When THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS newcomer Noah Alexander Gerry (Charlie) was growing up in Florida, his family would travel to California in the summers so his sisters could audition for TV commercials. “They were the ones who really liked acting, and I went along with them because I was a little kid at the time, and they couldn’t leave me at home,” he recalled to Soaps In Depth with a smile. “I actually didn’t like acting that much until I was about 12 or 13 years old, and I got my first audition for a drama. I actually got to build the character, and I thought that was so much fun! So that kind of changed my life, and I realized that was what I wanted to do!”
While Gerry’s parents were supportive of his desire to pursue acting — even bringing him out to Los Angeles to pound the pavement — he says they were also pragmatic, cautioning him against viewing the entertainment industry through rose-colored glasses. “[Show business] isn’t the most stable of professions, so they wanted to make sure we were prepared for life if it didn’t work out,” he recalled. “But they drove us around to auditions, got us into as many acting classes as they could. They just wanted to make sure that this was something we wanted to do and let us know how much work it would be and that it would be a long road ahead. They were very honest with me, but they supported my decision, too.”
Like a lot of young Hollywood hopefuls, Gerry eventually landed on the Disney Channel and Nickelodeon. Still, getting the part of Lily and Cane’s SORAS’d son, Charlie, was a game-changer for the young actor. “I was a little familiar with Y&R because my grandma works at a hospital,” he revealed. “But after I got the part, I found out that a lot of my aunts and family members were fans of the show, especially down in Fort Myers, FL. Everybody has been so supportive, which is very cool!”
In addition to learning character backgrounds and family history, Gerry says he had a learning curve in terms of the soap’s production. “I thought every show ran the same — hour-long dramas or half hour comedies. Then I got here, and they were doing so much!” he remembered, laughing. “The work surprised me. It was challenging! When I look back at all my old lines and what I had to do when I first got here, it was tough! I had no idea the amount of lines you had to memorize on a soap opera. I didn’t realize how hard [people in daytime] work!”
Since Charlie — and twin Mattie — surprised audiences with their sudden SORASing, Gerry says he’s relished his alter ego’s evolution. “He started as a jock,” he said. “But I think he’s grown up a lot. He’s gone through a lot and is now look- ing at life a little differently.” Certainly, Charlie’s had to deal with a heck of a lot more angst than most teens, including the shame of his father’s one- night stand with the late Juliet, his parents’ marriage nearly breaking up and now having his mom, Lily, go to prison for a year because she caused the crash that killed Hilary — because she’d been arguing over Charlie’s relationship with Shauna!
Gerry says that he relished playing the emotional storyline and wouldn’t mind if his character had even more turmoil in his future! “I like to play the more serious stuff,” he admitted. “It’s more challenging to me personally, because I get to feel things that I normally don’t get to feel or deal with issues that I normally don’t get to deal with in real life. I would love it if Charlie did something bad, maybe broke the law and had to go on the run from police! I think that would be fun. That’s what’s so cool about soap operas. You really can go in any direction. I love it!”
For more on your favorite Y&R stars, keep reading the CBS edition of Soaps In Depth magazine!