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Why Baxley From The Predator Looks So Familiar

"I'm Tom Jane," Thomas Jane once declared in an episode of Arrested Development in which he played Tom Jane. It was a helpful reminder, no doubt about it, for anyone unsure whether or not he was Tom Jane.

Unfortunately, it's just the nature of the business that performers aren't generally encouraged to shout their own names on screen like perfectly symmetrical Pokemon with zero percent body fat. Take 2018's The Predator, Shane Black's soft reboot of the highly recognizable but historically hit-and-miss story of a species of interstellar Cabella's Gold Card recipients with a penchant for field dressing professional bodybuilders. In it, audiences are introduced to Baxley, a former Marine suffering from Tourette Syndrome, with that hard-to-find gumption that makes a guy think "I should jump on a Predator and stab it as much as I can." Baxley sure looks familiar, but his unwillingness to say "I'm Tom Jane" has made it impossible to be sure whether or not he's actually Thomas Jane — until now.

Through extensive research and a hard-hitting look at The Predator's end credits, it can officially be confirmed that Thomas Jane played Baxley. And you wanna know what else? He has previously claimed a few other major roles you probably recognize him from.

Thomas Jane's opening gambit: a Bollywood musical

"I was 16 years old, I'd dropped out of high school, I was working at a hardware store and taking acting classes above a liquor store in Bethesda, Maryland." That's the introduction that Thomas Jane gave to The AV Club in a 2011 interview, describing the circumstances that led him to take his first onscreen acting role. The movie: 1987's Padamati Sandhya Ragam, loosely translated to "Evening Raga of the West," a barebones Indian production exploring a relationship between a young recent immigrant and her American boyfriend.

It was, by many standards, an inauspicious start to a movie star career, but the astonishingly low budget of the picture led to bigger things. "They didn't have money to pay me, so they gave me the RV that we used to make the movie and drive the crew around in," Jane told The AV Club. "And I sold it, bought a 1969 Camaro, and drove it out to California to be an actor."

Thomas Jane provides shark and awe in Deep Blue Sea

In the wake of Jurassic Park's critical and financial success, a slew of thrillers started popping up featuring genetic experiments gone wrong. Each had its own brand of high-minded philosophical questions in tow. Mimic posited "is man meant to meddle in nature's domain?" Species asked "what if we made monsters too sex positive?" And in 1999, Deep Blue Sea dared to wonder "what if we made sharks with big fat brains?"

The answer: chaos. In a deep sea laboratory dedicated to the development of therapeutic treatments for brain diseases, a contingent of genetically altered, highly intelligent sharks rain hell down on their creators. Helicopters are pulled from the sky, tremors send folks plummeting to the shark-plagued depths. Stellan Skarsgard makes an appearance and never once thinks to call Thor for help. It's the deadliest 105 minutes of shark violence committed to film that doesn't use "nado," "topus," or "USS Indianapolis" in the title.

And the hero of the story, decked out in scuba gear and a vengeful harpoon gun, is Carter Blake, played by none other than Thomas Jane. A professional shark wrangler and verifiable cool dude, he even manages to make it out of the movie alive, a feat which is only shared by LL Cool J.

Thomas Jane is still the favorite Punisher of some folks

In 2004, one comic book movie spawned a million ill-advised amateur skull logo tattoos: The Punisher, Marvel's first feature-length toe in the character's waters since Dolph Lundgren was a bankable star. Front and center was Thomas Jane, playing the eponymous Punisher, AKA Frank Castle.

Written and directed by Jumanji screenwriter Jonathan Hensleigh, The Punisher was a superhero movie from a different era. Frank Castle, the bereaved antihero of the story, shared precisely 0% of his universe with other recognizable Marvel characters. The story took cues from comics like War Journal and Welcome Back, Frank while also taking heavy drags off of drive-in classics like Mad Max and Death Wish. Most of all, it did what the MCU still refuses to do: it cast John Travolta as the chief antagonist. All that, and a comic book movie role for Rebecca Romijn where she doesn't have to dress like a blue tang fish.

The Punisher was originally intended to kick off a full-fledged franchise, but an underwhelming box office take combined with behind the scenes creative disagreements saw Frank's story soft rebooted with 2008's Punisher: War Zone. For the discerning Punisher connoisseur, however, Jane would reprise the role not only in the critically acclaimed PS2-era video game adaptations, but also in 2012 for the Bootleg Universe internet short Laundry Day.