Poor Kyle Valenti. His girlfriend, Liz Parker, dumped him for another guy and his dad is the town sheriff. He hasn't had a steady relationship since Liz. And to top it all off, she gets married to the guy she dumped him for. Kyle is a stereotypical school jock, a strong silent type who struts his stuff in his high school letterman jacket. He'll never wear his heart on his sleeve, but deep down inside that brooding tough guy exterior is a sensitive person.
Nick Weschler says it's fun to play Kyle because they have at least some things in common. "I think I would have a similar reaction to being dumped by a woman," Nick says of Kyle and Liz's relationship. "I don't really see a huge difference between him and me other than he's a cowboy and I'm not."
Nick is actually kidding about the cowboy reference--he grew up in cowboy country, Albuquerque, New Mexico. Like Kyle, he loves sports. "I did wrestling, which is funny to me because I think that's the one thing left they could do on the show. That's the only sport I really know how to do. There was an episode where I was supposed to be playing basketball and I have no idea how to play basketball and we spent all day setting up the shots so I look like I know how to play. I stunk up the joint so bad, they ended up using like a minute of the thing in the show! I'm like please, let's do something with wrestling. I can look like I know what I'm doing with that."
Home on the Range
Nick was born on September 3, 1978, the fifth out of eight sons born to Janet, an administrative assistant for the U.S. Forest Service, and Joseph, a sheet metal worker. It's no wonder Nick excelled at sports, especially wrestling. There's nothing like a household full of boys to keep on their game, so to speak. But the sibling rivalry took a back seat to the brotherly love in the Weschler house.
Alburquerque is located in central New Mexico, approximately two hundred miles from Roswell. This desert country is bordered by the majestic Sandia Mountain Range and is home to world famous Kodak International Hot Air Balloon Festival, which takes place every October. Many people there are involved in cattle ranching or farming. It's also a rich cultural center with a large Navajo population whose traditions are reflected in the city's architecture, food, and arts. Nick speaks fondly of his New Mexican roots. "In Alburquerque, I didn't ever feel I had a problem finding nice people or nice places."
In junior high and later at Highland Middle School, Nick excelled at wrestling. "It was really exciting learning and everything," he says of the difficult sport. But one day, while attending a school play, Nick had a brainstorm. "I saw a play in high school in, like, tenth grade, it was Tartuffe, and it was terrible," Nick recalls. "I thought everybody in it was really bad, and I was like, 'I can do this.'"
Perhaps it was Nick's innate competitive or the fact that he had truly found his calling. Or maybe he was inspired by other Alburquerque natives who've made it big--Freddie Prinze Jr., Neil Patrick Harris, and French Stewart. Whatever the case, Nick decided to give acting a try. "That feeling of 'I can do this, and I'm no one'" Nick explains. "Honestly, that's still driving me, I just wanted to show everybody. There were kids who thought they were hilarious and that kind of thing drove me crazy. I liked the idea of them realizing they're not as great as they thought they were."
Nick also liked the fact he was a natural on the stage. "I joined drama and I was almost in every production after that. I'd like to think I did pretty well."
Nick's drama teacher also felt her students was a gifted young actor and encouraged him to enroll in a schools sponsored film acting workshop. "That's kind of what got me thinking about acting professionally," Nick says. In the summer of 1996, following his graduation from Highland High School, Nick moved to the bright lights and big city of Los Angeles to pursue his dream. "My mom and some of my brothers drove out there with me," Nick recalls. "We went to Disneyland and they helped me find a place to live and then they left me. They had to go back."
Nick was excited by the prospect of being a professional actor, but sad about leaving his friends and family behind. Los Angeles is a concrete jungle full of traffic jammed highways, and more importantly, full of actors. It was a world away from Alburquerque and if Nick was going to make it, he'd have to give it all he had. "I kept telling myself if I didn't make it within a year, I was going to quit and move back."
Roll the Credits
Luckily for Nick, things started to happen pretty quickly. With his self-imposed time restraint, Nick instantly immersed himself in the acting culture of LA. He landed bit parts in television shows like The Lazarus Man, with Robert Urich, and Silk Stalkings with Rob Estes. To supplement his sporadic gigs, Nick, who's also passionate about music, worked in a record store. "But not for long. (Sucess) happened pretty fast, but I had no experience, so I didn't know what to expect. I guess I just assumed that's how it worked."
He also had a small role in the feature film: The Perfect Game and almost was in the hit movie: American Beauty. "But when I showed up to tape my part, I found out they were cutting costs, and my part was cut out," Nick explained to the Alburquerque Journal. He was especially disappointed because the movie stars one of his favorite actors of all time, Kevin Spacey. "Even though my part was small, it would have been to great to have even one line in a movie with him."
But Nick wasn't bummed for long. In late 1998, Nick auditioned for, and landed the role of Kyle Valenti on Roswell. Though he's never been to the real Roswell, Nick feels at home on the set with his new friends, the cast, and crew. "Working with Bill Sadler is amazing," Nick gushes of his TV dad. "I think he's great, not just as an actor, but as a person. He's really friendly and I enjoy his company outside the show."
And even though he misses his family and friends from Alburquerque, Nick couldn't be happier with the way his career is going. "I've never been the biggest fan of California," Nick confesses. "There are certain places that I like but I feel like that is all so rare. I miss Alburquerque in some ways, but it's not really home anymore. I used to think I wanted to live there the rest of my life, then I moved out here to do this. I still love the place and all my favorite people in the world are there and it will always be really special. But I don't feel like I need to live there anymore."
NICK QUICK FACTS:
LAST NAME PRONOUNCED: Wex-ler
ASTROLOGICAL SIGN: Virgo
HEIGHT: 5' 7"
SIBLINGS: Seven brothers (4 older, 3 younger)
FAVORITE TV SHOW: The X-Files
FAVORITE FOOD: Gyros
HOBBY: Learning to play acoustic guitar