David Lyons
Credit: Sylvain Gaboury/PR Photos
  • Movie

For some, actor David Lyons is best known as Dr. Simon Brenner from the last two seasons of ER. Others know him as The Cape from NBC’s short-lived 2011 superhero series.

In his native Australia, he’s famous for the navy drama Sea Patrol, but to most people he will forever be remembered as the skinny-dipping “you’re-so-naked” guy whose antics made Julia Roberts guffaw like a seagull choking on a bottle cap in Eat Pray Love.

EW has learned he is now joining the cast of the Nicholas Sparks romance Safe Haven, adding a far more menacing character to his repertoire: the angry ex-husband.

Lyons, 36, will co-star as the man whose brutal treatment leads Julianne Hough (Dancing With the Stars, Rock of Ages) to flee and start a new life in a small North Carolina town, where she strikes up a relationship with a widowed shopkeeper (Transformers‘ Josh Duhamel) and his two children. The film, based on a 2010 novel by The Notebook author, begins production today on location in Southport, N.C.

Safe Haven is being directed by Swedish filmmaker Lasse Hallström, an Oscar nominee for 1985’s My Life as a Dog, and 1999’s The Cider House Rules, and Relativity Media will release the film on Feb. 8, 2013.

Lyons has also been cast in NBC’s upcoming TV series Revolution (premiering Sept. 17), directed by Iron Man filmmaker Jon Favreau and produced by J.J. Abrams (Star Trek) and Eric Kripke (Supernatural.) Lyons co-stars as a militia general in a world where all forms of energy have ceased to function and human beings must adjust again to living without any modern technology.

So we may be seeing a lot more of him from here on out, though — admittedly — probably not as much as we saw in Eat Pray Love.

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Safe Haven
  • Movie
  • 115 minutes
  • Lasse Hallstrom