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Early Roles That FBI Actors Would Probably Like You To Forget About

"FBI" premiered in 2018 and has grown to be a key feature in CBS' primetime lineup with five seasons under its belt. The series follows the staff of the New York field office, which includes intelligence analysts and field agents who work together to bring criminals to justice. Like many procedural shows of its kind, "FBI" includes a welcome balance of compelling criminal cases and believable chemistry between the central characters who each have their own complex, relatable backstory.

A significant factor in the series' continued success is the strength of its cast, which features several crime procedural veterans. Additionally, it features some familiar faces from the Dick Wolf universe, such as "Law & Order" alums Alana De La Garza and Jeremy Sisto. However, despite the success of "FBI," each cast member has at least one arguably regrettable project on their resume. Some of these scored poorly with critics, received low ratings from audiences, or failed to gain a substantial following. As they progress in their careers, the "FBI" actors would probably like fans to forget about some of these less-than-stellar early roles.

Missy Peregrym - Wide Awake

Missy Peregrym plays FBI Special Agent Maggie Bell, a talented and level-headed member of the New York team. Bell has been a central character since the series' pilot episode, although she was absent from the first few episodes of Season 5 because of Peregrym's maternity leave. Before joining the "FBI" cast, Peregrym became popular among procedural fans as Andy McNally in "Rookie Blue." 

As beneficial as "FBI" has been for Peregrym's career, one of her earlier roles was arguably not the best choice in terms of helping her gain popularity. In 2007, she starred as Cassie Wade in the independent thriller "Wide Awake." Wade is a lab researcher who suspects foul play when narcoleptic drug trial participants begin dying unexpectedly. She tries to get to the bottom of the deaths and inadvertently uncovers a hidden conspiracy.

Although she plays the main character, Peregrym's role in the film isn't as strong as most of her other work. The actress would probably prefer fans remember her more popular film projects, such as the 2006 film "Stick It." 

Zeeko Zaki - Heart Of The Country

Zeeko Zaki is one of the original "FBI" cast members and his character, Special Agent Omar "OA" Adom Zidan, is still going strong. OA is a passionate agent who works tirelessly to solve cases and catch criminals. He can be hot-headed sometimes, but he typically has noble intentions behind these outbursts. In addition to the original series, he makes cameos in both "FBI: Most Wanted" and "FBI: International," lending a hand to different parts of the bureau. Zaki previously starred in the CW series "Valor" and had a short recurring role as Hamid in "24: Legacy."

Before landing significant TV roles, the actor took part in multiple small projects, including short and independent films, and single-episode appearances. Although he has primarily made solid choices in his career, one role falls a little short of the rest in audience popularity. In 2013, Zaki played a small part as a prison inmate in "Heart Of The Country." The film has a 5.6 rating on IMDb and reviews are decidedly mixed. Many praised the film's simple, uplifting story but didn't appreciate its heavy underlying themes and slow pacing. Andy Webb of The Movie Scene notes that although "Heart Of The Country" has some strengths, it's ultimately a basic and predictable film. Zaki's role is too small to be truly memorable, and he'd probably prefer fans focus on his television successes instead.

Jeremy Sisto - The Crew

Jeremy Sisto has had a very active show business career since the early '90s and shows no signs of slowing down. He starred as detective Cyrus Lupo for two seasons of the "Law & Order" series, which was his first significant role in the Dick Wolf universe. Eight years after "Law & Order" went off the air, Lupo took on the part of Assistant Special Agent in Charge Jubal Valentine in "FBI." Jubal is a dynamic character who struggles to balance his intense work schedule with his home life. As a divorced parent, he works hard to find time to spend with his son, Tyler (Caleb Reese Paul). Jubal's relatable backstory and genuine concern for victims make him a fan-favorite character in the series.

Long before Sisto began his tenure on "FBI," he starred as Timonthy Grant in an indie film called "The Crew." This 1994 thriller features a strange patchwork of characters spending a weekend together on a yacht. Unfortunately, even with some comedic elements, the film received a low rating on IMDb, with many reviewers criticizing the film for being disappointingly uneventful, and some regret watching it at all. Variety film reviewer Emanuel Levy described the film as lacking compelling dialogue and unlikely to be commercially successful.

Based on its low popularity with audiences and critics, Sisto would probably prefer that fans forget about his part in "The Crew" and enjoy his performance as Jubal.

Alana De La Garza - El segundo

Assistant Special Agent in Charge Isobel Castille is a strong presence across the "FBI" franchise. She appears in all three series, but her primary role is the leader of the New York team in the original. Isobel looks so familiar because the actress who plays her, Alana De La Garza, also had a longstanding role in the "Law & Order" franchise. Her character, Connie Rubirosa, appeared in the "SVU" series and the short-lived spinoff "Law & Order: LA." Castille is just as charismatic as Rubirosa, and both women are influential leaders in the justice system.

These two roles demonstrate De La Garza's talent for bringing powerful female characters to life, but they aren't her only procedural series roles. She has a long history of appearing in other crime dramas such as "NCIS: Los Angeles," "CSI: Miami," and "Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders." Though she has built a fruitful career in this genre, some of her earlier projects were far less successful.

In 2004, De La Garza starred as Delicia in the 2004 western "El segundo." Film Threat reviewer James Teitelbaum wrote that the film has a relatively enjoyable storyline, but it could have been edited better. According to James, the pacing is a major issue for this film, with certain parts feeling much slower than others. Among all the successful roles on her resume, "El segundo" is arguably De La Garza's least memorable project.

John Boyd - Careless

"Argo" actor John Boyd has enjoyed a well-rounded career in film and television for almost two decades. His current role as Special Agent Stuart Scola began in Season 2 and this character also appears in a crossover with "FBI: Most Wanted." Agent Scola's backstory has slowly emerged over three seasons and fans generally enjoy getting to know the somewhat somber agent. Boyd is also no stranger to playing characters from the bureau; before playing Scola, he portrayed junior FBI agent James Aubrey in "Bones," while fans may also recognize him as intelligence agent Arlo Glass in "24."

However, not all of Boyd's early roles were as successful as these television projects. In 2007, he played a minor role in an offbeat comedy called "Careless." Following its release, the film received very mixed reviews from critics and audiences alike. Reviewer Phil Bacharach for DVD Talk describes the film as far less funny than advertised and said that the simplistic plot isn't very satisfying for viewers, but does acknowledge that the cast is mostly likable. Boyd would probably prefer fans to remember him for his other more significant film roles and his time in "FBI."

Katherine Renee Turner - Ward 11

Special Agent Tiffany Wallace first appears in the Season 3 episode "Never Trust A Stranger." The former NYPD officer has become a reliable and talented agent who excels equally well at interrogating suspects and catching criminals who try to evade arrest. Her growing relationship with her partner, Stuart Scola, is a significant highlight of her adjustment to the "FBI" world. Actress Katherine Renee Turner doesn't have many credits to her name so far, but her role as the very relatable agent is likely to open even more doors for her in the future.

Before "FBI," Turner primarily appeared in short films. Although these projects can be just as well-made and compelling as full-length features, they aren't always the most memorable entries on a performer's resume. For example, in 2011, Turner starred in a short film called "Ward 11." The film tells the story of an ex-cop named John (Michael Donato) whose life takes an unexpected turn. He finds himself in a mental institution but has no idea how or why he is there. Turner plays Dr. Henley, a medical professional at the institution who tries to help John while he is under her care. As her career grows, Turner will likely want to be remembered for her more prestigious projects instead of this short film.

Sela Ward - Steele Justice

Sela Ward is a familiar face to fans of most television and film genres. The actress has previously acted in "Sisters," "House," "CSI: New York," and countless other well-known projects. She first appears as Assistant Special Agent in Charge Dana Mosier in Season 1 of "FBI," and her character's leadership skills are consistently impressive. Mosier excels under pressure and holds her team of agents to a high standard. Unfortunately, according to Deadline, Ward left the series after a single season because of a one-year contract. Although she has since moved on to other projects, fans still fondly remember Ward's take-charge character.

In spite of her many prestigious credits, Sela Ward does have one questionable early role on her resume. In 1987, she appeared as Tracy in the film "Steele Justice." Tracy is the stereotypical ex-wife of John Steele, a former police officer striving to take down an enemy from his past. Critics offered little praise for this movie, even in an era when over-the-top action films were trendy. Some modern reviewers appreciate the film's nostalgia but still take issue with its execution. For example, Ed Travis of Cinapse said he generally enjoyed the film, but noted that it is far less polished than the "Rambo" model it sought to emulate. Thankfully, Ward's overwhelming successes have far outweighed this arguably regrettable project.

James Chen - Murder Below The Line

James Chen began appearing as Intelligence Analyst Ian Lim in the 2018 pilot episode of "FBI" and has continued to play the recurring character ever since. He also took part in the 2021 crossover pilot of the spin-off series, "FBI: International," briefly bringing Lim's intelligence expertise to a new team. Although Chen doesn't appear in every episode, his performance as the quick-witted, tech-savvy analyst is consistent and believable. His expertise is partially due to his experience with an earlier role in the Dick Wolf universe; in 2011, he appeared in several episodes of "Law & Order: SVU" as an equally meticulous CSU technician named Adrian Sung.

In addition to his television appearances, Chen also has multiple minor movie roles to his credit. Unfortunately, his earliest role was part of a film project that failed to capture a wide audience. "Murder Below The Line" is a 2004 independent horror comedy that has drifted into obscurity since its release. It tells the story of an amateur filmmaker who encounters a violent criminal with his own eyes. Although Chen's role as Pete Richards isn't regrettable on its own, the film's lack of popularity makes it one of the weakest entries on the actor's resume. However, his other acting credits are far more memorable and the actor's career has continued to blossom with "FBI."

Taylor Anthony Miller - Rolling

Taylor Anthony Miller has been a small part of the Dick Wolf universe since his acting carer began, starting with a one-episode appearance in Season 19 of the mothership "Law & Order" series. His credits also include cameos in "SVU," "Chicago PD," and "Chicago Fire." He successfully landed a role in "FBI" in 2019 as Intelligence Analyst Kelly Moran and has been a constant presence in the series ever since. Miller's character even appears in the pilot episode for "FBI: International," along with several fellow analysts and agents. Outside the world of television procedurals, Miller's acting credits include playing Ray-Ray Mathis in the Starz series "Magic City," as well as a few minor movie roles. 

One of those parts was the role of Danny in the 2008 film "Rolling." This independent comedy film, which has a 4.8 rating on IMDb, tells the story of two friends who learn valuable life lessons as television producers. The movie was released directly to television and has since joined the ranks of forgotten independent films. Unfortunately, even though Miller plays one of the film's two main characters, it's unlikely this role alone will earn him a place in more prestigious Hollywood projects. Miller would probably like fans to forget about "Rolling" in favor of his more successful roles in the Dick Wolf universe. 

Roshawn Franklin - Recoil

Roshawn Franklin first took on the recurring role of Special Agent Trevor Hobbs in 2019. Hobbs is a whip-smart intelligence analyst who assists the FBI field agents with identifying and tracking suspects. Before joining the cast, Franklin actually expressed interest in appearing in other Dick Wolf series. In an interview with fan site One Chicago Center, Franklin revealed he read for roles in both "Chicago Fire" and "Chicago PD," but missed the mark. However, he explained that his failed tryouts were valuable learning experiences that helped him land his current "FBI" part.

Though he has previously played small parts in various other procedural shows, including "NYPD Blue" and "NCIS: Los Angeles," and appeared in the 2019 feature film, "What Men Want," one particular project could have been more successful. In 2001, Franklin portrayed Victor Simmons in an independent horror thriller called "Recoil." The film received a 4.3 rating on IMDb and some users note that it is difficult to watch because of the low-quality cinematography. One review published by Black Horror Movies slammed the film saying "after 200 ridiculous close-ups, shaky cameras, over-the-shoulder, and beneath-the-crotch angles, and so-in-the-dark-you-can't-make-out-anything shots, it's too much to deal with."

Vedette Lim - Kicking The Dog

Vedette Lim stars in the CBS show as Elise Taylor, an integral part of the FBI intelligence analysis team. She first appeared in Season 2 and has been an "FBI" staple ever since. Taylor is a no-nonsense, reliable analyst who often locates crucial information faster than her team members. Before she began her "FBI" tenure, Lim had a short-lived role in "Chicago Fire," another popular procedural in the Dick Wolf universe. However, Lim's television credits aren't limited to crime dramas and fans may also recognize her from "True Blood" and the soap opera "As The World Turns."

Although Lim has participated in many successful television shows, some of her film projects were less popular with viewers. For example, the actress starred as Erin, a minor character in the 2009 film "Kicking The Dog." This raunchy teen comedy has earned a very low rating of 3.4 on IMDb. While some reviewers agree that the film has some comedic merit, it was noted that its too dialogue-heavy and lacks a compelling plot. Johnny Web of Movie House Commentary echoed these sentiments, calling the film awkward and "primitive." Lim has since taken part in much more serious projects and would likely prefer fans forget about her brief foray into the world of B-grade comedies. 

Shantel VanSanten - The Final Destination

Shantel VanSanten first appeared in "FBI" toward the end of Season 4, replacing Missy Peregrym while the actress took maternity leave. VanSanten's character, Special Agent Nina Chase, is a tough, experienced agent who isn't afraid to be brutally honest. She quickly blended in with the rest of the "FBI" team and many fans have come to love seeing Chase in action. Unlike many "FBI" cast members, VanSanten isn't a regular in the procedural genre. Audiences probably know her best from her recent role as Becca Butcher in the hit series "The Boys," while she has also appeared as Patty Spivot in "The Flash."

Although most of her acting credits are from the television world, VanSanten has also acted in a handful of movies. One film, in particular, is a project that she would probably like fans to forget — 2009's "The Final Destination." VanSanten stars as Lori Milligan, one of the primary characters in this 3D horror film. Although it performed well at the box office, critics generally gave this installment of the supernatural horror franchise scathing reviews. Wesley Morris of The Boston Globe describes the movie as devoid of quality acting and direction and gave it a half of a star out of five.

Despite this, VanSanten has built herself a strong television career over the last decade, which is a far better legacy than her role in "The Final Destination."