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Why Lloyd From The Stand Looks So Familiar

It's a strange predicament of Stephen King's imperial writing career that so many of his works have found success in adaptation, while The Stand, arguably King's magnum opus, has never really had the kind of epic treatment on screen that it deserves. Sure, there's the 1994 attempt starring Gary Sinese and Molly Ringwald, but that relatively low-budget attempt hardly does the story justice.

In book form, The Stand is a true masterpiece of massive proportions — it's a novel that set the standard for the generation of post-apocalyptic disaster porn that flooded the literary market in its wake. It's also uniquely à propos for our time of pandemic, which is why CBS' upcoming crack at the material comes with such fervent fan anticipation.

At its core, The Stand is a story about binary archetypes — good versus evil in a world ravaged by the superflu colloquially known as "Captain Trips." While Mother Abigail and her cadre of survivors stand for the good in this fight, perhaps no one better embodies the evil than Lloyd Henreid, a convict personally reaped by the Man in Black himself, Randall Flagg. This time around, Lloyd is played by Hollywood veteran Nat Wolff.

Here's why he looks so familiar.

The Naked Brothers Band franchise kicked off Nat Wolff's career

Nat Wolff is one of those actors who looks so familiar because he's basically grown up in the entertainment industry. A native Angeleno and son of a jazz musician and an actress, Nat Wolff was destined for stardom from an early age. According to IMDb, he spent most of his formative years in New York City where he started acting professionally at the age of 11.

His first major project cast him alongside his IRL brother, musician Alex Wolff. The film, The Naked Brothers Band: The Movie, from writer-director Polly Draper debuted on Nickelodeon back in 2005. Nat and Alex play the titular musical brothers, a pair of performances that earned the movie such a following that a sequel series spun off and aired on the same kids' cabler from 2007 to 2009. Nat starred in all 32 episodes of the Nick series, an opportunity that really got his career off on the right foot.

By the time the final episode of The Naked Family Band wrapped, Nat was a young teenager with a made-for-TV movie and a successful series under his belt. He was ready to move on to bigger things.

Nat Wolff landed the starring role in Paper Towns

Nat Wolff made the jump to major motion pictures in 2011 with Peace, Love & Misunderstanding, a lower profile project that soon led to major opportunities such as the 2014 film The Fault in Our Stars. In that film, Wolff had to yield top billing to teen heartthrobs Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort, though his work in the role of Isaac showed he could handle serious dramatic material with the best of his peers.

It wasn't long before that talent was recognized, and Wolff moved onto even more sophisticated fare like 2015's Paper Towns. In Paper Towns, Wolff finally landed the leading role he was born to play, a quirky teen romantic lead opposite Carnival Row's Cara Delevingne. 

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter about the film, Wolff said, "I love how it has a mystery element, a detective story. And I connected deeply to those three friends. I felt like when I did the movie it was like going into a time machine back to when I was 12 or 13. I was embarrassingly romantic and had these two best friends I spent all my time with, and we joked about similar sorts of things."

Nat Wolff is Kira

After proving himself a bankable star deserving of top billing, Netflix and Vertigo Entertainment tapped Wolff to lead a big-budget live-action adaptation of the famous anime series Death Note. Live-action anime adaptations don't have the best track record — especially when they're white-washed as was apparently the plan with Death Note. Still, Wolff brazenly accepted the role of Light Turner (Yagami in the source material) and made the most of a middling script.

The story of Death Note really turns on the inner struggle of Light, a heavy lift for any performer, but Wolff shouldered it well. Despite his efforts, Netflix's Death Note simply made too many nonsensical changes to the venerated source material to really stand up to scrutiny. The film holds an abysmal 38% critical rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and an even more troubling 24% audience score. 

The sum of all Death Note's parts is certainly nothing spectacular, but Wolff's performance as a young man who discovers a notebook with the power to control minds and end lives prevents it from being a total disaster.

Wolff joined Andrew Garfield and Maya Hawke in Mainstream

After Death Note, Wolff took a step back from hard genre and pop culture to test his mettle in some higher brow projects alongside other incredible young performers. He briefly returned to TV to play Joseph in an episode of the anthology series Room 104 entitled "The Missionaries." The episode is one of the creepy show's most well regarded, and much of its effect is owed to Wolff's substantial performance.

After Room 104, Wolff found roles in films like Semper Fi and Mortal, but his most impressive gig was also his most recent one before The Stand. The 2020 film Mainstream cast Wolff in the role of Jake alongside fellow up-and-comers Andrew Garfield (The Social Network) and Maya Hawke (Stranger Things). This sci-fi adjacent film also gave Wolff the opportunity to work alongside veterans like Jason Schwartzman (I Heart Huckabees) and Johnny Knoxville (Jackass).

Given all the breathless reviews pouring in for The Stand, it seems like we'll be seeing even more of Nat Wolff's familiar face going forward.