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Why Sheriff Hassan From Midnight Mass Looks So Familiar

There are many hallmarks of the work of writer-director Mike Flanagan and several of them are on display in his latest Netflix Original series "Midnight Mass." The show features ghoulish faces lurking in the background of scenes, a strong focus on religious and societal themes mixed in with the horror, and a cast full of actors who have appeared in Flanagan's previous projects. One such actor who Flanagan fans are likely excited to see again is Rahul Kohli, who plays Sheriff Hassan on the series.

The show takes place on Crockett Island, which is mostly home to people who grew up in and have ancestral ties to the isolated community. Sheriff Hassan is one of the few exceptions. He's a relative newcomer to the island and although his eagerness to fit in and affable demeanor have helped secure himself a place in Crockett Island society, he's still viewed as an outsider.

Even if "Midnight Mass" is your first time sitting down with Flanagan's work, there's still a good chance that you recognized Kohli from some of his other notable projects.

Rahul Kohli killed on iZombie

After appearing in a number of short films and small TV roles, Kohli landed a big breakout part on the CW's comedic crime procedural "iZombie." The series is about a woman named Liv (Rose McIver) who is turned into a zombie after attending a boat party that goes horribly awry. However, Liv isn't your typical "The Walking Dead" style shambler. She still retains many of the things that make her human, but with an added hunger for brains. This newfound desire has a major upshot. Eating another person's brain also gives Liv a deep insight into their personality and even a peek at their memories. She uses this skill to help solve tricky murder cases.

In the series, Kohli plays Liv's boss Dr. Ravi Chakrabarti, a medical examiner who helps her navigate the ups and downs of life as a zombie. As one of the core cast members of the series, Kohli starred on the show for all five seasons, and from the sounds of it, the experience is one he'll never forget. During an interview with ComicBook.com, the actor said, "I think Ravi is a once-in-a-lifetime character. I think I was very lucky to play him. I don't know if I'll ever get to play a character like that ever again."

Thankfully for Kohli, while Ravi may hold a special place in his heart, it's not the last great role that has come his way.

Supergirl introduced Rahul Kohli to the Arrowverse

While he was starring on "iZombie," the CW tapped Kohli to appear on another one of their hot properties. On the "Supergirl" Season 2 episode titled "Ace Reporter," Kohli co-starred as Jack Spheer, a tech entrepreneur and the ex-boyfriend of Lena Luthor (Katie McGrath). The episode concerns Spheer's involvement in the development of groundbreaking nanobot technology and eventually reveals that he has been testing the technology on himself, essentially transforming him into a cyborg. Although Spheer doesn't survive the episode, his character does have reverberations throughout the rest of the series.

Around the same time, Kohli dipped his toes in the world of film. The Netflix Original movie "Happy Anniversary" is a simple story of a modern couple, Mollie (Noël Wells) and Sam (Ben Schwartz), who must reckon with the issues in their relationship when they reach their third anniversary and realize the honeymoon period has officially come to an end. In the movie, Kohli plays Ed, a friend of Sam's who counsels him through this precarious phase in his life.

As you likely already know, "Happy Anniversary" wasn't the last Netflix Original that Kohli would go on to appear in. Before he joined the cast of "Midnight Mass," the actor co-starred in another Flanagan series on the streamer.

Critics took notice of Rahul Kohli in The Haunting of Bly Manor

Kohli's first induction into the Mike Flanagan Players came with the 2020 miniseries "The Haunting of Bly Manor." The show — a narratively independent spiritual successor to "The Haunting of Hill House" — focuses on strange happenings at a palatial estate in the British countryside that occurred in the 1980s. While the series' focus is on Dani Clayton (Victoria Pedretti), who is hired as the nanny for the children of the family who live in the manor, the series has a strong ensemble cast whose personal stories inform and intertwine with the larger narrative.

Kohli plays Owen, the manor's cook who has a special bond with Hannah (T'Nia Miller), the housekeeper. When reviewing the series, several critics singled out the chemistry between Kohli and Miller as a highlight of the show. Meagan Navarro of Bloody Disgusting wrote of the pair, "their warmth and banter are infectious," while Vox's Aja Romano called the performances of the actors "stellar."

You can catch Rahul Kohli in both "The Haunting of Bly Manor" and "Midnight Mass" on Netflix.