Why Alex From 13 Reasons Why Looks So Familiar

Netflix's latest binge-worthy television show is 13 Reasons Why, based on the 2007 novel of the same name (stylized Th1rteen R3asons Why) by Jay Asher. The young adult series features a breadth of Hollywood newcomers, namely Australian singer Katherine Langford. But there are still quite a few well-rounded actors and actresses on the payroll, such as Miles Heizer, who plays Alex Standall in the hit series. Here's why he looks so familiar.

Guest roles (2005-2009)

Actors typically get their start in Hollywood by appearing in guest roles on hit TV shows, and Miles Heizer was no different. His first ever role on screen was playing Joey Everton in the CSI: Miami episode "Nothing to Lose." The following year, he landed another gig playing Jake Morrison in the Ghost Whisperer episode "Drowned Lives."

His career didn't start to take shape, though, until 2007. That year, he took on guest-starring roles in several shows; he played Jackie Buckner in Shark's episode "Strange Bedfellows," Joey in Bones episode "Death in the Saddle," and Michael in Private Practice's episode "In Which Addison Has a Very Casual Get Together." There was then a two-year gap between Private Practice and Heizer playing Keith Oats in the Cold Case episode "Forensics" in 2009. Since then, he's stuck to landing main roles instead of guest-starring parts.

Short films (2005-2015)

Aside from taking on guest-starring roles on television, Heizer appeared in a number of short films. His first gig was playing the young version of Tyler Sedustine's James in Lior Chefetz's Paramedic in 2006. Then, two years later he played the lead, Carson Lind, in Sabi Lofgren's short dramedy, Loon.

After spending a few years away from shorts, Heizer made another short film in 2012. Written and directed by Jessie Ennis, Brie Larson (yes, that Brie Larson), and his Parenthood co-star Sarah Ramos, Heizer played the lead, Chance, in the short film The Arm, about a teenager who developed a texting-based relationship with a girl who dies while texting and driving.

Despite already being an established actor, Heizer returned to the short film scene in 2015 with Alvaro Ron's The Red Thunder. Unlike the other projects, though, this latest one was a higher profile production, with other notable actors and actresses, such as Allie Grant and Karen Strassman.

ER (2007)

Towards the tail-end of 2007, Heizer moved on from guest-starring on some of the top shows on television to recurring on one of the longest-running shows on television: ER. He played the medical patient Joshua Lipnicki in a four-episode arc on the hit drama at the start of the series' 14th season.

Heizer appeared in the episodes: "In a Different Light," "Officer Down," "Gravity," and "The Test." Interestingly, Mae Whitman, who would go on to play Heizer's sister on Parenthood, also guest-starred in "The Test," the actor's final episode in the series.

Rails & Ties (2007)

After spending the majority of the year on television, Miles Heizer made the jump to the big screen in Alison Eastwood's Rails & Ties. Written by Micky Levy, the film follows a young boy named Davey Danner (Heizer), whose mentally-ill mother commits suicide by parking her car on a railroad track and being struck by an oncoming train.

Discontent with his foster family, Davey finds the train conductor (Kevin Bacon) who accidentally killed his mother and asks him and his ill wife (Marcia Gay Harden) to be his parents. Heizer gave an emotionally-charged performance for what would become a breakout role for him. Despite the fact that the movie didn't score well with critics, Heizer did receive a nomination for the Young Artist Award for Best Performance by a Leading Young Actor in a Feature Film.

Parenthood (2010-2015)

Miles Heizer upgraded from guest-star to leading man in NBC's drama series, Parenthood, in 2010. He played Sarah Braverman's (Lauren Graham) son Drew Holt in the series, which is a loose adaptation of the 1989 film of the same name, directed by Ron Howard and starring the likes of Steve Martin, Keanu Reeves, and Rick Moranis.

Heizer spent six seasons playing Drew alongside his on-screen sister, Mae Whitman (who is now his best friend and roommate). The duo ended up singing a song together that Heizer wrote for the show, titled "Drew's Lament," which played in the season five episode "The Offer." After five years on the air, it's safe to say that the acclaimed series ended up shaping his career for the better.

Rudderless (2013)

Being a series regular on Parenthood presumably consumed Miles Heizer's professional life, which is why he didn't take on another job for three years. In 2013, Heizer returned to the big screen in William H. Macy's directorial debut, Rudderless. He appeared only briefly at the beginning of the film as the young musician Josh Manning, whose death (as the result of a school shooting) became the catalyst for his father's (Billy Crudup) journey throughout the rest of the story.

The musical drama also starred the late Anton Yelchin, Selena Gomez, Felicity Huffman, and Laurence Fishburne. Rudderless may not have been a blockbuster hit, but it did receive a standing ovation at its Sundance Film Festival premiere, which, suffice to say, helped elevate Heizer's reputation as an actor.

The Stanford Prison Experiment (2015)

Heizer reunited with his Rudderless co-star, Billy Crudup, for The Stanford Prison Experiment in 2015. Written by Tim Talbott and directed by Kyle Patrick Alvarez, the film recounts the true story of the infamous 1971 Stanford prison experiment in which Stanford University professor Dr. Philip Zimbardo tested the psychological effects of observable power between prison guards and inmates.

After spending over a decade in development hell, The Stanford Prison Experiment finally released in 2015, and it starred the likes of Ezra Miller, Olivia Thirlby, and Tye Sheridan, among others. Heizer played one of the fictitious guards, Marshall Lovett, who doesn't participate in the increasing cruelty nor does he stop it. Although he had a small role in the film, Heizer's character stood out from the rest of the guards.

Nerve (2016)

Although he is a well-established actor on television, Miles Heizer's biggest movie role, post-Parenthood, was starring in Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman's thriller Nerve in 2016.

Written by Jessica Sharzer, the movie is based on the 2012 novel of the same name by Jeanne Ryan. It starred Emma Roberts as Venus "Vee" Delmonico, Dave Franco as Ian (later Sam), and Juliette Lewis as Nancy. Heizer played one of Vee's friends, Tommy, who helps Vee escape the "prisoner" category of the game. It's later revealed that Tommy has a crush on her, but of course, being the movie that it is, she doesn't share the same feelings and would much rather be with Ian.

Although the movie did all right with critics, it did score a big payday at the box office, earning over four times its production budget, thus making it Heizer's biggest success yet.