Anyone watching the NBC show "Siberia" last summer might have been confused when they saw that contestant Johnny was a bull rider from Jedburg.
Jedburg isn't really known for its bull riders, but actor Johnny Wactor wanted to give a nod to his roots.
"I decided I was going to be from Jedburg," he said. "My family's home is in Jedburg. At first I was going to be a baseball player and then I said, 'Let's do something even more country.'?"
"Siberia" was a scripted drama about a reality show filmed in Siberia. He is waiting to hear if there will be a second season.
"We wanted to trick everybody into thinking it was a reality show until maybe after the first episode," said Wactor, 27. "It ended up, there were a lot of people who thought it was a reality show throughout the entire season. I don't know how."
Wactor, a 2004 graduate of Summerville High School, visited his alma mater Monday during his first visit home in nearly three years.
The oldest of three brothers, he started as a shepherd boy in Summerville Baptist Church's Singing Christmas Tree production. He went on to Rollings Middle School of the Arts, Summerville High and the College of Charleston.
"I'm sure you have no idea what you want to be, and I was the same way," he told the Summerville students Monday. "I didn't know what I wanted to do. I just knew that I wanted to do everything. In middle school, I was like, 'Acting allows me to do that. I can play different roles.'"
He and his best friend, Dusty Morrow, decided then to move to Los Angeles after college.
"I was kind of hesitant to study theater when I came to high school, because high school can be a lot of peer pressure and you always want to fit in and be cool," Wactor said. "I was a little nervous, but I was like, 'You know what? I don't care.' I did it and I loved it and I am so glad I stuck with it."
He studied business administration and Spanish in college and scored roles on the "Army Wives" series. After graduation, as promised, he and Morrow moved to L.A.
Years as a competitive swimmer, with practices before and after school, helped prepare him for the future, he said.
"I learned through having to practice 11 times a week, and I wanted to make good grades, so I sacrificed sleep," he said. "I wanted to do it all and I wanted to have fun with my friends. I slept maybe four or five hours a night from 11 years old all the way through high school. Doing that kind of helped me in life as an actor in Los Angeles during those tough times."
Wactor said he still works odd jobs to help make ends meet when necessary.
"You've got to be willing to make a sacrifice," he said. "Whatever it is that you love, don't be scared to do it because you're scared of failing or you think it might be too hard. Everything is hard."