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Why Jim Carter From NCIS: Hawaii Looks So Familiar

Now well into its second season on the air, "NCIS: Hawaii" is proving viewers are still very much invested in the ever-expanding "NCIS" verse. The Aloha State set procedural is, of course, the latest spinoff from the CBS original. While it's tough to say if "NCIS: Hawaii" will see a similarly lengthy run as the "NCIS" flagship, it's off to a strong start and continues to build compelling cases around an impressive central cast of characters.

The series' cast of supporting players has been every bit as solid so far. The most recent addition to the stable of secondary characters on "NCIS: Hawaii" arrived via the Season 2 episode titled, "Silent Invasion," which finds the team investigating the mysterious murder of a Naval officer and his wife. As the case unfolds, the team is led to the door of Jim Carter, a former NCIS agent whose apparent coerced confession on a similar case years prior allowed the killer to go free, only to kill again.

Needless to say, the unapologetic and infuriatingly arrogant Carter hardly endeared himself to fans. Ditto for his ongoing beef with current NCIS heavy Jane Bennett (Vanessa Lachey). But that was no doubt the goal set for Jake Weber, who played the part of Jim Carter. Here's where you've seen him before. 

Meet Joe Black gave Jake Weber one of his first major roles

More than three decades into his career, Jake Weber has become one of Hollywood's perennial "oh, it's that guy" sort of actors. One might even make the case that he's earned a spot atop that particular list, and his IMDb credits would tend to back up such a claim. The actor earned his first major screen credit in 1989 with a small, but important role in the Tom Cruise starring Vietnam War drama "Born on the Fourth of July." He followed that role with notable appearances in "Law & Order," "The Pelican Brief," "NYPD Blue," and Steven Spielberg's "Amistad."

Impressive as those credits are, it's safe to assume many audiences were first exposed to Jake Weber with his role in 1998's "Meet Joe Black." Though the film proved divisive among critics, it's continued to find favor with audiences who seemingly cannot get enough of watching stars Brad Pitt and Anthony Hopkins trade lines. As for Weber, he brought some serious smarm to his role as the bad boy businessman Drew in the film, making the character as unforgettable as he is intensely unlikable. And even early in his career, the actor impressed by not only holding his own opposite more seasoned vets like Pitt and Hopkins but occasionally even outshining them. 

Weber fought zombies and some pretty bad humans in the Dawn of the Dead remake

After his "Meet Joe Black" breakout, Jake Weber went on to appear in a couple of the better genre flicks of the early aughts, including the egregiously underrated Jennifer Lopez thriller "The Cell," and Larry Fessenden's killer lo-fi creature feature "Wendigo." In 2004, however, Weber turned up in a low-key modern classic penned by James Gunn and directed by Zack Snyder.

That genre beast was the duo's remake of George A. Romero's iconic zombie flick "Dawn of the Dead." And if you've seen their update, you know it's every bit as vicious, and socially conscious as the original. It also boasts arguably one of the greatest cold-opens of any horror film in the modern era. Weber is, of course, not in the film's horrifying opening moments, appearing several minutes later as the kind-hearted "everyman" zombie killer Michael Shaunessy. And as the film progresses, Weber's surprisingly nuanced work in the role proves he's more than capable of carrying the mantle of leading man, doing so opposite Sarah Polley and Ving Rhames. So capable is Weber among the "Dawn of the Dead" leads, it leaves you wondering why he hasn't gotten more leading roles in the years since..

Medium cast Weber as doting hubby to a crime solving spiritualist

As it is, Jake Weber has indeed largely been relegated to the role of supporting player throughout his career. To his credit, the actor has wholly embraced that role, delivering standout performances in film and television projects of all shapes, sizes, and genres from the 2000s on. And a year after fronting "Dawn of the Dead," Weber booked what would become the longest-running supporting gig of his professional life, playing Joe DuBois on the supernatural procedural drama "Medium."

That series starred Patricia Arquette as Allison DuBois, a kindly suburbanite who, through the use of her psychic abilities to communicate with the dead, helps solves crimes all over the country. Sounds like a silly setup, but "Medium" was actually based on the life of a real woman named Allison DuBois. And DuBois' understandably dramatized tale clearly hit a cord with viewers, airing seven seasons of story on NBC and later CBS before getting the axe in 2011. Jake Weber was in all 130 episodes of the show over that span, portraying Allison's devoted husband Joe. Even as Arquette was unquestionably the star of the show, most "Medium" fans might be quick to tell you the series really wouldn't have worked without Weber's constant, grounding presence. And they may well be right in that assertion.

Weber played a right-wing talk show host on Homeland

Despite his uncanny ability to play soft-hearted, virtuous characters, Jake Weber has regularly been cast as a hubristic know-it-all throughout his career. And that's precisely the energy he projected in his 11-episode run on Showtime's lauded spy drama "Homeland." 

Weber turned up on the series during its electrifying 6th season, portraying a bluster-loving right-wing radio host named Brett O'Keefe. For much of Season 6, O'Keefe spends his time espousing inflammatory, MAGA-themed rhetoric on a show clearly designed to mimic those of certain real-world characters whose names need not be repeated here. Much was said of the "fake news" storyline on "Homeland" as it was happening, largely because those episodes played out amid the divisive 2016 election. Still, few could argue Weber wasn't at his scene-devouring best as the bile-spewing O'Keefe. 

So convincing was Weber in the role, his apparent real-world counterpart reportedly took grave offense to the character's very existence (per Screen Daily). And there's something to be said for a performance so unflinchingly on point it would elicit such a comically absurd reaction from the person it's very loosely based on.  

Weber played a very bad man on Star Trek: Discovery

With several genuinely fantastic "Star Trek" series now making their way to the streaming realm, there's arguably never been a better time to be a "Trek" fan.  That trend, of course, began in 2017 when the then fledgling platform now known as Paramount+ started airing "Star Trek: Discovery." The prequel to the original "Star Trek," "Discovery" has proven a series every bit as fascinating as any which preceded it. And in some cases, the sheer narrative ingenuity on display in "Discovery" has eclipsed that of series past.

That includes the Season 3 plot line that found the "Discovery" crew displaced in time, and struggling to find their way home in a future where technology has far surpassed their own. That struggle eventually put them on a collision course with a planetary dictator type by the name of Zareh. The character turned up when Commander Saru (Doug Jones) and Ensign Sylvia Tilly (Mary Wiseman) sought to broker a deal to have Discovery's communications repaired in exchange for a cache of highly sought-after Dilethium. And Zareh proved a cunning and utterly merciless foe for the Discovery crew in his ensuing three appearances.

Jake Weber's steely-eyed delivery of Zareh's every icy word only made his presence all the more menacing. And yes, it helped make Zareh one of the most memorable, and realistic "Star Trek: Discovery" villains to date.