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Why Larry From The Stand Looks So Familiar

With its plot about a world-ravaging disease and the survivors' struggle to deal with a new, strange world, CBS All Access' The Stand is a little more topical than a miniseries based on a 1978 dark fantasy novel by Stephen King probably should be. However, that doesn't make the show any less enticing. 

The Stand depicts a world where humanity has been all but destroyed by an ultra-deadly pandemic known as Captain Trips — and in the aftermath, an ominous man called Randall Flagg (Alexander Skarsgård) rises. The ensemble cast features household names from James Marsden (who portrays everyman hero Stu Redman) and Greg Kinnear (as the eccentric Glen Batman) to Whoopi Goldberg (who plays "Mother" Abagail Freemantle) and Amber Heard (as Nadine Cross). There are also several actors whose faces seem extremely familiar, though you might not immediately remember where you know them from. 

These successful, yet slightly less recognizable names include Brad William Henke, who plays Tom Cullen, and Jovan Adepo, who plays one of the most interesting characters in the series — hedonistic musician Larry Underwood. Here's why Larry from The Stand looks so familiar.

Jovan Adepo is Michael Murphy on The Leftovers

You might not immediately recognize his name, but Jovan Adepo is one of the more versatile actors working today — and he's been working a lot. His career arguably truly took off in 2015, when he landed the role of Michael Murphy on The Leftovers. Damon Lindelof's high-concept HBO drama about the aftermath of 140 million people spontaneously disappearing into thin air is technically an adaptation of Tom Perrotta's book of the same name, but it takes the story way beyond the source material. The show's bizarre starting point and the various madcap ways people deal with their trauma made for an ambitious narrative, but an all-star cast of nuanced actors like Justin Theroux, Christopher Eccleston, Ann Dowd, Carrie Coon — and, of course, Adepo — helps drive the story home. 

Adepo joined the cast in season 2 as Michael Murphy, the religious and thoughtful son of Erika Murphy (Regina King) and fireman-turned-fortune teller John Murphy (Kevin Carroll). You'd be forgiven for sometimes losing sight of him in a show that's stuffed to the brim with well-known faces and established character actors playing juicy roles. However, the role of Michael sure seems to have helped put him on the map. After all, he and King soon found themselves in another Lindelof project — once again as members of the same family, but this time in far more central roles. 

Jovan Adepo is young Will Reeves on Watchmen

Damon Lindelof, Regina King, and Jovan Adepo rejoined forces in 2019 for HBO's Watchmenthe esteemed miniseries that acted as a continuation of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' classic graphic novel of the same name. King plays the show's central protagonist Angela Abar, a talented Tulsa cop who works under the costumed alias "Sister Night." She's surprised to find out that masked crimefighting runs in the family when a memory drug called Nostalgia reveals that her grandfather Will Reeves (Louis Gossett Jr.) is actually Hooded Justice, the first masked vigilante, who was supposedly a Caucasian man. 

Adepo plays Will during his origin story, set in 1938. Will becomes a New York beat cop with the best of intentions, but soon encounters racism and a white supremacist conspiracy known as Cyclops. After Cyclops-affiliated white police officers almost lynch him as an intimidation tactic, Will decides to go after the organization as Hooded Justice — only for his role as a costumed vigilante to start consuming him more and more. 

The role is a rollercoaster of raw emotion and physicality that requires a lot from the actor, and Adepo delivers on every single front. In 2020, He was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series Or Movie, and though he ultimately lost to castmate Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, there's no denying that Adepo made a massive impact. As Larry Underwood on The Stand, he seems destined to continue on that course, and with high-profile roles like that coming his way, it seems safe to say that his star has only just begun to rise.  

Jovan Adepo starred in Fences

Apart from his prominent roles on Damon Lindelof's shows, Adepo has diverse credits ranging from the J.J. Abrams-produced WWII horror movie Overlord (in which he starred as Boyce) to his role as the adult Antron McCray on When They See UsNetflix's miniseries about the infamous "Central Park Five" case. 

However, prior to The Stand and Watchmen, the most notable role on his résumé was arguably that of Cory Maxson in Fences. The critically acclaimed 2016 period drama stars Academy Award winners Denzel Washington (who also directed) and Viola Davis as Pittsburgh garbage collector and talented baseball player Troy Maxson and his wife, Rose. Adepo plays their son, Cory — a football prodigy on a collision course with his father, who won't support Cory's athletic aspirations for fear that he'll fail like his old man did. 

In an interview with Harper's Bazaar, Adepo revealed that this potentially intimidating job was actually pretty amazing. "What I really appreciated and adored about this experience was that Denzel gave me the freedom to find myself and to find my own confidence as an actor," Adepo said, describing the way veterans Washington and Davis allowed him to craft his own performance and assisted him when necessary. "What I really admired and respected was that they hired me for a job and if they felt that I really, really needed some guidance in a particular scene, or my choices weren't strong enough or weren't being conveyed, they would step in and talk with me about it. But what they did more than anything is they allowed me to succeed or fail on my own, and I never felt at any time I was going to fail because I had family with me on set."