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Why The Guy In Liberty Mutual's Interruption Commercial Looks So Familiar

Whether or not you like Liberty Mutual's ads, you've probably encountered one recently. Possibly, it took place outdoors with the Statue of Liberty in the background, and it closed with that "Liberty, Liberty, Liberty" earworm of a jingle that's so annoying yet memorable that you're hearing the tune as a result of looking at the words. 

Among its recent offerings, the Liberty Mutual "Interruption" ad focuses on a guy who figures out that he's in a Liberty Mutual commercial, addressing the narrator to ask, "What happens in this one?" It turns out there are seagulls involved — not a big stretch, considering the open, urban scene next to the Atlantic Ocean. He tries to be friendly toward the seagull that's landed next to him, but is promptly swarmed by the aggressive seabirds — again, not a stretch, if you've ever been in such an area trying to eat a sandwich, as this guy is. Fortunately, he's already gotten out the company's message about customizing insurance, so the commercial ends while he's still being attacked. 

If you've seen it, though, you may be wracking your brain wondering where you've seen the Asian American actor onscreen before. His name is David An, and he's a New Jersey native. And though he has yet to break out with a star-making turn, he's had some guest roles in high-profile TV shows like Grey's Anatomy, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and NCIS: Los Angeles, plus roles in movies like Allegiant, that mean you may have seen him before. 

He played a minor character in 2018's Rampage

Although An's dream has been to become an actor, he has actually worked behind the scenes on films in visual effects and editing, as he was trying to break into the industry, and his list of credits there is impressive: he worked on Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief, The A-Team, Transformers: Dark Of The Moon and Ender's Game. He says he's been taking on fewer such jobs, though, to make himself available for acting roles like the Liberty Mutual ad. Still, he might have felt right at home during filming of the 2018 film he was in with busy actor Dwayne Johnson. In Rampage, based on the arcade-friendly video game of the same name, there are plenty of special effects to work with, what with those giant monsters and all. 

In Rampage, An plays Kaplan, a member of the U.S. military who's attempting to corral the animals, which have grown huge following an ill-advised genetic experiment. It's a fun film with plenty of action and destruction, for which the original source material is well-known. An called it "a roller coaster adventure" in an interview with Lena Lamoray. "It's a cool storyline. It's really a question about where your loyalties lie. Sometimes it's not always about good versus bad. Sometimes good people just have different motivations and can end up on the wrong side of the same conflict."

An has said he loves video games and would get in trouble for playing them too much, so perhaps he's gotten the last laugh here.

He played another military man in The 15:17 to Paris

Despite his young acting career, An has already had the opportunity to work with — and learn from — some greats. Clint Eastwood helmed The 15:17 to Paris, a film which was considered fairly unusual because he cast many of the actual people involved in the real-life events he was portraying, rather than using professional actors. Of course, some actors were still hired, allowing an up-and-comer like An to tick off an item on his bucket list. As in Rampage, An played a military man — this time, an Air Force liaison named Lee.

"His style of directing, and lots of people have said it, he's very loose. I wasn't really prepared for how easy he was," An said to Lena Lamoray of his experience being directed by Eastwood. "He doesn't even say action. He'll just be rolling the camera and will be talking to you. He'll say something like how's the weather and whenever you are ready we are rolling ... I think it was amazing because it felt like a very small indie movie, and yet it was a rather large production. It's funny because the scale can match the director and the director can match the scale."

The movie is based on a true event from 2015 (via Army Times), in which three Americans traveling together saved the lives of everyone on board a train going from Amsterdam to Paris when they took down a terrorist threat. The involvement of the actual heroes, both as actors and behind the scenes as scriptwriters, allowed for a very accurate, if not very well-received, depiction of events.

He worked with Viggo Mortenson in Oscar winner Green Book

2018 was a good year for An — that's when all three films on this list came out. The actor's trend of working with high-profile film veterans continued in Green Book, which controversially won the Oscar for Best Picture at the 91st Academy Awards in 2019. The film, based on a true story, starred Viggo Mortenson and Mahershala Ali in the lead roles and was executive produced by Octavia Spencer with Peter Farrelly as director. Mortensen plays an Italian American, working class bouncer, who becomes the driver of a classical pianist played by Ali as they drive through the American South in he 1960s. An has a tiny role as a named character, Bobby.

When the movie came out, An posted about the experience on Instagram, saying, "So grateful to play my small part in this story of friendship and empathy . . One of the most generous set experiences ever, starting from director @p_farrelly1957 Peter Farrelly and producer @octaviaspencer #briancurrie to our leads @vigomortensen @mahershalaali who both deserve noms. .Thank you for showing this young actor how to create excellence within a spirit of curiousity [sic] and kindness."