The Good Son

THE YOUNG & THE REST­LESS’ Noah Alexan­der Gerry hopes a bumpy road’s ahead for Char­lie

CBS Soaps In Depth - - NEWS - — Julie Mcel­wain

Noah Alexan­der Gerry digs into Char­lie’s emo­tional jour­ney.

When 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 re­calls 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 pre- pared for life if it didn’t work out,” he re­calls. “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.”

Pick­ing up The Pace

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 re­veals. “But after I got the part, I found out that a lot of my aunts and fam­ily mem­bers were fans (con­tin­ues)

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 sooo much!” he re­mem­bers, 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!” he re­flects. “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!”

Teen Trauma

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 says. “But I think he’s grown up a lot. He’s gone through a lot and is now look­ing 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 onenight 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 argu-

ing over Char­lie’s re­la­tion­ship with Shauna! Ger r y 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 ad­mits. “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!” he adds with a smile. “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!”

Leonardo Di­caprio is some­one who in­spires Gerry. “I look up to peo­ple who can make oth­ers feel some­thing,” he says. Gerry and TV twin sis­ter Lexie Steven­son (Mat­tie) hang out off screen as well. “She got re­ally close to my sis­ters and my mom,” he says. “She’s like part of the fam­ily!”

When he learned he’d play the son of Chris­tel Khalil (Lily), Gerry was “like, ‘Wow, I have a re­ally pretty mom!’ She gave me a lot of ad­vice and has been re­ally awe­some!”

If he needs any­thing, the ac­tor says that Daniel God­dard (Cane) is one of his go-to peo­ple. “Any ques­tion I have, he can an­swer. We get along very well!”

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