Monday, October 3, 2011

Typecasting Quickie: Jack Coleman

So those of you who caught the last few episodes of The Vampire Diaries might have recognized a familiar face: Jack Coleman. On the show, he plays Bill Forbes, Caroline's father... but before that he was Noah Bennett on Heroes.

When he first showed up on the The Vampire Diaries, they didn't need to drop any clues for me to know I was supposed to be immediately concerned. He was there to "take care of it". When it was revealed that he was also Caroline's father, my head nearly exploded.

Let's take a look at some of the similiarities between Bill Forbes and Noah Bennett....

They both have pretty, perky blonde teenage daughters (Caroline Forbes on The Vampire Diaries and Claire Bennett on Heroes) who have a special "secret" (being a vampire and having the power to regenerate, respectively).

They both work (either officially or unofficially) for a group that focuses on "taking care of" some kind of "others": On TVD it's vampires, on Heroes it was human beings with special "abilities". And their "work" (for The Council and the Company, respecitvely) is in an ethical gray area, to put it lightly.

They both lie and keep secrets from their families: it's not clear whether Sheriff Forbes was always aware of what he's been up to, but Caroline certainly wasn't. On Heroes, the whole Bennett family was kept in the dark for a long time.
I'm not sure how many viewers of The Vampire Diaries were also Heroes fans (I suppose I am in an older demographic than the typical TVD viewer) but Coleman is the third actor on The Vampire Diaries to be a Heroes-alum. Dawn Olivieri, who played Damon's now deceased girlfriend Andie, was Lydia on Heroes. (Vampire Cross-Over Trivia: She also had a small role on True Blood, as Alcide's sister Janice Herveaux.) David Anders played John Gilbert (Elena's Uncle Daddy) on The Vampire Diaries and Adam Monroe on Heroes. He is the ultimate example of creepy typecasting.

Another coincidence... Jack Coleman also has a role on The Office. Last season he was introduced as Angela's boyfriend (now husband), State Senator Rob Lipton. The running joke about their relationship is that Senator Lipton is actually gay. The die-hard Vampire Diaries fans might remember that the only mentions of Caroline's father before now were about how he used to be married to Sheriff Liz Forbes, but left her after confessing he was gay.

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