After moving to Los Angeles, he took the stage name of David Anders due to another actor using the name David Holt. In 2001, Anders took a role playing a high school senior in the Olsen twins‘ series So Little Time. Later in 2001, Anders landed the role of Julian Sark in Alias; originally a guest star, Anders was made a regular and lasted until 2006. Before his acting debut in Alias, Anders worked at The Gap and taught tennis. Between 2001 and 2006, while working on Alias, Anders made guest appearances on television shows such as Charmed, CSI and Grey’s Anatomy. Anders also worked in independent film, and was involved in several plays. In 2002, Anders played in the independent film, The Surge. In December 2001, he appeared in The Source magazine in an ad for the rapper Canibus, in which Anders doubles as Eminem. In 2005, Anders joined the cast of Beautiful, an Off-Broadway rock musical, as the lead. Beautiful was shown during the New York International Fringe Festival. In the same year, he participated in the film Circadian Rhythm. In 2006, Anders worked on the horror film Left in Darkness alongside actress Monica Keena.
In 2007, Anders played the role of ELI in the film of the same name, ELI. He went on to be cast in a regular role in the second season of NBC’s hit Heroes as Adam Monroe/Takezo Kensei, a new character with the ability to regenerate Anders was once again asked to use his British accent from Alias, despite being an American actor. He also worked on two other movies; Into the Blue 2: The Reef and The Revenant. He also guest-starred in the eighth season of 24. Anders has guest starred as John Gilbert in the TV series The Vampire Diaries in 2010 and 2011.
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As of late 2011, Anders had a recurring role as Victor Frankenstein (as well as his Storybrook version Dr. Whale) on ABC’s Once Upon A Time. Anders currently stars a Troy Cutler in USA’s Necessary Roughness and will be continuing his role in Once Upon a Time in Season 3.