Beyond T.K. Strand: Ronen Rubinstein


Ronen Rubinstein is best known for playing firefighter Tyler Kennedy Strand, aka T.K., on FOX’s first responder series, 9-1-1: Lone Star. The character, though only 10 episodes aired, has already gone through a lot in the first season alone, from a drug overdose to being shot while on call. Rubinstein’s performance as T.K. is an emotional one every week. He goes above and beyond and tests his acting skills, both physically and mentally.

Although now a lovable firefighter, Rubinstein has had some memorable roles over the last several years, many of which showcase the range of acting talent that he has and how far he’s willing to go. From the big screen to the small screen, these roles are all different from each other but all represent the limits that Rubinstein has as an actor. His activism role also plays a big part in his life.

Condemned (2015)

Image courtesy of Image Entertainment

I wouldn’t recommend this to people who don’t like gory movies, but if you’re able to hold it down, it’s a great one. Rubinstein plays Dante in 2015’s Condemned, a film that follows a group of friends living in a condemned building where a strange virus is formed due to combined noxious waste and garbage. It infects the entire building, turning whoever has it into bloodthirsty, rampaging killers. Dante and his girlfriend, who had just moved in with him to get away from her parents, have to try to survive the ever-growing number of infected residents, which includes their friends. It’s a movie that keeps you on your toes and Rubinstein’s performance is outstanding and thrilling. It’s also one of the few movies that has him with longer hair, which is always a plus.

Condemned can currently be purchased on YouTube, Google Play, Vudu, Prime Video, and iTunes.

Some Kind of Hate (2015)

Image courtesy of RLJ Entertainment

This movie is sure to keep anyone up at night. Rubinstein stars in Some Kind of Hate as Lincoln Taggert, a troubled teen who gets sent to a reform school at a camp after getting into an altercation with a school bully. By accident, he summons the spirit of a girl who was once bullied at the school and takes vengeance on her tormentors, killing them the same way she was evidently killed. Also starring Justin Prentice from 13 Reasons Why, Sierra McCormick from A.N.T. Farm, and Grace Phipps from Teen Beach MovieSome Kind of Hate is not your typical thriller, teen movie. Rubinstein’s performance is phenomenal and tragic, playing this troubled teen who tries to keep to himself, only to be labeled as a freak and winds up trying to survive reform school in more ways than one.

Some Kind of Hate is available to stream on Prime Video and Tubi.

Dead of Summer (2016)

Image courtesy of Freeform

Years before Rubinstein was fighting fires, he was fighting a dark and mysterious summer at camp. He starred as snobby and preppy Alex Powell in Freeform’s short-lived drama Dead of Summerhis first major role in television. Centering around a summer camp in a Midwestern town in 1989, a group of counselors try to dig deeper into the camp’s dark and ancient mythology once strange things start happening and counselors are killed off one by one, all while trying to keep kids entertained and have a normal summer. Although it only ran for a single season, the series was full of twists and turns that were enough to keep anyone on the edge. Rubinstein’s performance as Alex was a memorable one and makes viewers wish they could have had him for a little bit longer than they did.

Dead of Summer also stars Elizabeth Mitchell from Once Upon Time, Elizabeth Lailas from YOU, and Alberto Frezza from Station 19. 

The series is not currently available on any streaming service but can be bought as single episodes or the full 10-episode season on YouTube, iTunes, Google Play, Vudu, and Prime Video.

No Escape (2020)

Image courtesy of Vertical Entertainment

A recent movie in Rubinstein’s filmography, No Escape is one film where you wish an Escape Room wasn’t real. Rubinstein plays Alexei, a rich guy from Russia who gets a group of friends into an Escape Room, but all is not what it seems. This movie, without getting completely into it, is full of twists and turns that you’re not expecting. It’s an Escape Room that is tailored to one’s experience and never the same. Rubinstein’s performance, though not the main focus of the movie, is questionable, specifically because you don’t know much about his character, but it keeps the role interesting throughout, keeps you guessing what he’s really like. He brings a lot to a character that is vital to this Escape Room experience, yet the audience doesn’t know who Alexei really is.

The movie had a successful debut overseas last summer then made a landing in the U.S. this fall. No Escape is unpredictable and has an ending that leaves you wondering how they pulled it off. It takes the horror movie genre to a whole new level and it’s something that will likely stick around for a long time. The film also stars Keegan Allen, who most may remember from Pretty Little Liars and the upcoming Walker reboot. Read our review of No Escape here.

No Escape is on DVD, Digital and On Demand now.

Smiley Face Killers (2020)

Image courtesy of Lionsgate

The most recent movie Rubinstein was in is Smiley Face Killers, based on the true stories of the infamous and unknown killers who graffiti a smiley face after killing their victim, who is usually an athletic, white male. Rubinstein plays college student, Jake Graham, who starts to worry that he could be the next victim after a series of mysterious drownings plague the California coast. This role took Rubinstein’s acting to a different level, one that fans wouldn’t be used to seeing. Not only is it an emotional role but the physicality of it is something that tested his ability as an actor. It’s a heartbreaking story that keeps you engaged throughout the entire film. Also starring Crispin Glover, Smiley Face Killers is a thriller that keeps you guessing what is going to happen next.

Smiley Face Killers had its world premiere at Popcorn Frights Film Festival over Halloween weekend. It will be available on DVD, Digital, and On Demand on December 2.


While he’s not acting, Rubinstein greatly advocates for ocean cleanup. He’s an Official Co-Chair for the non-profit progressive activism app TurnUp Activism; an Ambassador for the non-profit organization The Ocean Cleanup, which develops advanced technologies to rid the oceans of plastic; and an Ambassador for Project Zero, which works to Turn the Tide on the climate crisis.

9-1-1: Lone Star will return to FOX this January for season two, but Rubinstein is always working on new projects, whether it’d be a film or activism.

Check out Rubinstein’s full filmography on IMDb here.

Megan has been passionate about writing since she was little and has been passionate about all things pop culture and nerdy since almost as long. Joining Nerds and Beyond in 2019, she also graduated from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh in 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts in Multimedia Journalism. Megan is constantly binge-watching shows and finding new things to obsess over. 9-1-1 and Marvel currently reign as the top obsessions. You can find her on Twitter @marvels911s if you ever want to discuss some certain firefighters.

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