Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Why Sokka From Netflix's Avatar: The Last Airbender Looks So Familiar

When M. Night Shymalan's live-action adaptation of the popular anime "Avatar: The Last Airbender" made its way out into the world, fans were disappointed, to say the least. High hopes were dashed once everyone realized the movie was full of unconvincing acting and bad CGI. "The Last Airbender" is still to this day considered one of the worst Hollywood adaptations of anime.

Fortunately, those who felt let down after seeing "The Last Airbender" can breathe a little easier knowing there's an all-new "Avatar" live-action series headed to Netflix. The cast of the upcoming show was just announced today, and it includes Gordon Cormier as Aang, Kiawentiio as Katara, Dallas Lui as Zuko, and Ian Ousley as Sokka.

If the name Ian Ousley sounds familiar, it's probably because he's been booking projects left and right over the past few years, with appearances on a wide variety of popular shows. According to his agent Peter Kluge's Instagram, Ousley is also a member of the Cherokee tribe, and he's practiced martial arts — including taekwondo and weapon sparring — for years, making him a perfect fit for the tough-yet-lovable Southern Water Tribe warrior Sokka.

Let's take a look at some of the projects Ousley's been in so far.

Ian Ousley appeared on 13 Reasons Why

One of Ousley's biggest roles was also his first. In 2019, he landed the recurring role of Robby Corman on the controversial teen drama "13 Reasons Why." Robby was a student at Liberty High School who came forward as a survivor of sexual assault, and joined the Hands off Our Bodies group. He wasn't a big character, but he shared screen time with some of the stars of the series, including Tyler Down (Devin Druid).

Shortly after appearing in his first episode, Ousley shared a heartwarming post on his Instagram page, thanking his management team and agents for helping him get the role. "This is my first performance on tv and I'm very thankful to be on @netflix 's @13reasonswhy," he wrote. "...every single person on this set was so nice, respectful and passionate and I'm so grateful to share a few moments on screen and get to have some Monet's Coffee with them."

He appeared as Robby in a total of three episodes, kicking off the start of what's sure to be a successful career.

He had guest appearances on a couple of shows

Aside from his stint on "13 Reasons Why," Ousley has landed multiple parts on other popular series. He was in an episode of "Sorry for Your Loss" as Brayden, one of the late Matt Greer's (Mamoudou Athie) students who skips out on his memorial. He called the experience super fun and wrote on Instagram that he got to work with awesome people, which is refreshing to hear from a budding star.

Ousley was also in one episode of "Young Sheldon" as a student named Jeremy, who gave an impassioned rendition of the monologue from "The Goonies" in theater class. Ousley also shared a little about his time on "Young Sheldon" on Instagram, writing "I got to work with a child hood hero for this one...yes that is jason alexander in the back." 

In his scene, the theater teacher Mr. Lundy was indeed played by Jason Alexander of "Seinfeld" fame. Ousley's scene was a short and hilarious example of the things theater teachers put up with in the name of student participation.

2021 has been a busy year for Ian Ousley

Ousley's career trajectory over the past couple of years has been impressive, as he's already worked his way up to a starring role on an anticipated show. While "Avatar: The Last Airbender" is exciting enough, Ousley's had a pretty successful 2021 beyond even that, as he's appeared in two highly rated series already. He had a part on the Disney+ sports dramedy "Big Shot" as Bodhi, a basketball player who's part of Dylan's (Emery Kelly) friend group.

His latest role is on the Apple TV+ dramedy "Physical" starring Rose Byrne. Ousley plays Zeke Breem, the conservative son of a developer named John Breem (Paul Sparks). So far he's appeared in four episodes, but as the tension builds between him and his father, it's likely we'll see more of him in the next season. Ousley once again took to social media to share his excitement about his role, writing "Go watch, it's such a dope show i'm really proud of it."

Stay tuned for any updates about Ousley's role as Sokka in "Avatar: The Last Airbender."