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Why Abernathy From Accepted Looks So Familiar

Accepted is one of those college comedies in which it's almost mind-boggling to look back on how many enormous stars were featured before they were huge. Star Justin Long was a relative newcomer at the time, but would go on to star in everything from Jeepers Creepers to Die Hard, let alone all the comedies he featured in. Long's co-star was Jonah Hill, who had yet to find his mega success in Superbad. However, we now know him not only as a great comedian but also as a tremendous dramatic talent thanks to stuff like The Wolf of Wall Street and Maniac. And, fresh off her first big role in Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Blake Lively played Long's love interest only a year before her breakout role as Serena van der Woodsen in Gossip Girl.

The cast of Accepted is so stacked with talent that you might not get the chance to focus too much on some of the supporting players. If you recall, the setup for the film is that Bartleby Gaines (Justin Long) fails to get accepted to any colleges and decides to create his own fake college so his parents think he's in school and he is free to goof off. The hitch is that his friend Sherman (Jonah Hill) creates a real website for the school, causing a ton of other kids who also weren't accepted to college to turn up to Bartleby's fake school South Harmon Institute of Technology.

The first student to turn up for these phantom classes is Abernathy Darwin Dunlap, who was played by Robin Lord Taylor. He has attention deficit disorder (hence his initials) and is hoping that South Harmon will be the place to understand him and help him get an education. And if you think Abernathy looks familiar, it's because you've definitely seen him in other places before.

Robin Lord Taylor played Penguin on Gotham

Iowa-born Robin Lord Taylor is, first and foremost, a New York actor. Although you wouldn't recognize him because of this, he was roommates and friends with Billy Eichner and the two worked together on a project called Creation Nation, the series which would lead to Eichner's well-known man-on-the-street show Billy on the Street.

In an interview with Wendy Williams, Taylor revealed he and Eichner worked and had fun together in New York City while they were both out-of-work actors. And it's fortuitous that Taylor was involved with a series so connected with the Big Apple because probably his biggest role is that of Oswald Cobblepot (aka the Penguin) in the Fox series Gotham, a Batman prequel also shot in NYC.

Gotham, which ran for five seasons, is this brilliant marriage of the original Batman series from 1966 and the Tim Burton Batman era that's a world of Dutch angles, giant explosions, and absolute mayhem. And while it truly has one of the best casts of any Batman adaptation ever, one of Gotham's immediate standout performers was Taylor as this young, seemingly unassuming (at first) Oswald Cobbelpot. He starts the series as Fish Mooney's (Jada Pinkett-Smith) umbrella boy, but, as the series wears on, he becomes a crime boss, the mayor of Gotham, and even becomes a fascist dictator once Gotham gets cut off from the rest of the world. But the best part of Taylor playing this version of Penguin is that, no matter how evil he is, he is also imminently lovable.

There's no way Penguin can be a good mayor, but Taylor makes you root for him. There's also no way Penguin and The Riddler (Cory Michael Smith) should fall in love, but he makes you want that, too. So if you recognize Robin Lord Taylor from anything, his role as Penguin in Gotham might be it.

He was Sam on The Walking Dead

One shouldn't think that Robin Lord Taylor's only experience with comic book adaptations is Gotham. On the contrary, he played a small part in one of the most famous comic book adaptations of the 21st century so far — AMC's The Walking Dead.

Way back in season 4, when Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and company are operating out of the prison, he takes Carol (Melissa McBride) out to ultimately exile her from the prison. They then run into two struggling survivors and help them kill some walkers. The two survivors are Ana (Brina Palencia) and Sam, who was played by Taylor.

The four split up for supplies, with Rick giving Sam his watch so that he can keep track of time. Unfortunately, Ana is killed by zombies and Sam seemingly vanishes without a trace. For a time that seems like the end of Sam's story, but he does appear again in season 5 in the town of Terminus. As you may recall, Terminus is populated by cannibals and Sam isn't really interested in sacrificing his humanity to become like them.

By the time Rick finds Sam again in the episode "No Sanctuary," it's just in time to see Sam beaten with a bat and then have his throat slit. There is a silver lining, though — Rick does get his watch back! But that's the last we see of Taylor on The Walking Dead.

Robin Lord Taylor was hacker Will Bettelheim on You

At the top we mentioned Accepted star Blake Lively and her connection with Gossip Girl. Well, it turns out that Robin Lord Taylor is connected to more than one alum of the classic CW series. Penn Badgley, who many of us remember as Lonely Boy aka Dan Humphrey (aka the person who was Gossip Girl the whole time) has found new success in the last few years as the serial killer Joe Goldberg on the Netflix series You.

If you know anything about the show, Joe starts out as a bookstore manager in New York who develops an unhealthy obsession with NYU grad student Guinevere Beck (Elizabeth Lail). Long story short, things do not go well and Joe decides to skip town and move to Los Angeles.

While in L.A., Joe realizes it is in his best interest to come up with a new identity and seeks help from a hacker by the name of Will Bettelheim, played by Taylor. Bettelheim explains to Joe just how difficult it would be to get a brand new identity, so Joe decides to take Bettelheim's instead. In fact, Joe ends up locking Will up in a glass cage in a storage unit — where Will stays for quite a while.

What makes Will and Joe's story interesting and unique in You is that Joe doesn't actually ever wind up killing Will — unlike virtually everyone else Joe becomes close with. Will actually convinces Joe to let him out of his cell so he can move to the Philippines to live out his days with a woman named Gigi (Haven Everly).

It's interesting that after Robin Lord Taylor played a ruthless but lovable version of the Penguin, he went on to play the only person who successfully remained friends with the ruthless and hard-to-love Joe Goldberg.

Taylor was The Administrator in John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum

We've talked about some of Robin Lord Taylor's roles that have meat on the bone, but let's end on a cameo appearance he has that is, simply put, just a bit of fun.

We're all familiar with the John Wick franchise, the series of movies where Keanu Reeves plays a titular assassin who comes out from his retirement after a Russian mobster kills the dog he got from his dead wife. The three movies in the series so far stand as a high-water mark for the action and revenge movie genre. Reeves' performance as John Wick is gritty perfection and the action sequences are some of the most over-the-top brilliant you'll find in any movie ever.

By the third movie, Wick has gone up against all sorts of people, but he has, at least, curried some favor with the people who run the Continental, a hotel that also doubles as a safe haven for assassins. Unfortunately, in John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, there is a point of conflict between Wick and longtime acquaintance Winston (Ian McShane) which results in an Adjudicator (Asia Kate Dillon) making a call to have the Continental declared "deconsecrated," thus making it fair game to unleash an army of killers onto it.

And who does the Adjudicator call to make the deconsecration official? The Administrator, aka Robin Lord Taylor. And as you'd expect, even though he only gets about a minute of screen time, Taylor fills that minute with exactly the kind of drama necessary to set up the all-out war that's about to commence. Essentially, if you need your murder spree to have a little charismatic flair, Taylor is the man to call.