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Why Grills From Hawkeye Looks So Familiar

This article contains spoilers for "Hawkeye" Episode 2, "Hide and Seek."

The first two episodes of Marvel Studio's "Hawkeye" are up and ready to watch on Disney+. That means fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe have been introduced to a whole host of brand new characters who orbit the world of Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) and Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld).

One of those fresh faces belongs to firefighter Grills, who swipes Clint's Ronin costume from his apartment to use while out LARPing during Episode 2 of the series, "Hide and Seek." Clint chases down Grills and demands his costume back, and Grills agrees to return it to Clint — if Clint will allow Grill to "kill" him during the LARP. This will make Grills a legend to his friends, and though Clint grumbles about it ("I fought Thanos!"), he and Grills put on quite a "battle" before Clint "dies" at Grills' hands. The men then seem to forge a friendship from their follies.

The actor who plays Grills will definitely be a familiar face to you if you love sitcoms or reality shows. Why does he look so familiar?

Clayton English started his career on Tyler Perry's House of Payne

Clayton English is a writer/director/stand-up comedian who made his dramatic acting debut as Peanut in "House of Payne." Tyler Perry's sitcom has been on the air ever since 2007 for 10 seasons spread across several networks, and English made 12 appearances on the program between 2007 and 2011. 

Peanut was a friend of Calvin Payne (Lance Gross), and they often tried to engineer get-rich-quick schemes together, such as creating their own nightclub alongside their friend Pookie (Quincy Bonds). Peanut also employed the Payne family at large in his off-the-wall antics; for instance, he once lied to his girlfriend that he owned a barbershop and had the Paynes pose as his employees, making over their house as a facsimile of a haircutting establishment.

Per an Interview with B High ATL (via YouTube), English got the role on the spot after reading with Bonds, whom he knew from the local stand-up comedy scene. The gig was only supposed to run a single episode, but Perry kept bringing Peanut back, which launched English's acting career.

He was the Last Comic Standing

Clayton English was a stand-up comic before he was an actor. On B High ATL, English said that he realized he was a comedian in the making when he started cracking jokes at a slumber party as a kid and got a positive response. "If I'm gonna suck at it, I'm gonna suck at it — it's okay to be bad at the beginning," he said about pursuing the field professionally.

It's not surprising that he ultimately used his comedy roots to propel his career. The actor won the 2015 round of NBC's reality show competition "Last Comic Standing" (per his official website). That resulted in him showing up on programs like the MTV staple "Wild 'N Out," a sketch comedy show where he appeared seven times and served as a creative consultant for 37 episodes, and a guest stint on "Late Night with Seth Meyers." English has popped up in multiple comedy films and specials performing his routines, such as the Wanda Skykes-produced stand-up film "Unprotected Sets." He also appeared on the NBC virtual comedy series "Tournament of Laughs." He also co-wrote material for the BET Hip-Hop Awards in 2020 and 2021.

He popped up on Brooklyn Nine-Nine and A.P. Bio

Clayton English guest-starred in the "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" Season 5 episode "The Big House, Part 2" as Richard. He pops up twice as Clayton on the Netflix series "Love," and was David in "We Don't Party," from Season 1 of the NBC sitcom "A.P. Bio." English was a staff writer on "A.P. Bio" and is credited as such for eight episodes of the show. 

He also had a recurring role on the series "These Streets Don't Love You Like I Do!" portraying Tyrell Thompson, and can also be seen as a referee in the 2020 Robert De Niro family comedy "The War With Grandpa."

English has had brief cameos in Will Smith's Snapchat series "Will from Home" and was a creative consultant on the program as well (per IMDb and his official website). He also worked as an associate producer on Smith's nature documentary, "Will Smith: Off the Deep End," which aired on the Discovery Channel. That's one promising career.