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Why Nico Murray From The Sex Lives Of College Girls Looks So Familiar

As fans of the HBO Max hit "The Sex Lives of College Girls" try to manage their anticipation for Season 2, some may need a refresher on the actor playing one of the show's favorite characters.

The hit series, based on the real-life experiences of creators Mindy Kaling and Justin Noble, premiered on November 18, 2021, per TV Insider. Less than three weeks later, a December 7 Twitter announcement said it was already renewed for Season 2. It follows the experiences of four first-year women students at the fictional Essex College in Vermont, strangers randomly assigned roommates, learning about themselves as they learn to get along. Valedictorian Kimberly (played by Timothée Chalamet's sister Pauline Chalamet), struggling to keep her scholarship, is in a different economic class than her roommates: Whitney (Alyah Chanelle Scott), a soccer star and daughter of a high-profile senator, Bela (Amrit Kaur), whose wealthy parents think she's studying neuroscience instead of "wasting her time" with comedy writing, and Leighton (Reneé Rapp) a legacy student and Manhattan socialite-in-training who's secretly in the closet. Distracting Kimberly from her studies is Leighton's older brother, hot frat bro Nico Murray, played by the charming Gavin Leatherwood.

Alas, news has already been announced that Nico will not be around for Season 2, as Leatherwood told Us Weekly that he'll be "branching off and going in a different direction." Though Leatherwood made a big impression, some fans of the show are still wondering why they recognize him.

Gavin Leatherwood started acting at a young age

Though Gavin Leatherwood was already in his early twenties when he landed his first screen acting role, per IMDb, he has so far made a career playing teenagers and college students. He played "Dezic's son" in a Season 14 episode of "NCIS" called "Pandora's Box, Part 1," its crossover episode with "NCIS: New Orleans" that aired in February 2017. Though Leatherwood, born June 7, 1994, in Maui, was age 23 when the episode aired, his character was the 16-year-old son of a Bosnian politician, per Entertainment Weekly.

Leatherwood also appeared in a 2018 episode of "Grown-ish," the "Black-ish" spinoff starring Yara Shahidi, as fellow college student Pete in Season 1 Episode 7, "Un-Break My Heart." He also played small roles in a television movie called "Beverly Grove" and appeared in two episodes of the AwesomenessTV show "My Dead Ex," which is now available on Netflix.

But Leatherwood actually started acting at a much younger age, admitting in a Bumble profile that his mom managed a theater company when he was a child. "I've been acting since I was four [when I first] was a kid in The Lollipop Guild from 'The Wizard of Oz' and that was my start," he told VMAN, calling acting his first love. "I'd caught the bug early and realized it was something I could do forever and I'm just lucky enough to be doing it."

Gavin Leatherwood played another heartthrob, with magical powers

Though Gavin Leatherwood plays Kimberly's love interest on "The Sex Lives of College Girls" — and is the Internet's new boyfriend, as Elle stated and this Bumble profile makes clear — it certainly wasn't his first appearance as a heartthrob. The Oregon-based actor is best known for portraying bad-boy warlock Nicholas Scratch in Netflix's "Chilling Adventures of Sabrina." Part of the love triangle for Kiernan Shipka's Sabrina Spellman, Scratch serves as a welcoming friend when Sabrina begins her new life in Greendale's Academy of Unseen Arts (a more evil Hogwarts in America).

Leatherwood's Scratch made his debut in the fourth episode of "Sabrina," called "Witch Academy," and continued as a recurring character for its first two Parts. With the January 2020 premiere of Part 3, Leatherwood was promoted to series regular and continued throughout the show's run. Nicholas Scratch also appeared in a crossover episode with the show's long-running parent series, "Riverdale."

Leatherwood's star shot way up when he landed the role of Nick Scratch — at least on social media. "When I got the job, I had 1,100 followers, then it grew to 14,000 during shooting and that blew my mind," he told Elle, "and then seemingly overnight it grew to over half a million!" His Instagram, as of this writing, sits pretty at 3.5 million. He wants more, but he's ok, adding, "I'll ride this heartthrob wave for as long as possible, but there's a very odd dude inside me too and I'd love to play that side too."

Gavin Leatherwood turned to music during the pandemic

Acting may be Gavin Leatherwood's first love, but it's not his only talent. He also plays guitar and piano and is pursuing a music career alongside his acting resume. "I was that kid in musical theater class that avoided singing at all costs because it made me shake in the knees, to sing in front of people," Leatherwood told VMAN, admitting that it still makes him nervous. "[B]ut it's your instrument and it's so fun to play your instrument." He also knows that he'll get better with practice, which is exactly what he's doing. When the pandemic shuttered all his acting projects — including a potential Part 5 of "Chilling Adventures of Sabrina" — it seemed like the perfect time to focus on his music, per Spotify. He released his first single, "Just for Tonight," in February 2021, per Genius, and his second, "Driftwood Mermaid," followed in October. His latest, "Be My Lover," was released on April 8, 2022, and he told VMAN that he hopes to do an EP soon.

Meanwhile, his acting career hasn't slowed down. Leatherwood also appeared in the Alicia Silverstone film "Bad Therapy" and the 2021 found-footage-style movie "When Today Ends," which garnered an impressive 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, though not many people have seen it. In March 2022, he acted in a live reading of Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar" alongside "Shameless" alum Cameron Monaghan, as Leatherwood posted on his Instagram. The production benefits amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research.