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Why Jacob From Lost Looks So Familiar

"Lost." Never before in the history of television had a single syllable cause so much anger, confusion, and yearning with such rapt attention; the show's finale was such a disappointment to so many fans. In the time since, multiple series have helped audiences cope with the "Lost" experience by also crashing and burning, notably "Dexter" and "Game of Thrones." Before all the outrage at the show's ending, "Lost" was a show that inspired intrigue and great philosophical debates on good, evil, and the very nature of being and existence. When Oceanic Flight 815 plunged into the ocean, it took viewers' hearts and minds with it and we all washed ashore on the island together. Or something like that.

Throughout the series, the survivors of the crash — Jack (Matthew Fox), Kate (Evangeline Lilly), Sawyer (Josh Holloway), Locke (Terry O'Quinn), Charlie (Dominic Monaghan), Claire (Emilie de Ravin), Hurley (Jorge Garcia), Sayid (Naveen Andrews), Jin (Daniel Dae Kim), and Sun (Yunjin Kim) — encounter more inhabitants of the mysterious island. Benjamin Linus, aka Henry Gale (Michael Emerson), initially served as primary antagonist and leader of the shadowy Others, though he later became an ally of sorts. Perhaps more importantly, Ben claims to be the only person capable of communicating with the mysterious messianic figure known as Jacob. Jacob is a great man who was born on the island, as was his brother, the Man in Black (Titus Welliver), aka the Smoke Monster. Despite being on the side of good, Jacob is also responsible for the plane's crash. 

Having been spoken of for a long time, Jacob didn't show up until the end of the fifth season of "Lost" and was actually killed in the 16th episode, entitled "The Incident." Viewers should recognize the actor behind Jacob as Mark Pellegrino, who's had a fair few memorable roles. Here's why Jacob from "Lost" looks so familiar.

Pellegrino dunked The Dude's head in the toilet in The Big Lebowski

After a little more than a decade of one-off TV appearances and small movie roles, Mark Pellegrino asked the most important question in a Coen brothers classic as a member of the cast of "The Big Lebowski." The scene takes place after the opening monologue from the narrator, in which The Stranger (Sam Elliott) sets the scene as The Dude (Jeff Bridges) is shopping for half-and-half — for which he writes a check for $0.69 — at Ralphs grocery store. After The Dude sees then-President George H. W. Bush speaking on television at the checkout register, saying  "This will not stand, this aggression against Kuwait" — a phrase he tucks away for later — he heads home to find that he's got some unexpected guests.

"Where's the money, Lebowski?" Pellegrino's character asks in one of the film's funniest scenes. It's a question so important he keeps asking it without really giving The Dude a chance to respond in between dunking his head in the toilet. The Dude, of course, hilariously replies that it's probably down there somewhere and asks to take another look in the toilet. Blond Treehorn Thug, as Pellegrino's character is credited, obliges before explaining that since The Dude's wife owes money to Jackie Treehorn, that means he owes the money just the same. The Dude tries to explain that it's a case of mistaken identity, because he's The Dude and no one calls him "Lebowski." The other Treehorn Thug, Woo (Philip Moon), lets his actions speak for him and pees on The Dude's rug, an offense that sets the rest of the film's plot in motion. Pellegrino's character may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but he did eventually put together the fact that The Dude's place is not the home of a millionaire. And at least he didn't pee on the rug. 

He played Rita's abusive ex-husband Paul on Dexter

A decade after dunking Jeff Bridges' head in a toilet — during which time he appeared in shows like "The X-Files," "NYPD Blue," and "The Practice," as well as films like "Mulholland Drive," "National Treasure," and "Capote" — Mark Pellegrino managed to land a role playing a character even more instantly dislikable than Blond Treehorn Thug. In 2006, he began a short but memorable tenure as Paul Bennett, the ex-husband to Rita (Julie Benz), the love interest and eventual wife to series protagonist Dexter (Michael C. Hall) on Showtime's popular series of the same name. Paul is a much more complicated character than he appears, at first glance. While there's no arguing that his past misdeeds — including nearly killing Rita during a prolonged period of domestic abuse — were appalling, it similarly cannot be argued that the recovering heroin addict, newly released from prison, has a deep and genuine love for Astor (Christina Robinson) and Cody (Daniel Goldman and later Preston Bailey), the children he shares with his ex-wife. Alternately manipulative and abusive or loving and with pure intent, Paul's alignment ceased to matter when he became a problem for Rita, because that made him a problem for everyone's favorite blood spatter analyst and serial killer. 

Pellegrino opened up about his process as an actor in preparing for such a role in an interview with Filmnut. "I never look at a bad guy as a bad guy ... Believe it or not, when you're talking about Paul, morally behind the character that I'm doing, I don't think that an actor should judge the character because then they objectify it in a way." Pellegrino elaborated that he tries to identify the human problem within the story. "For Paul, I felt his issue was just trying to bring his family back together ... I let the story and the audience judge for themselves whether or not I'm good or bad."

Mark Pellegrino was Lucifer on Supernatural

Around the same time he took on the messianic role on "Lost," Mark began playing a character on the complete opposite side of the good vs. evil spectrum. According to IMDb, his first appearance as Jacob came in the May 13, 2009, episode of "Lost" entitled "The Incident," whereas he made his debut appearance as the fallen angel Lucifer on The CW's "Supernatural" in the September 10, 2009, episode entitled "Sympathy for the Devil." Pellegrino recurred on "Supernatural" for its fifth, seventh and 11th seasons and was a part of the series' main cast for its 12th and 13th seasons as Lucifer and its 14th season as his human counterpart, Nick. As a fallen angel, Lucifer, aka The Devil, lacks a corporeal form. Nick allows Lucifer to inhabit his body after being offered the chance to get revenge on God for the death of his wife Sarah and son Teddy, who were killed in a robbery gone bad. When "Supernatural" protagonists Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles) shifted in Season 5 from taking on ghosts, werewolves, and other monsters to angels and demons, this put Nick-slash Lucifer in their crosshairs. Their motives aren't purely altruistic, of course; Sam's body is a vessel for Lucifer as well. When Dean kills Lucifer in Season 13, Nick survives and begins his own journey.

Pellegrino opened up to Hypable about transitioning between the two roles at the celebration of the 300th episode of"Supernatural." "Nick is on the hunt for the killer of his family and he has to go through a lot of folks to get there," Pellegrino said. On saying goodbye to playing the devil, he was less certain. "I'm in denial. I'm not accepting that Lucifer is gone and I refuse. So even if it turns out that he is, forever, gone, I'm not going to believe it. Because can you kill the devil?"

Pellegrino played the vampire who turned Aidan in Being Human

Having played a dim-witted thug, an abusive addict, a messiah and the Devil, Mark Pellegrino branched out into another type of character, though still a kind that the Winchester brothers would hunt down. Syfy's "Being Human," the North American adaptation of a British series of the same name, followed the same format as the version that aired on the BBC and told the tale of a vampire, a werewolf, and a ghost who all live together. Aidan Waite (Sam Witwer) is a vampire who's nearly 260 years old and works as a nurse at a hospital in Boston; Sally Malik (Meaghan Rath) is a ghost who haunts the house Aidan rents with Josh Levison (Sam Huntington), a werewolf who works at the same hospital as an orderly. As a member of the series main cast for its first season, Pellegrino took on the role of James Bishop, the vampire who turned Aidan during the time of the American Revolution. James was himself turned during the 1400s in pre-Renaissance England and works as a member of the Boston Police Department in the series' modern day setting.

With his character killed off during the "Being Human" Season 1 finale, Pellegrino recurred as a guest star in later seasons of the series as a vision or psychological construct in Aidan's head. He described the relationship between Bishop and Aidan as a prodigal son story in an interview with Collider, noting that the "vampire business" goes down at a funeral home in which he has a stake — no pun intended. "He basically operates out of there and is trying, from the very beginning, to bring Aidan back into the fold. Aidan has been the rebel. He's the prodigal son, so to speak. Bishop is trying to bring him back into the family business," he said.

He appeared as Alex's dad in 13 Reasons Why

Mark Pellegrino played a supporting role in the popular Netflix teen drama "13 Reasons Why." Based on the young adult novel "Thirteen Reasons Why," the series chronicled the fallout from high school student Hannah Baker's (Katherine Langford) suicide after her sexual assault at the hands of a star football player. Prior to the inciting event, Hannah made a series of tapes to explain her actions to those closest to her, who also happened to be those who let her down and were not there for her. Among those parties is Alex Standall (Miles Heizer), Hannah's estranged friend who went on to kill her rapist, Bryce Walker (Justin Prentice), in the show's third season. Pellegrino played Alex's father, Bill, who's a deputy sheriff that helps in the murder investigation. Eventually Dep. Standall realizes that Alex is responsible for Bryce's death and is complicit in the cover-up by his friends.

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