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Charles Jeffrey Gillespie (born August 26, 1998) is a Canadian actor. He portrays Luke Patterson in the Netflix series Julie and the Phantoms.

Biography[]

Charles "Charlie" Jeffery Gillespie was born on August 26, 1998 in Dieppe, New Brunswick, Canada. He is one of five children, with three brothers and a sister.[1]

Gillespie began playing music at a young age due to his mother signing him and his siblings up for music lessons. He speaks both English and French fluently. After graduating early from high school, Gillespie moved to Toronto (where he lived for 2 and a half years) and later to Los Angeles to pursue acting.

Charlie has appeared in films and TV shows including two episodes on Degrassi: The Next Generation in 2017, two episodes in CW's Charmed in 2018, and the 2020 film Runt. He will be starring as the lead in a film entitled Love You Anyway, which releases March 1 2021. His character's name is 'Lucas.'[2]

In June 2019, Gillespie decided to audition for Julie and the Phantoms for the role of Luke Patterson. He stated that when he received the script, he was drawn to the concept as well as Luke as a character.[3] Gillespie has stated that he is more of an acoustic guitar player, so to prepare for his audition, he rented an electric guitar and practiced at open mic nights six to eight times a week all over Los Angeles.[4]

Gillespie has mentioned numerous times that he entered the audition process with an acoustic guitar. The second day of the auditions, he brought an electric guitar (as encouraged by director Kenny Ortega), which Gillespie states, "was more like the character."[5] Gillespie first performed a rendition of a "Shawn Mendes song that was pretty soft" and was encouraged to play something more upbeat. At this, Gillespie performed "I Want It That Way" by the Backstreet Boys.[3] Charlie describes his audition:

I played a couple of songs and then did this slide, and I knew the second that I did the power slide from the back of the room to their table [that I had a shot]. They went nuts over it. I knew we were going to have fun.[6]

Like Shada and Joyner, Gillespie was at first surprised with how quick the audition process was.[6] All four of the main cast were surprised at how quickly they were told they got the part, as there usually is a conventional 10 day waiting period.[7]

Some time in the audition process, Gillespie was paired with Owen Patrick Joyner (who plays Alex) and Jeremy Shada (who plays Reggie) amongst the 35 hopefuls auditioning for the role of the phantoms. The trio was then paired with Madison Reyes, who would go to portray Julie Molina.[4]

During the six weeks before production at the cast members' boot camp, Gillespie and Madison Reyes co-wrote "Perfect Harmony." They drew inspiration from the Gabriella [Vanessa Hudgens] and Troy's [Zac Efron] moment on the rooftop in High School Musical. Known only to the duo, Joyner and Shada, Reyes and Gillespie worked on the song in between rehearsals. With Gillespie on acoustic guitar, the pair performed the song to Ortega, their music team and the show runners (Dan Cross and David Hoge) who loved it and took it to the studio to get it approved to feature in the show. Originally, the scene would have consisted of a background track the production team would have had to develop, and likely would have been shorter than the one in the show.[4][8]

The boot camp consisted of sessions that trained and re-taught them music fundamentals, singing, dancing and playing their specific instrument, as well as their demo music. Gillespie recounts:

Our music team at Netflix lead by Colleen Fitzpatrick with Maureen Crowe organized A-Class performers to educated us. We dove into the fundamentals of music theory and practices, that absolutely launched each of us into this new world of music. Jeremy Shada and I were paired for guitar and bass lessons with Drew Taubenfeld [...] As well as Maxwell David, our vocal instructor, who would lead group and solo sessions daily [...] As a band, we never wanted to fake our performances. We didn’t want to be a tv group who only cared about how we looked on camera. We wanted to be a band who could pick up their instruments and play their songs wherever, whenever because they are our songs. [8]


Filmography[]

Year Title Role Notes
2014 La gang des hors-la-loi Tiger Film
2015 Galala Localhost TV Host
2017 Degrassi: Next Class Oliver TV series
2017 The Next Step Marcus TV series
2018 2nd Generation Brody Johnson TV series Regular
2018 Speed Kills Andrew Aronoff Film
2018 Charmed Brian TV series
2019 Consequénces Pierre-François Létourneau-Robichaud TV series
2019 I Am the Night Surfer Hank TV series
2019 The Rest of Us Nathan Film
2020 Runt D-Rat Ronnie Film
2020-Present Julie and the Phantoms Luke Patterson[9] TV series, Main character
2021 Love You Anyways Lucas Parker Post-production
TBA The Class Jason Pre-production

Discography[]

Albums[]

Title Album details
Julie and the Phantoms: Music from the Netflix Original Series
  • Released: September 10, 2020
  • Label: Maisie Music Publishing
  • Format: CD, digital download, streaming

Awards and nominations[]

Year Association Category Nominated Work Result
2017 Joey Awards[10] Best Leading Actor 2nd Generation Nominated
Best Ensemble (with cast) Nominated

Trivia[]

  • Gillespie reportedly was in an unnamed band, separate from his open mic night period, sometime before Julie and the Phantoms.
    • "Before Julie and the Phantoms, Gillespie -- who had bit parts on The CW's Charmed and Chris Pine's I Am the Night -- was in a band and did the Los Angeles open mic scene last year."[6]
  • Out of the three actors, Gillespie reportedly has the most exaggerated movements when filming the moments the phantoms 'teleport' in view. Jeremy Shada, who plays Reggie, states:
    • "Charlie’s poofs in the show are the most huge and ridiculous. On set, every time he would do a poof, I was like, “They look so cheesy. Is that gonna look super dumb?” And to Charlie’s credit, in the final thing, his look the coolest. His poofs look awesome."[3]
  • Gillespie lost his voice during boot camp practicing the shows' songs.
    • "I was so into it that I lost my voice. I had to be on voice rest for two weeks when we started rehearsing and it was the scariest thing. When I finally got my voice back I only had like a week-and-a-half to prepare to record."[4]
    • Due to this, the music team originally brought the music down to a lower pitch so that Gillespie can learn the music. "When we were in the studio, finally I've been singing for a couple weeks, I've been learning the songs again—In the room, I was like, 'Can I try something?' [...] So then I was starting to hit notes and the next day Kenny was like, 'Okay, we're putting the songs back up. We're doing Now or Never, we're putting it five steps up, we're bringing it up to what it used to be.'"[11]
    • Gillespie has stated his lack of proper vocal training and his enthusiasm in the first few weeks were most likely what wore his voice out.[12]
  • Gillespie and Owen Patrick Joyner, who plays Alex, lived together in Vancouver, Canada while filming the first season of Julie and the Phantoms.[13]
    • "I never got a college experience, but living with Charlie was like a frat house with like 400 dudes. It was intense, it was stressful, it was fun. The kid can cook. It was awesome, it was the best experience." Joyner said
  • Gillespie came up with the idea to push Luke's head through the cabinet door in the scene with Julie in the Kitchen in the episode Bright.[6]
  • Gillespie came up with the idea to play a guitar riff in the song Edge of Great. This riff does not appear in the official cast recording.
  • Gillespie took a class on a particular technique of method-acting established by Stella Alder, which he cites as an aspect of how he approached filming Unsaid Emily.[12]
  • Gillespie plays with a PRS Custom 24 electric guitar.
  • He co-wrote Perfect Harmony with Madison Reyes.

External Links[]

References[]

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