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Why Deran From Animal Kingdom Looks So Familiar

The hard-hitting TNT crime-drama series "Animal Kingdom," which follows the escapades of the Cody organized crime family and all of its colorful members, has amassed a dedicated following since it began in 2016 and looks to be finishing out strong with its upcoming sixth and final season

A great deal of the show's continued success has stemmed from fans' attachment to the show's central cast of characters and their compelling individual arcs. Many viewers will no doubt say that Deran Cody, the youngest son of the Cody family who slowly but surely comes to terms with his own sexuality over the course of the series, is a fan-favorite. 

But some eagle-eyed watchers of the show might wonder why Deran looks so uniquely familiar to them. In truth, the actor for Deran — Jake Weary — has been making appearances in notable movies and TV shows since the early 2000s, and fans of the modern horror genre in particular might be especially surprised to learn which prominent works the actor has been a part of.

The actor played child-victim in two separate Law & Order spin-offs

With an entire universe spanning one long-running original show, six-and-counting different spin-offs, and well over 1,000 different episodes between them, it's only natural that the "Law & Order" franchise would see some unintentional crossover amongst itself. Such is the case for Weary, who appeared in two separate "Law & Order" spin-offs as two completely different characters. 

The actor first appeared in Episode 25 of the fifth season of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," titled "Head." The episode sees a teenage Weary portray a young boy named Shane who is molested by his school principal. Just a year later, Weary would also appear for an episode of the fifth season of "Law & Order: Criminal Intent," titled "In the Wee Small Hours: Part 1," this time portraying a young boy named Tim, who also encounters a sexual predator. 

Basically, the circumstances aren't that great for either of Weary's characters in the "Law & Order" universe, but it brought him some attention as a talented young actor.

Weary sought revenge in Chicago Fire

For as much that "Chicago Fire" is about a bunch of firefighters fighting fires, it's also just as much about the personal lives and often-controversial drama of the members of the station. Weary's recurring antagonist of Vince Keeler across the show's second season falls squarely into the latter camp. 

Keeler is first introduced in the episode "Tonight's the Night," when a mass blackout caused by a drunk driver forces many civilians to seek shelter in the firehouse. While the audience might initially view the character with some sympathy, as he learns that his niece was killed by the drunk driver, all that goes out the window when he immediately attacks the brother of the driver who is also at the firehouse, picks a fight with firefighter Kelly Severide (Taylor Kinney), and swears a revenge campaign against him. 

Things only get worse from there, as Keeler kidnaps Kelly's half-sister Katie (Brittany Curran) and assaults her. Despite the charges, Keeler gets off easy, and Kelly's dad Benny (Treat Williams) takes matters into his own hands and disappears the criminal. The gruesome implications of what ultimately happens to Keeler are made pretty clear.

He got chopped down to size in Zombeavers

Face it, way more people have seen this one than might care to admit. Through pure absurdity and meme status, the 2014 horror-comedy flick "Zombeavers" has somehow endured as the poster child for low-budget horror and how... creative it can get. The plot, as astute readers may have already ascertained, is about a group of college students being attacked by nothing less than zombie beavers — zombeavers, if you would. 

Jake Weary plays one of these unfortunate teen souls in the form of Tommy, who sets out to get help after the beavers cut the phone lines and trap the gang in the house. The beavers then chop down a tree to block Tommy from escaping in a car, and when he tries to proceed on foot, he is unceremoniously killed by yet another beaver-gnawed tree. Later, he rises as a zombie himself. So it goes.

The actor passed on a curse in It Follows

Continuing his streak of characters with the moral integrity of a limp noodle, Weary portrayed Hugh in the 2014 cult-classic horror film "It Follows." Weary's character is responsible for instigating the main conflict of the movie when he enters a romantic relationship with the protagonist, Jay (Maika Monroe), and has sex with her, leading to her being pursued by a mysterious, shapeshifting evil entity at all times. Hugh then reveals that he did this on purpose, as he himself was being chased by the entity and could only escape it by passing it on to someone else through intercourse.

Despite his betrayal, Hugh (or Jeff, as his true identity is revealed to be) does reluctantly assist Jay and her friends in defeating the entity by supplying them with information about the curse, but this is likely only because he knows that if Jay is killed by the entity, then the curse will revert to him. As far as characters go, Weary's Hugh/Jeff doesn't really seem like much of a standup guy.

Weary kept some secrets on Pretty Little Liars

It's no secret that "Pretty Little Liars" has a pretty convoluted plot. The mystery-drama series about several teenage girls investigating the disappearance of their friend Alison (Sasha Pieterse) and the identity of their mysterious shared blackmailer "A" offers up numerous mysterious and hosts a slew of intriguing plot threads across its seven seasons. One such mystery box comes in the form of Weary's character on the show, as the actor recurs for several episodes of the fifth season as an outlaw with a secret backstory named Cyrus Petrillo. 

Cyrus confesses to the kidnapping of Alison, but as flashbacks reveal, the pair had a much more complex relationship. In actuality, Cyrus and Alison were briefly romantic partners, and later, the two strike a deal in which Cyrus agrees to falsely confess to kidnapping Alison for a whole slew of complicated, spoiler-filled reasons. Later on, Cyrus ends up as a burn patient in the hospital, presumably as a result of a targeted attack by A. He passes on one last clue to the Liars before being confronted by A, leaving his ultimate fate ambiguous.

The actor burned with hatred in It Chapter Two

Across the recent two-part movie adaptation of "It" by Stephen King, it's established that the titular evil entity — Pennywise the Dancing Clown (Bill Skarsgård) — terrorizing the kids of Derry, Maine feeds just as much on the hatred and bigotry of the town as it does on children's fear. Weary's character in "It Chapter Two" illustrates this idea perfectly during the initial flashback sequence, in which a group of homophobic teenage bullies beat a young gay couple named Adrian (Xavier Dolan) and Don (Taylor Frey). 

Weary portrays the aggressive Webby Garton, one of the unofficial leaders of the gang. After the group beats up the couple, Garton picks up Adrian and throws him off a bridge into a river. The group then retreats, leaving Don to discover that Pennywise has picked Adrian from the river and has begun devouring him. It's a pretty tragic scene and it's unfortunate that Weary doesn't reappear as Garton later, as the audience never gets to see him get his oh-so-deserved comeuppance.