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Fallout: Why Maximus Looks So Familiar

One of the most intriguing aspects of the Fallout video games is the various factions within the post-apocalyptic landscape. Those groups get represented incredibly well in Prime Video's new series based on the franchise. Lucy (Ella Purnell) is a Vault Dweller venturing into the unknown for the first time. Walton Goggins plays the Ghoul, someone from the before-time who's now an irradiated creature with dubious morals. Lastly, there's Maximus, portrayed by Aaron Moten, who's in league with the militaristic Brotherhood of Steel.

These three characters represent different ideologies one can have in the Wasteland. In an exclusive interview with Xoop, Moten even discussed the inspiration of Cassius from William Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar" to bring the character to life. "He describes Cassius, the character, as a hungry dog," the actor explained. "I think elements of that really dug into Maximus for me. That is the Wasteland if you ask me, and that is all the people that survive on the surface. I think there's an element of hungry dog in everyone, and it built off of that."

Moten has made substantial strides in his acting career over the past few years, so there may be a few things he's been in that audiences have seen before. Hopefully, he'll get a big boost after starring in something as high-profile as "Fallout."

The Night Of (2016)

Like many actors trying to get their start in the industry, much of Aaron Moten's early work involves short films and one-off appearances on TV shows. He has a more notable role on the 2016 HBO miniseries "The Night Of." The show revolves around Naz (Riz Ahmed), a young Pakistani man falsely accused of murder. "The Night Of" tackles elements of the American criminal justice system, illustrating how racial inequity is inseparable from it. The series features a performance from a young Moten, playing Petey.

Petey winds up at Riker's along with Naz, both of whom end up in the orbit of a more seasoned prisoner, Freddy, played by the late, great Michael K. Williams. Freddy uses Petey's mother as a drug mule for his operations, and sadly, Petey only lasts a few episodes before meeting a tragic end. Suffice it to say, the character likely wouldn't be back if "The Night Of" turned into anything more than a miniseries. 

John Turturro, who plays lawyer John Stone on the show, teased the possibility of more episodes in 2020. He told Deadline, "We have a couple of ideas but we have to sit down and discuss them, so we're at that stage so that's good." There hasn't been much word since then of "The Night Of" Season 2, so it's safe to say it'll remain a limited series. 

Disjointed (2017 - 2018)

After a part on a serious show like "The Night Of," it's understandable if Aaron Moten could've used a few laughs. He snagged a part on the Netflix sitcom, "Disjointed," playing Travis, the straight-laced son of the hippie-esque Ruth (Kathy Bates). He has an MBA and wants to grow (no pun intended) his mother's weed dispensary to new heights. While the customers and budtenders tend to dip into their own stashes, Travis largely functions as a straight man, genuinely trying to run a business because he wants the shop to become the "Walmart of cannabis." 

Despite a solid comedic line-up, "Disjointed" didn't leave a remarkable impression on critics. Melanie McFarland of Salon took the sitcom to task: "'Disjointed' is a stoner comedy for people who don't get stoned, written by people who I suspect either haven't been high for a very long time, have never gotten high, or thought that they were smoking weed that one time but were actually inhaling burnt oregano laced with bath salts." Most other reviews weren't much better, and Netflix canceled the show after its initial run of 20 episodes.

Father Stu (2022)

2022's "Father Stu" was a passion project for star Mark Wahlberg, who plays the titular character based on a real person. Wahlberg told Business Insider he believed in the story so much that he spent "millions and millions" of his own money to see it come to fruition. The film follows a former boxer seeking to become a priest while contending with a muscular disease. Many people he meets throughout his journey influence him, including Ham (Aaron Moten), who also has aspirations to join the church, and becomes something of a friend to Stu. 

"Father Stu" garnered a fairly mixed response from critics; it has a 43% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. However, some reviewers did call attention to some of the standout performances, including Moten's. Leslie Felperin of The Guardian mentioned Moten specifically, saying that he and other supporting players "deserve canonization for offering very strong performances as unexpectedly well-defined characters."

Emancipation (2022)

"Emancipation" had the unfortunate distinction of coming out later the same year as the now infamous Oscar moment when Will Smith slapped Chris Rock on stage. The fallout was swift, and the incident immediately impacted Smith's career. This included question marks over what kind of work he'd be able to get, and while "Bad Boys: Ride or Die" will likely help the actor return to the public's good graces, "Emancipation" wasn't granted the same kindness. 

Smith stars as Peter, a runaway slave in the United States circa 1863, who experiences much cruelty throughout his journey, which involves a run-in with a former slave known as Knowls (Aaron Moten). Knowls works alongside the oppressors to catch anyone who runs away. The movie eventually landed on Apple TV+, where it failed to resonate. Aside from Smith's slap incident, it likely didn't help matters the film only scored a 45% rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes

Through these projects and many others, Moten has proven himself adept at playing a variety of characters within numerous genres. "Fallout" is a mix of action, drama, comedy, and science fiction, so the actor's well-suited for this world, seeing how Maximus will undoubtedly become another highlight on his resume.