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Why Stan From American Horror Stories' Ba'al Looks So Familiar

Although some critics (like the ones at TV Fanatic) have thought the first episodes of "American Horror Stories" to be lackluster, the fifth episode, called "Ba'al," provides plenty of jump scares, twists, and depth for fans. It features the story of Liv (Billie Lourd), a woman battling infertility and enduring manipulation from her husband Matt (Ronen Rubinstein) and his friends. Those friends appear to be just as terrible as he is, considering they've all colluded on this evil plan to separate Liv from her money. 

One of those friends is Stan, who is played by Korean actor Jake Choi, a former basketball player (he's six feet tall) and New York native who decided to pursue acting after getting a taste of it in Korea as part of the show "Cuisine Tour." He told AList, "I don't have a backup plan. Acting is my plan A and my plan B and C, and I am running with my plan A until the wheels fall off." So far, so good. Choi has been acting for a little over a decade, with guest roles in shows like "Gotham," "Hawaii Five-0," "Lethal Weapon," "Younger," "Law and Order: Special Victims Unit," and "The Magicians." He has also been in movies that include "The Sun is Also a Star." If you think you know him from something else, though, he's had a few meatier roles that you might recognize — and he's sure to appear in many more projects.

Jake Choi was single dad Miggy Park in Single Parents

In 2018-2020, the ABC sitcom "Single Parents" featured Taran Killam, Leighton Meester and Brad Garrett as its marquee talents, offering positively-reviewed comedy (TVLine called it "genuinely funny" and a "winner") but failing to make it to a third season. In the show, Choi played Miggy, a clueless but hip new dad who was part of the show's main ensemble. His character was praised for going beyond stereotypes regarding Asian representation on screen. Cold Tea Collective said the character "feels like a friend from high school rather than a token minority character."

Choi told the publication that he had a lot of input into his character, resulting in a fresh take that drew upon people he grew up with in his Queens, New York neighborhood. Choi said, "You never see a young Asian American character on network TV with tattoos who's not a gangster. [He's] a single parent, but not a deadbeat dad. Hip, but not any kind of stereotype. You never see that! I don't think you've ever, in the history of television, seen a character like Miggy." He also noted that the show was made up of people who had no choice but to band together: "And they become a family. What I love about 'Single Parents' is that not only is it funny and written well, but it has a lot of heart. You can relate to somebody."

He played a recurring character in Eastsiders

You may know "EastSiders," the web comedy that was funded through Kickstarter and then sold to Netflix in advance of its third season. The series focused on Cal (Kit WIlliamson) and Thom (Van Hansis), who must deal with infidelity and other challenges in their relationship. 

Choi had a role in the fourth and final season of the show, ultimately appearing in four out of the six episodes. He played Thom's editor, Clifford, and their attraction to one another added a new dimension to the relationship conflicts between him and Cal. Choi said in an interview posted to Williamson's YouTube page, "I feel like there are some people who might not even be gay, who can see themselves in certain characters or certain circumstances, and relate. A more accurate and truthful representation that we have in media of marginalized communities, I feel like that can sort of help us get to that point where we don't have to label certain shows and it can just be a show about human beings."

Choi has identified as "sexually fluid," according to Advocate. He also portrayed a gay character in 2015's indie film "Front Cover," for which he gained a nomination for Best Actor in the Golden Koala Chinese Film Festival Awards as one of the two main leads. In 2019, he won the Human Rights Campaign Columbus Visibility Award.

Choi was new friend and hotel employee J.D. in American Housewife

In late 2020, Variety announced that Choi had joined the cast of ABC sitcom "American Housewife," which stars Katy Mixon as Katy Otto, trying to maneuver life as a wife and mom in the privileged setting of Westport, Connecticut. In Season 5, Choi played J.D., a new friend to Katy and Tami (Holly Robinson Peete) who is a recent divorcee as well as an aspiring father. He works for a luxury hotel, a job that comes with a few perks. 

Choi ended up starring in five of the show's 13 episodes from 2020-2021. "Jake is a real talent and incredibly nice, and yeah, it's great for us," Dietrich Bader, who played Greg Otto on the show, told ABC. "American Housewife" was canceled in 2021 (via Deadline), so there's no chance fans will see Choi again on this series. However, you're certain to see this actor again. For one thing, you never know — the "American Horror Story" franchise is known for repeating its actors. Even without that, Choi has been plenty busy of late, with a guest role in "In Treatment" this year and an upcoming movie due in September, "Lust Life Love," in which he plays a monogamous man in a relationship with a polyamorous writer.