Yep, That’s a ‘Boy Meets World’ Star You Saw in the ‘Animal Kingdom’ Premiere

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Jun. 26 2022, Published 11:28 a.m. ET

In the Season 6 premiere of Animal Kingdom, we meet Tre, a bar patron who complains about the influencers making a ruckus in the rental next-door. “Two d—khead brothers from Irvine driving me crazy with their online party video bulls—t,” he tells Deran (Jake Weary). “It’s just not right, you know? People come from out of town, they move here and just make life s—tty for the rest of us.” And if you think the guy who plays Tre on Animal Kingdom looks familiar, you must have been a fan of ’90s TV!

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Later in that premiere episode, “1992,” Deran makes short work of the influencers, hitting one in the face with a bottle and telling him and his buddy that if they ever come back to Oceanside, they’re going to have “some real issues.”

And in the next episode, “Rise,” Tre gives Deran a surfboard to show his appreciation. “It’s good to have somebody looking out for us locals again with your mom gone,” he says.

‘Boy Meets World’ alum William Russ plays Tre on the show.

William Russ, the actor behind Tre, is probably best known — at least among millennials and Gen X’ers — for playing Alan Matthews, father of teen protagonist Cory Matthews (Ben Savage), on the ‘90s sitcom Boy Meets World. That show ended after seven seasons and 158 episodes in 2000, but William reprised the part of Alan in the Disney Channel sequel series Girl Meets World in 2014.

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After Boy Meets World, William starred in the short-lived 2003 NBC drama Mister Sterling, created by MSNBC star Lawrence O’Donnell. In that series, he played Tommy Doyle, a staffer for Senator Bill Stirling (Josh Brolin).

More recently, William had recurring parts as Resistance member Hennessy in the USA sci-fi series Colony, LAPD Captain Garwood in the Amazon Prime Video detective drama Bosch, and tsunami victim Chuck in the Fox procedural 9-1-1.

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He got plaudits for his role in the film Pastime.

William had parts in films Cruising, The Border, and The Right Stuff early in his career, but he landed his first leading film role in the 1990 film Pastime, playing Roy Dean Bream, a minor-league player trying to get to the major leagues.

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”I’ve been dealing a lot with Hollywood and career decisions, and a lot of times this business has us comparing ourselves to who has this and who has that,” the actor told Entertainment Weekly in 1991, after the film came out in theaters. “But like Roy Dean says, just being in the game is the main thing.”

To play an aging pitcher in the film, William had to dye his hair gray and act less agile than he was in real-life. “On a spiritual level, he is very advanced,” he said of the character. “He has a nice karmic code. It’s like a certain kind of guru; he understood life through baseball.”

His performance impressed critics, though: William earned an Independent Spirit Award nomination in the Best Male Lead category. “I’m just really happy to make my living as an actor,” he told EW. ”As I always say, it’s better than a real job any day.”

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