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Why Jacob Kowalski From Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets Of Dumbledore Looks So Familiar

"Harry Potter" is undeniably one of the largest and most successful franchises of all time. With both a massively popular book and movie franchise, it was only a matter of time before a prequel would arrive. Following the end of the "Harry Potter" saga in the early 2010s, Warner Brothers set out to cash in on the hugely successful franchise with a new series based on a schoolbook of Potter's called "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them."

The first film released in 2018 to middle-of-the-road reception from audiences and critics alike. Starring Eddie Redmayne as the protagonist Newt Scamander, it follows his quest to New York City, where he set out to document magical beasts. Unfortunately for him, his search is interrupted by the chance encounter with the No-Maj (muggle), Jacob Kowalski. The meeting caused many of his magical beasts to escape, and they set out to collect them all to return them to their rightful place. In the process, they stumble upon the reappearance of the evil Grindelwald. Their fight continues in the third installment, releasing this year.

One of the cornerstones of the success of "Harry Potter" was the fact that the trio of heroes had parallels in the prequel. The innocent and naïve main character of Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) is recaptured in Newt Scamander. The strong and capable female heroine who typically gets the trio out of trouble is repeated in the Ministry of Magic's Tina (Katherine Waterston), echoing the character of Hermione (Emma Watson). And lastly, the plucky sidekick providing the comedic relief is passed on from Ron (Rupert Grint) to the aforementioned Jacob. While Jacob's actor may seem to have come out of nowhere to give maybe the most dynamic and entertaining performances of the characters in the prequel series, he isn't new to the acting game. This is where you have seen him before.

Dan Fogler starred as Stu in Good Luck Chuck

Dan Fogler is the actor who plays Jacob Kowalski in the "Fantastic Beasts" series, and he did a little work through the early 2000s, including the cult film "Fanboys," before he was picked up for his biggest role, starring alongside big Hollywood names Dane Cook and Jessica Alba in 2007's "Good Luck Chuck." While the story (if you can call it that) was typical rom-com fodder, the movie itself failed to capture an audience, scoring an abysmal 5% from the critics on Rotten Tomatoes and a whole 50-plus points more from audiences, which still couldn't get it to escape the rotten rating.

The story follows Chuck (Cook) as he navigates his love life with carefree zeal. When multiple exes find love following their breakups, he remembers a curse put on him during a childhood game of Seven Minutes in Heaven. He becomes worried that Cam (Alba), his new romantic interest, will leave him and find love, so he smothers her with annoying affection. If you can think of a lousy rom-com movie trope, this film had it, including the emotionally shallow friend who pushes him through the movie with terrible advice.

Dan Fogler was lucky enough to portray that friend, Stu, a plastic surgeon. Stu encourages Chuck to make the most of his situation and be with as many women as possible in hopes he will be their good luck charm. Fogler's role was much more shallow than the film needed but was typical of the post-"American Pie" Stiffler character type. "It's a great date movie, but it pushes the envelope," he said in an interview. "You're in for something you haven't seen before."

He played the down-on-his-luck friend in Take Me Home Tonight

The 2011 comedy "Take Me Home Tonight" doubled down on Fogler's ability to play the plucky sidekick as he joined up with "That '70s Show" star Topher Grace. While the film didn't do well in the theaters, pulling in just over $7.5 million, it was a treasure trove of '80s nostalgia.

The film follows Matt Franklin (Grace), a failure-to-launch genius, as he tries to discover who he is during a Labor Day party thrown by his sister's (Anna Faris) dimwitted boyfriend (Chris Pratt). Four years after graduating from a prestigious college, his father (Michael Biehn) pressures him to take a chance and make a decision. Instead, he works at Suncoast Video and runs into his old high school crush, Tori (freaking) Frederking (Teresa Palmer), and decides to take his last chance at wooing her. He is supported by his recently fired down-on-his-luck best friend, Barry (Fogler), as they set out for the night of their lives.

In an interview with We Are Movie Geeks, Fogler spoke about the feeling of '80s nostalgia. "It felt like it was in a time capsule or something. You dug it up, and it felt like it could fit in with any of the other great '80s films that were out there," he said. "I'm going to go back in time and insert it into John Hughes' library."

He sought therapy from Lecter in Hannibal

Two years later, Dan Fogler found a way to separate himself from the shallower comedic roles by landing on the series "Hannibal." The series is based on the Thomas Harris novels first adapted for the big screen in multiple movies. The Hannibal Lecter character was made most famous by Anthony Hopkins in 1991's "Silence of the Lambs" but portrayed here by Fogler's future "Fantastic Beasts" co-star, Mads Mikkelsen. The series follows the cases taking place before "Silence of the Lambs" when FBI profiler Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) seeks Lecter's help, both as a personal psychiatrist helping him deal with his emotional (and somewhat supernatural) connection with the serial killers he chases and as a professional consultant.

Fogler appeared in three episodes, including the series pilot, as Franklyn Froideveaux. Franklyn is a neurotic patient of Lecter who seemingly became obsessed with the doctor and wanted to be his friend. His interactions with Lecter seep with awkwardness and were gloriously hard to watch as he made his case as a good friend. Lecter begins to suspect Franklyn's other friend is a serial killer as well, and the standoff with the three ends with only Lecter surviving. Speaking to Assignment X, series creator Brian Fuller commented about the relationship between Lecter and Franklyn, calling the latter a "very annoying character" and sort of a "comic foil" for the former. "I do think that Hannibal actually cares about Franklyn and sees the flaws in his humanity and finds him endearing in some way," he continued.

He was Uncle Marvin in The Goldbergs

In 2013, Adam F. Goldberg created the series "The Goldbergs." The series told the story of his childhood in the 1980s. The show's cast was complete with a child version of himself, played by Sean Giambrone. Goldberg was known for writing credits in "Monsters in the Attic," "Monsters vs. Aliens," and "How to Train Your Dragon."

"The Goldbergs," while based on the creator's life, is fictionalized for television and revolves around the youngest son taping many events in their lives. Often, those tapes are later revealed to be based on real videos the creator took as a child and are played before the end credits. It is another '80s nostalgia piece using pop-culture references of the time and mentioning real-life businesses in its Philadelphia suburb setting.

Fogler plays the creator's Uncle Marvin. He is a lovable dope, showing up in a total of 12 episodes over the nine-season run. He lives in his childhood home and rarely keeps a job, showing up mostly just on Thanksgiving Day. Fogler was a natural choice for Goldberg to cast since he plays the lovable schmuck well, and the pair worked previously on Goldberg's film, "Fanboys."

He tried to keep the art of music alive in The Walking Dead

"The Walking Dead" has a long and storied timeline spanning decades of human decline. As one of the most pivotal series of the last 10-plus years, AMC's hit is ending with its 11th season. Many actors and actresses have made appearances on the series, and Dan Fogler is no exception.

Surviving an apocalypse of any kind would take a variety of people. You can't have all Mad Max and Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) types. You need people who can bring you to hope, keep an eye on the past, and bring the good things forward to those born in the more desolate future. Fogler's character, Luke, is that type of person. As a music lover with a more philosophical outlook on life, he fits in well with the community. 

Fogler spoke to WhatCulture about his character and what it is like coming into a show with a rabid fandom after nine seasons, and how "Fantastic Beasts" prepared him. "That is a high watermark of global franchise insanity," he said. "Just in terms of how in awe I am at how massive it is. So walking onto 'The Walking Dead,' which is, you know, equally global, it's a little bit easier having done 'Fantastic Beasts' for sure." He also went on to talk about Luke, calling him a "kindred spirit" whose life philosophy is similar to his.