Local lands roles in TV shows, movie

Published 11:16 pm Friday, May 22, 2009

When Drew Roy went to Atlanta to meet with an entertainment management company in April 2004, he knew he was taking a risk. When he turned down a scholarship to the University of Alabama and moved to Los Angeles, there was no turning back.

Roy, 23, a 2004 graduate of Chilton County High School, is starting make a name for himself as an actor.

Roy played the role of Griffin, the “bad boyfriend,” on an episode of the Nickelodeon TV series iCarly. He has also filmed two episodes with the immensely popular Disney Channel show “Hannah Montana” and will play a recurring character on ABC Family’s “Lincoln Heights.”

“It’s been awesome to have that little bit of success,” said Roy, who has learned that rejection is much more common that success in L.A.

It all started in 2004, when Roy was standing in line with other aspiring actors. Suddenly, he was approached by a manager who handed him a script.

Roy studied the script and auditioned. After graduation, while on his senior trip with friends in Panama City, he got a call from the company. A month later, he found himself in L.A.

Needless to say, he wasn’t the only one who was nervous.

“I always imagined my children having a college degree,” his mother, Pam Roy, said. “When he went out there, it was a difficult decision to let him go.”

Drew’s father, Dr. Richard Roy, was dead set against the idea initially, but those feelings have changed quite a bit with his son’s success.

But it didn’t happen overnight. During Roy’s first four years in L.A., he worked as a valet at the Beverly Hills Hotel, all the while taking acting lessons. But not all of the classes had to do with acting itself.

“When Drew left, he had a very strong Southern accent,” his father said. “One of the first things the company made him do was enroll in classes to drop the accent. That makes it easier for him to play different characters.”

In auditions, Roy’s age was a factor, as well. In iCarly, for example, he plays a young teenager.

“When he goes out for roles his age, they tell him he looks too young,” his mother said.

Acting is a lot more work than meets the eye. Roy said that for every job, he has to attend about 20 meetings. It’s the fast-paced nature of television that makes him want to pursue a career in movies.

Roy has already filmed one movie, “Costa Rican Summer,” for which he spent about a month in the Central American country.

“It was incredibly fun,” he said.

Roy admitted that acting was never even on his radar until the opportunity came along. He had played James Bond in Chilton County High School’s “Blast from the Past,” riding through the auditorium on a motorcycle. Now his audience, though unseen, consists of millions. The highly promoted iCarly episode, according to one magazine, drew 6.5 million viewers.

Roy’s aspirations are now set in stone.

“I’m 100 percent going for acting,” he said.