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Why Professor Callahan From Legally Blonde Looks So Familiar

Like Elle Woods herself, "Legally Blonde" contains hidden depths. At first seeming to be a glitzy, fashion-forward comedy, the film tackles issues like internalized misogyny and sexual harassment in the workplace. Over a decade before the Me Too movement, Profesor Callahan's heel turn (to borrow a term from pro wrestling) is devastating. While working on the Brooke Taylor-Windham case, Callahan propositions Elle, abusing his status as her mentor. Elle is underestimated by everyone at Harvard Law School, and the first professor to actually take her seriously turns out to just have been interested in her sexually.

Part of what makes Callahan's turn so upsetting is that he's played by the sweet-seeming Victor Garber. Garber was a theater star before working in film and television, and he's played plenty of duplicitous characters in his time. One of the few upstanding fellows he's played unwittingly caused the deaths of hundreds. Here's where you may have seen Victor Garber before.

Garber got his comeuppance in The First Wives Club

Victor Garber plays a key role in one of Ariana Grande's favorite movies, "The First Wives Club." The 1996 comedy stars Bette Midler, Goldie Hawn, and Diane Keaton as three college friends who all get divorced around the same time. The three women helped their husbands build successful careers, only for those men to turn around and get new wives once attaining a certain level of success and status. The starter wives plot to get revenge on their exes, forming the titular First Wives Club.

Garber plays Bill, the ex-husband of Goldie Hawn's Elsie. Elsie is an actress, and Bill is a producer who only gained notoriety through her star power. Bill leaves Elsie for a younger woman (much younger — as in, still a minor) He also demands alimony from her because he claims he made her career, not the other way around. "The First Wives Club" also stars Dan Hedaya of "Clueless" fame, as well as Sarah Jessica Parker and Elizabeth Berkley as two of the new girlfriends.

He went down as the doomed shipbuilder of Titanic

Garber played real-life figure Thomas Andrews in 1997's "Titanic." Andrews designed the allegedly unsinkable ship and went down with it as penance for his hubris. "Titanic" was a blockbuster, earning 14 Oscar nominations and winning 11. The movie also starred Kate Winslet, Leonardo DiCaprio, Bill Paxton, and Kathy Bates as another real-life figure — the "Unsinkable" Molly Brown.

"Titanic" was the highest-grossing movie of all time before "Avengers: Endgame" took the title in 2019. But people had their doubts about the movie when it was being made. "Titanic" surpassed "Waterworld" as the most expensive movie ever made, and the production was notoriously testy. In fact, someone had such a bad time on set that they spiked the wrap party's clam chowder with PCP, according to Vice. Afflicted cast and crew were taken to a Canadian hospital, where they stayed up all night hallucinating. A culprit was never found.

He's a Double Agent Daddy in Alias

TV fans may remember Garber best as Sydney Bristow's complicated father in "Alias." The sophomore series from JJ Abrams starred Jennifer Garner as a spy who was really into wigs. Sydney Bristow (Garner) is a CIA operative who at first thinks she's working in an official black-ops branch, SD-6. In the show's pilot, her father Jack (Garber), explains to her that SD-6 is actually its own entity, working separately from the United States government.

Jack Bristow was cold and emotionally distant to Sydney, but he proved his love for her time and time again by doing heinous crimes in order to protect her. Garber was nominated for three Emmys for his work on the show. TV Guide ranked him #29 in its list of all-time greatest TV dads, outranking Sisko from "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine," Alan Thicke's character on "Growing Pains," and the Walsh patriarch on "Beverly Hills: 90210."

Garber was a Legend of Tomorrow

Victor Garber was one half of the superheroic dyad Firestorm on the CW's "Flash" and "Legends of Tomorrow." Part of the greater DC Arrowverse, "Legends of Tomorrow" may best be known outside of comic book nerd circles for the clip of Gorilla Grodd trying to kill a pre-presidential Barack Obama (The Mary Sue).

Firestorm is a DC superhero that is a mind-meld/shared body situation between nuclear physicist Martin Stein (Garber) and Ronnie Raymond (Robbie Amell). Stein and Raymond melded into a Firestorm on "The Flash," with Stein's mind driving Raymond's body most of the time. Firestorm's time on "The Flash" was complicated by both members of the mind meld having significant others. They eventually figured out a way to meld and de-meld, but eventually, Ronnie sacrificed himself to save Central City. After Ronnie's death, Stein fused with Jefferson "Jax" Jackson (Franz Drameh) on "Legends of Tomorrow." Garber left the Arrowverse in Season 3 of "Legends of Tomorrow."