Krakowski.
As for those familiar faces on streaming series’, look for Derrick Baskin in HULU’s Difficult People. Currently starring off Broadway in Dick Scanlan and Sherie Rene Scott’s Whorl Inside a Loop, he most memorably brought down the house in Broadway’s Memphis as Gator. In Difficult People, his first television series, Baskin has a recurring role as Billy’s co-worker Nate. Garret Dillahunt, who is no stranger to the small screen with famous roles on Deadwood, Raising Hope and Justified, plays an ex-con hired to do the dirty work of Judge Pernell Harris (Ron Perlman) on Amazon’s Hand of God. Dillahunt also made his Long Island stage debut in 2014 when he starred in Carey Crim’s Conviction at Bay Street Theatre.