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Why Mason From Vampire Academy Looks So Familiar

The late-2000's and early-2010's were a weird time for the teen movie market — largely because the soapy 2008 vampire melodrama "Twilight" became a blockbuster hit, the likes of which the young adult movie market had rarely seen. In the wake of that film's success, said market was instantly flooded with young adult tales of romance fronting some sort of fantastical twist. 

Many of those movies failed at the box office, of course, probably because it became all but impossible to tell one YA movie apart from the next. Likewise, many critics argued the bulk of the YA flicks just weren't very good... and if the Rotten Tomatoes reviews for 2014's "Vampire Academy" are to be believed, that's just the case. Even if the film largely underwhelmed upon released, "Vampire Academy" is now earning some serious love in the streaming realm, where fans continue to indulge in its hokey tale of blood-sucking high school hijinks. 

They continue to be impressed by the film's cast too, which fronts a solid mix of established players like Gabriel Byrne and Claire Foy, with then up-and-comers like Zoey Deutch, Lucy Fry, Sami Gayle, and of course, Cameron Monaghan, who portrayed Mason in the film. If you thought he looked familiar, it's because you've almost certainly seen him in other projects of late. Here's why Mason from "Vampire Academy" looks so familiar. 

Cameron Monaghan was one half of Shameless' favorite couple

If Cameron Monaghan's mug did look familiar in your latest "Vampire Academy" screening, it's probably because you're a fan of Showtime's long-running (and recently ended) family dramedy "Shameless." After all, Monaghan had been playing Ian Gallagher on the series for three full seasons before trading lines with the trash-talking teens of "Vampire Academy," nd he'd go on to portray the oft-troubled Ian on "Shameless" for another seven seasons before all was said and done.

Even if Monaghan essentially took a season off to pursue other gigs, most "Shameless" fans might agree Ian's arc on the show was frequently it's most challenging, and rewarding. That's in large part due to series' writing team, who ran Ian through an emotional ringer that made his siblings' stories look a bit tame by comparison. As for Monaghan, he carries the heavy load throughout by delivering arguably the show's strongest season-by-season performance. Thankfully, "Shameless" creatives finally gave Ian a little peace of mind in later seasons, fronting him as half of one of the series' best-loved couples opposite Noel Fisher's infamous Mickey Milkovich ... though the road to get Gallavich together was more than a little bit dicey. 

Gotham saw Monaghan go full Joker

One of the gigs that frequently called Cameron Monaghan away from Chicago's most notorious South Side family was a major villainous role on Fox's beyond bonkers Batman mashup "Gotham." That series made its premiere in 2014, boasting a pre-Dark Knight narrative that followed young Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) and a fresh-faced Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) before they became Gotham's heroic elite. Along the way, the pair naturally faced off against a rogues gallery of classic Batman baddies, all of whom essentially got their own origin story too.

Cameron Monaghan made his "Gotham" debut in season 2, doing so as Jerome Valeska, the deranged Arkham Asylum regular who lived, died, lived again, and died again as one of the biggest bads the series ever saw... one whose narrative is strikingly similar to that of iconic Batman villain the Joker, though he officially never goes by that moniker. Ditto for the other character Monaghan played on "Gotham," Jerome's even crazier twin Jeremiah, who turned up in season 4 as the most legit version of Joker the series' delivered. For his part, Monaghan went all-in with both characters, delivering deliriously over-the-top dual performances in his 20 "Gotham" appearances, and crafting a Joker that arguably ranks among the character's best screen representations.

Cameron Monaghan wielded the Force in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

You may not realize it, but Cameron Monaghan has been a working actor since he was a young child; over the years, he's appeared in some of the most popular shows on television, including "Malcom in the Middle," "Criminal Minds," "Monk," and "Fringe." But if you didn't see Monaghan at work in any of those shows, or the aforementioned projects, you may still have seen his face elsewhere.

That's especially true if you're a gamer with a love for single-player actioners set in the fabled galaxy far, far away. Yep, that was indeed Monaghan portraying the Padawan Cal Kestis in the hit 2019 Electronic Arts game "Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order." In the end, the actor delivers solid work in his motion capture performance as one of the few would-be Jedi who survived Order 66 and went on to have further adventures in the galaxy at large. "Fallen Order" picked up with Kestis years after that fateful event, and found the young Jedi hunted by the Galactic Empire as he tries to rebuild the titular order — and as far as video game "Star Wars" adventures go, "Fallen Order" is viewed by many as the most thrilling additions to date.