We're in the doldrums, my Lost-watching brethren. With season two having ended a few months ago—and season three months away—I'm starting to get withdrawal symptoms, imagining myself stranded on a mysterious and hostile island. And if there's one character from Lost whom I would choose to be stranded with, it's Mr. Eko. (Okay, in my fantasies, I'm really stranded with Kate or a not-so-dead Ana Lucia—or both. But for survival purposes, yes, Mr. Eko.) Lost's Mr. Eko arrived as a hulking, mysterious figure who literally spoke softly and carried a big stick, but the 38-year-old actor Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje has been lurking in the background of nearly a dozen films.
• Congo (1995)—Based on Michael Crichton's novel about a lost jungle city, greedy diamond hunters, and a band of militant albino gorillas. Ajbaje plays one of the jungle guides (in other words, even a decade before Lost, Ajbaje was already typecast as a silent, hulking black man).
• Oz (1997-2000)— Skip the boring reruns of Fox's over-hyped Prison Break—instead, rent this criminally underrated HBO prison series. Finally, someone gave due credit to Agbaje's acting cred: Oz cast him as a wily and monstrous inmate who tars and feathers himself and masturbates incessantly. Charming!
• The Mummy Returns (2001)—Brendan Fraser reprises his role as Indiana Jones Lite when a mummy awakens in a London museum. Meanwhile, Agbaje plays—what else?—a stoically cruel African king, Lock-Nah. Great mindless summer viewing.
• The Bourne Identity (2002)—With a character name like "Nykwana Wombosi," you can correctly guess that, once again, this University of London-educated actor is not being cast as a gentleman or stately senator—but as a monstrous, drug-running African warlord. In other words, pretty much the same dude he plays in Lost. Or in anything else, really.