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Why Evan From Never Have I Ever Season 2 Looks So Familiar

"Never Have I Ever” is a cute, campy, coming of age story about a young Indian-American girl dealing with profound loss, the search for young love, and all of this happening amid the chaos of high school and teenage hormones. Season 2 is going to debut later this month with some fresh faces joining the ensemble cast. And one of them is someone you have likely seen before: P.J. Byrne.

In Season 2 of the show, according to Deadline, he's going to play Evan, a nerdy research assistant and colleague of Kamala. But this isn't the first time that Byrne has played such a role. Since 2002, if a TV show or a movie needed a bit part with a nerd in glasses, Byrne was at the top of most casting agents' lists. So let's take a look at his journey through Hollywood and what brought him into Season 2 of "Never Have I Ever."

P.J. Byrne has been the "nerd with glasses" many, many times

Before we move onto P.J. Byrne's bigger roles, it's worth admiring the many, many minor "nerd with glasses" parts he's taken over the years. His IMDb page credits him in over 100 different acting roles where his talent ranges from "scruffy nerd with glasses" to "clean-shaven nerd with glasses."   

Let's take a big breath in (Ace-Ventura-style), and rattle off some of the more noteworthy TV shows and movies in which P.J. Byrne has portrayed his signature typecast role: "ER" (2002), "Crossing Jordan" (2003), "The West Wing" (2005), "NCIS" (2006), "The New Adventures of Old Christine" (2006), "Reno 911!" (2006), "Desperate Housewives" (2007), "Boston Legal" (2007), "Bones" (2009), "Burn Notice" (2009), "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" (2009), "Hannah Montana" (2009), "Castle" (2011), "The Mentalist" (2011), "Blindspot" (2016), "Black-ish" (2019), and "Dynasty" (2019), among others. He also had small parts in movies like "Bruce Almighty" (2003) and "Horrible Bosses" (2011). 

And this is just a snapshot. 

In all seriousness, not all of the bit parts he has played are quite so myopically focused. Furthermore, his success in these smaller roles has earned him a comfortable place in the movie and TV scene, resulting in many larger and more prominent roles since the beginning of his career. In fact, some of his best performances — although dwarfed by some major players — have occurred right alongside some of the biggest names in Hollywood.

P.J. Byrne played the Rugrat in Wolf of Wall Street

One of the big Hollywood names that P.J. Byrne got to act alongside was Leonardo DiCaprio in "The Wolf of Wall Street." The movie is a cocaine-and-hookers-fueled descent into madness within the dizzying world of stock trading on Wall Street. Although Byrne's supporting role didn't win him any awards, it did end up embroiling the movie studio in a lawsuit.

In said lawsuit, Andrew Greene — the real-life figure who claims to be the person that Byrne's character was based on — accused the producers of portraying him in a bad light. In 2014, Us Magazine found the legal documents of the case on Scribd and reported the juicy details. Greene was upset that the character he believes was based on him was "portrayed as a criminal, drug user, degenerate, depraved, and/or devoid of any morality or ethics." 

But this begs the question: how many people actually knew enough about the industry and enough about Greene to put two and two together? Not to be crass, but wouldn't his reputation have been better served by ignoring the situation and pretending that it wasn't based on him? Either way, he lost the case. And he may have done more harm than good to his reputation by making a big stink about it. After all, it's just a movie.

P.J. Byrne likes playing the school principal

Hollywood seems to enjoy portraying school principals in either one of two ways: as an evil tyrant that needs to get their comeuppance, or a nerdy, socially awkward administrator who just wants to do their job to the best of their ability. If you've been paying attention to this article so far, you can probably guess which role Byrne has landed. If you went ahead and guessed it was the latter, you would be correct. Give yourself a gold star.

The funny thing, though, is that Byrne has been typecast in this role not once, but twice in his career — and both roles were only a couple of years apart. The first was in "Big Little Lies," a dark drama featuring stars like Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon. The next time it happened, it was for the CW superhero show "Black Lightning" — a much less dramatic series that ran for four seasons. His role in the former was more significant than his presence in the latter. He was in 9 episodes of "Big Little Lies" out of 14, but only in 5 episodes of "Black Lightning" out of 58. 

P.J. Byrne was in the blockbuster Rampage with The Rock

The action movie "Rampage" starred some big names like Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Joe Manganiello, among others. Impressively, unlike most video-game-turned-action-movie projects which typically end in disaster, the film was a super success if you look at the numbers. It yielded a three-fold profit beyond it's $120 million budget for a grand total of $428 million according to Box Office Mojo. Furthermore, audiences were largely happy with the movie, giving it a 73% approval rating according to Rotten Tomatoes. Critics, on the other hand, only gave it a 52% approval rating.

In the movie, Byrne plays a nerdy scientist named Nelson. He's a part of a squad whose mission is to chase down three super-sized beasts — a gorilla, an alligator, and a wolf — before they destroy everything in their path. If you're old enough to remember classic arcade games, then there's a good chance you spent tons of quarters in your youth trying to smash helicopters, tear down skyscrapers, and eat damsels in distress in the arcade game that this movie was based on. If not, well, you missed out on a fantastic experience. 

P.J. Byrne helps poke fun at Zack Snyder in The Boys

Most recently, Byrne had a small part as a movie director in the Amazon Prime hit series "The Boys." In a dystopian future where superheroes are treated like a cross between A-list Hollywood actors and professional athletes, the show explores the dark and ugly side of what stardom plus superpowers would look like in a real world setting. The character Adam Bourke — who Byrne plays in three episodes of Season 2 — is a big Hollywood movie director who wants to make an action-packed film starring some of Vought's biggest assets. 

One common belief (as relayed by Comic Book Resources) is that the show's superheroes are a parody of (or homage) to the DC Universe. CBR takes this comparison a little bit further, though, by pointing out little tongue-in-cheek similarities to Zack Snyder's "Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice." Not only is the logo art in both movie posters extremely similar, but the movie-within-a-show — "Dawn of the Seven" — both contain the phrase "dawn of" in their titles. It's fairly easy to come to the conclusion that these similarities aren't mere coincidences.