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Actor/lawyer Lenny Platt steps from ESPN International into “Quantico” starring role

Platt’s “Quantico” character is “a Tim Tebow wannabe”

Small-world circumstances seem to play in Lenny Platt’s favor. His character in “Quantico,” Drew Perales, comes to the FBI after a pro football career.

Alex Parrish, the character portrayed by series star Priyanka Chopra, describes Perales as a “Tim Tebow wannabe,” for reasons not entirely explained.

For Platt, a 2006 graduate of the University of Florida – a year before Tebow won the Heisman Trophy for the Gators – this is a “wild coincidence, right?”

Growing up in Florida, Platt played Pop Warner and high school football. He stopped playing while in The Swamp but he was a Gators fan in the midst of Tebowmania. Still, when preparing the background on Perales, he did not cite Tebow – who has transitioned from the NFL to a role as an SEC Network analyst – as a primary model.

“Since my character is an ex-pro wideout,” Platt said, “I was looking at [the Pittsburgh Steelers’ All-Pro] Antonio Brown, since he is also 5 feet, 10 inches tall, 180 pounds and at the top of his game.”

Platt did draw on Tebow as inspiration for his 2014 role as Griffin O’Reilly on ABC’s “How To Get Away With Murder.”

“I modeled Griffin, a star athlete, after Tebow,” Platt told The Independent Florida Alligator two years ago. “Tebow is Christian, a quarterback and a rock star on the field. But, of course, Tebow would never be embroiled in a murder mystery.” – Sheldon Spencer

A quintessential, millennial, career-juggler — and until recently an executive legal assistant at ESPN International for more than three years — actor/lawyer Lenny Platt makes his debut on ABC’s crime drama “Quantico” this Sunday (10 p.m. ET).

Platt portrays FBI recruit Drew Perales, a new character an Entertainment Weekly article describes as a retired NFL player who’s both charming, ruthlessly driven and always there to help his friends get ahead. “He’s very much a charismatic alpha,” executive producer Jake Coburn said.

The Tallahassee, Fla., native, took a unique path to stardom.

Platt, 31, worked with the ESPN International legal team in New York City from 2012 until the fall of 2015, when he relocated to Montreal where “Quantico” is currently filming. Before joining ESPN International, he worked for The Walt Disney Company in a temporary job as a legal assistant.

All the while, he also pursued acting roles – and succeeded in landing them – inside and outside of the Disney family. After being selected in 2009 for an ABC Discovers: Talent Showcase, Platt won a four-year role on the ABC soap opera “One Life To Live” and appeared in five episodes of the ABC drama “How To Get Away With Murder.”

Platt worked for David Ballantine, deputy chief counsel, ESPN International.

Ballantine said of Platt, who has degrees from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at New York City’s Yeshiva University and the University of Florida (criminology): “Lenny approaches everything with enthusiasm, positive energy and a can-do attitude. He’s a great guy and while we’re sorry he’s no longer with us in international legal, it’s awesome that another division of TWDC [The Walt Disney Company] can benefit from his signature approach.

“This is an excellent story that has many more chapters to run.”

As Platt explains in the video above, “It’s been fascinating to play a murder suspect [on “How To Get Away With Murder”] and then go back and draft contracts in the real world. . . The reason I got into acting is that I’ve been surrounded by this kind of storytelling my whole life.

“It feels comfortable to be in this company in both my legal work and my acting work.”

Ardi Dwornik and Samantha Baron produced this video.
The Walt Disney Company, ABC Photography, Francine Dozier and Lenny Platt supplied video footage and photos.

Lenny Platt, who for seven years balanced his acting career with work as a legal assistant for Disney and ESPN International, shares a scene with "Quantico" star Priyanka Chopra.  (Phillippe Bosse/ABC)
Lenny Platt, who for seven years balanced his acting career with work as a legal assistant for Disney and ESPN International, shares a scene with “Quantico” star Priyanka Chopra.(Phillippe Bosse/ABC)
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