Friday Night Spotlight: Gaius Charles

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In anticipation of Season Two of Friday Night Lights, we're taking a closer look at each of the principal cast members, most of whom you might not know too much about. And you should, because they rule.

Yesterday, we profiled the adorable Aimee Teegarden. Today, we'll tell you a little bit about 24-year-old Gaius Charles, who plays the brash, star tailback Brian "Smash" Williams on Friday Night Lights.

A 2005 graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, Gaius received his B.F.A. in drama, graduating magna cum laude. He performed in productions such "The Wild Party," "Candide," and "Spunk," the first all-black production in the conservatory's 100-year history, while at Carnegie Mellon.

Gaius Charles also appeared in the Princeton Shakespeare Festival productions of "Romeo and Juliet," as Mercutio, and "A Comedy of Errors." He also wrote, performed and produced a one-man show, "Meet Me in Iraq." In television, Charles guest starred in the short-lived NBC drama Book of Daniel.

Smash

Despite playing a star running back on TV, Gaius Charles gave up the track team in real life to devote more time to the school theater in high school.

He sprained his foot getting in shape for his Friday Night Lights audition and wound up in the ER, which, ironically, gave him extra time to prepare and he nailed the audition a week later, landing the role of Smash Williams.

Off the field (and TV set) Charles has a passion for aviation and hopes to become a licensed private pilot one day. He is also heavily involved with Youth Ministry, and has been for the past decade.

Gaius Charles was born May 2, 1983 in New York City, and raised in Queens, New York and Northern New Jersey. He currently resides in Teaneck, N.J.

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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