I always considered Andy my “TV dad”. He was always someone that I looked up to with the utmost respect because of how dedicated he was to his role. Every single day he showed up knowing every word of the script — everyone else’s lines, the stage direction, everything. There were times on the show that I felt unmotivated or exhausted, but then I looked to Andy and saw how much work he put into his role and became inspired to push forward. I always told myself if he could leave his home and family for so long each year for this role, I can definitely trudge through another year of high school and keep working on the show.
That being said, whenever I had a scene with him, I was always so excited. The energy he brings to each scene is so extreme regardless of what he is doing, and his preparation for getting into character was always very loud and intense. Sometimes after a few takes he’d pull me aside and introduce an idea to think about or a different way to say a specific line, and suddenly everything would make more sense and ultimately the scene would blossom in a way it could never have before. I had always wished that Andy would direct an episode that I would star in, but I am sure I’ll get that opportunity in the future.
When I found out that he was leaving the show, I had mixed emotions. As a fan, I was sad that to hear that he would be leaving the show, but as his “TV son” and his friend, I am so excited for him. Knowing that he’s going to have so many more opportunities to do what he loves is amazing. He has been telling me for years about all these amazing ideas and projects that he wants to work on, but was never able to because of the show — and now he has the opportunity to do them. I am so excited to see where his career goes from here, and I can’t wait to support him in everything that he does.