ATWT's Zach Roerig

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"It's like going back to high school!"

Reliving the Past in Oakdale

When Zach Roerig took over the role of Casey Hughes on As The World Turns a few months ago, it was a feeling like going back to the good old days of high school.

“It really is! I cannot tell you how it feels. It’s like I’m stepping back a bit in time,” Roerig said. “The reason I’m saying this is because I’m playing myself and the person I was in high school.”

The 20-year-old Roerig said that in high school he always put people before himself, was a jock, and into everything. He acted like Casey trying to be the “cool guy.”

When the writers’ at As The World Turns incorporated the line ‘Hey Dude,’ Roerig was like “All right!”

“I think they (writers’) saw something in me to write that, because that would be me talking,” Roerig said. “However, I must admit that it was written once in the storyline and I went with it more. The powers that be told me to tone it down. I was like yea, whatever dude.”

Roerig comes off as an impressionable guy that likes to go with the flow, seeing where life takes him. And he just wants to have fun playing Casey. (Incidentally, he is the seventh actor in the role.)

He hinted that he’d love to have a romance on the show and thinks it’s heading it that direction, but with a little twist that will make it interesting.

Roerig hails from a small town in Ohio called Montpelier. (Population 4,500.) One can assume that Roerig is a considered celebrity back there, and is talked about in the local beauty parlor.

“Oh yea! When I get back home people stop me all the time. I guess I am a celebrity. At least in Montpelier,” Roerig joked. “The local paper did a story on me, as well as I was interviewed by local radio stations. The women are always telling my mom, ‘Hey that’s your son.’ I guess in a little town, this is big news.”

Roerig in a scene with Alyssa Diaz (Celia) and Jennifer Landon (Gwen) that aired the week of May 30, 3005.

Roerig comes from a huge family. His dad is one of eight kids, and his mom is one of six, which makes going back to Montpelier and those family reunions a big special occasion. He remains close to his parents and 16 year-old sister, Emily, and phones home daily.

He decided on a career in acting in his junior year of high school. He started to think about his life and what would make him happy. He went to see a scouting agent while in Ohio, and the bug just bit.

Roerig left for New York to become an actor three days after graduating high school, and never looked back with regret.

“Acting gives me a high. It’s just an amazing feeling to be able to act, get paid, and do what you love,” Roerig said. “It’s just being in the moment, on stage, in front of cameras, and with famous people.”

Soapdom wants to know, what it’s like working with veterans like Scott Holmes (Tom), Ellen Dolan (Margo), and having Eileen Fulton (Lisa) for a Grandmother, and Don Hastings (Bob) for a Grandfather?

“It’s really wonderful. Scott, Ellen, Eileen, and Don are super. They never come off as being a star or veteran, which they are,”Roerig said. “They’re all nice. They just told me to relax, go for it, and know your lines.”

Roerig in a scene with Ellen Dolan (Margo) that aired the week of May 2, 2005

What’s strange is that his mom used to watch As The World Turns and when he saw Lily and Holden (Martha Byrne, Jon Hensley) in person it was like “Wow they’re my co-stars.”

Roerig said that when he arrived in the Big Apple, it was scary at first. Especially not knowing anyone and being alone, but since has adjusted. He lives with roommates (who help him run his lines), and is friends with Jesse Soffer (Will Munson) of As The World Turns.

Arriving in New York, he kept auditioning for As The World Turns and All My Children for a long time. Finally, he screen tested for Casey and landed a contract. He admitted to being shocked upon learning that he won the role.

“I really was. Because my agent sent me on so many auditions that you just never know,” Roerig said. “Also I auditioned with another guy for Casey that I thought was really good, and I was sure that he’d get the role.”

Prior to As The World Turns, he appeared in an episode of “Law and Order” and shot a pilot that was not picked up.

Roerig takes his job on As The World Turns and the role of Casey seriously. He enrolled in acting classes, and has done some modeling and print work for catalogs. He wants to see how things pan out. He’d like to do films, and remaining in soaps is “just fine.”  He also has an other interesting ambition. Someday he’d like to go to college and become an Historian.