The Spoiler: Ian Novick
Digest: Has it been hard keeping the secret?
Novick: It’s murder because the first thing is, “You’re on the show —did you win?” I wait tables. Tables I have a good rapport with, I say, “Don’t tip me; watch the show.”Digest: So you’re from Japan?
Novick: My father was a captain in the United States Navy and when I was in the third grade, they stationed my father in Japan. And it kind of turned out that we liked it so much that we stayed. Department of Defense schools are really bad, so my parents enrolled my brother and I in the local Japanese school. We were young enough to pick up the language as children would learn it, so there’s a degree of native fluency that we were able to attain, which comes in handy with the ladies. Digest: When did you leave?
Novick: I left after high school and went to the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. It’s a magical place for some people; I don’t know if it was for me. And then I moved to Washington, D.C. My father was working for the Department of the Navy, and because I decided to do this whole acting thing relatively late in my college career, I knew that if I went straight to L.A. or New York I would be eaten alive. Dear old Dad, after he vehemently opposed my career choice, gave me a final peace offering and said, “Why don’t you come live with me and land on your feet, see how you do in a small market before you make it to a bigger market.” Digest: What would you do if you weren’t an actor?
Novick: I don’t know. I probably would have wanted to go into either state service or work in government on the forefront of international politics, or be an entrepreneur of the cutthroat variety. Try and change the world as we see it through market forces. But I like living in my little land of make-believe with lots of lights and pretty people.Digest: How did you find out about the competition?
Novick: The first time I saw it was from an Internet newsletter. I read it and went “Mmm, it’s reality.” And then a friend of mind sent me the actual link to download the application and added the words, “If you don’t do this, I’ll kill you.” I was working with some small-time filmmakers; we were just kind of futzing about and I said, “Hey, guys, I need this audition tape.” I paid them three six-packs of imported beer and we shot the thing.Digest: Has it been what you expected?
Novick: Not at all. I had no clue what it was gonna be like. I went in there waaaay too confident, like I was gonna waltz through this. The process knocks you down a couple of notches, but it’s a humility that I probably need to learn at some point. Better now than never. Digest: When did you first start watching ATWT?
Novick: After I went to my first audition in New York, when they called up some people that they thought might be suitable. And after that, I started picking up an episode here and there. Because I work a lot in the afternoons and it’s hard for me to get away. Soap acting is definitely a style — you don’t have the benefit of all these takes and stuff. It was more for study. I could never follow the storyline because I couldn’t watch it every day. Digest: You definitely don’t have the luxury of trying different things.
Novick: No. I was working with Mr. [Christopher] Goutman [executive producer], and he’s just a regular one-take Charlie. You bring your “A” game: Round one, opening bell, you better come out swinging. Something that’s passable, but you’re still not satisfied, you’re gonna hear the words, “It’s a buy.” And you’re gonna go, “Darn!” Because you want to stand out, you want to shine, you want your storyline to be what grips people, so you’ve really got to stay focused in a way that I don’t think any other actor has to be. Digest: What surprised you the most about the studio?
Novick: The efficiency was something else. It’s like, “You’re a small part of what makes this work. You’re a crucial cog, but make no mistake — you’re a cog.” It was neat to see it work. Digest: Did you and the other interns watch the show at the loft?
Novick: We didn’t have a TV, but we did catch the live feeds. You can see the dry rehearsals coming in through the monitors in the studio, so we would watch that. Digest: Michael Park [Jack] was surprised that more people didn’t try to sabotage each other. Did you consider it?
Novick: I think with acting — Mr. Mensing mentioned this a couple of times — it’s a collaborative effort. If you don’t get along with your scene partner, it tends to show. I watch people a lot and I notice that the people [at ATWT like] Zach [Roerig, Casey] and Alexandra [Chando, Maddie] seem to get along quite well. They seem to be fairly close, so I think that’s very important, that they have that good working relationship, and I think all of the people on our show know that. If you don’t want to work with someone, it’s going to affect you. It’s going to make you look bad. And I can’t speak for everyone else, but I don’t want to win that way. I don’t want to look in the mirror when I brush my teeth and realize, “Oh, that’s how I got there.” I want to be judged on what I can do as an actor; what I can bring and create.Digest: Who did you miss most when they were gone?
Novick: Javi. He was very confident. It’s a strange thing: Sometimes you’re in a room with several people and you pick the people that you would like to talk to, like a molecular resonance or something. You’re just kind of like, “Yeah, that’s the kind of person I’d like to get to know.” I was hoping he would be around longer.Digest: What was the best thing about the loft?
Novick: The kitchen. It was an awesome kitchen: space to move. And the little balcony was really nice. You could sit out there and bake in the sun. There was a guy across the street on the third floor, and every 20 minutes or so, he would stick his head out and look left and right, like he was crossing the street, like clockwork. Digest: You got lucky with the living situation on the first day.
Novick: In a manner of speaking. I mean, don’t take it anywhere it doesn’t need to go [laughs]! First of all, I could stretch and not pick anyone’s nose. The thing is, they were really psyched about the central air, so they cranked it up because it got really hot in the other room. So Geneva and I are in there just freezing at around 3 o’clock in the morning. So you would go downstairs and turn off the air-conditioning and then around 5 it would go back on again. I think Justin slept downstairs on the couch several nights. He just wasn’t buying it.Digest: What was your most embarrassing moment?
Novick: First of all, I lost the push-up challenge to Alex and Justin. But to set the record straight: Go through the tapes and you will see that Janell did indeed sit on my back for the first push-up. I was just like, “Well, that’s fair.” But Alex not so much got to work with two people, but had to work with two people, so it cut down on his time to work with each one. Bottom line: I still made it to the bottom three. It was an acting competition, not a push-up contest.Digest: How did your Raven Lake scenes go?
Novick: It was awesome. There were three days of shooting for each of the finalists and two of them were on location at a scout camp in Staten Island. It was a ball; it was like being at camp. It was really fun to kind of futz about and do stuff on location. It was just a really good time. Digest: What’s your character like?
Novick: He’s macho and abrasive and if you say he can’t do it, he’ll try and do it, but not in the positive sense. He tends to run with a conclusion. He’ll decide something is this way and run with it. The script told me he was not a nice guy, so what I wanted to do was make sure that people got that impression. It’s kind of like the guy who played the groom who ends up getting dumped in the end of Wedding Crashers — when you finish that, you’re just like, “I hate him!” But Bradley Cooper pulled it off so well. A lot of people would have tried to water that down and he didn’t. Digest: Fans will vote on your performance in the Raven Lake story, so were you concerned that if your character wasn’t a nice guy that that would color their perspective?
Novick: I did have this sinking feeling that some people were going to be like, ‘He tried to kill Maddie!’ and then vote for the character, not the actor.
I have looked on message boards and some people have said, “He could be Luke’s boyfriend.” I’m thinking, “Being straight, that’s a challenge. And I’m more than willing to try and make this very convincing, because if I’m reticent, it’s gonna show.” I want to do the best that I can with what I’ve been given.Digest: Why should people vote for you?
Novick: In my deep, dark heart I want to say because I’d like to win. Ultimately, it comes down to, “Who do you want to see as an actor on AS THE WORLD TURNS?” Who we are as people oftentimes may not have much bearing on how an actor works [and that] may not show up on-screen. Point in case: Mel Gibson [laughs]. But you can’t take away the fact that he’s a very good actor. I promise that I will do everything in my power to make it convincing, exciting and engageable.
The Spoiler: Ian Novick