Cover Boy – Zack Conroy

OK, so Zack Conroy is no boy. He’s 23 and a working actor. Born in Portsmouth and a regular returnee to the state, Conroy lives in New York City now following a traditional grind through the star-making machine: auditions, modeling and holding down a paying job at the same time. But things are looking up. He filmed seven episodes of daytime TV’s “As the World Turns” and appeared on the CW Network’s oh-so-hot “Gossip Girl,” making off with main character, lawyer Blair Waldorf (actress/singer-songwriter Leighton Meester) in last season’s final episode twist.

There’s talk of writing his character into future episodes. Still, trendy TV shows come and go and, compared to this season’s must-see TV, the “Hardy Boys” books are eternal. Getting to represent one of the principal icons of American literature has to be a high point in anyone’s career – unless you count the Pizza Hut commercials.

Was “Gossip Girl” your first national exposure?

Well, I was picked last February to be in a Pizza Hut commercial.

Really? Did you leave the TV on all day after shooting it, hoping you’d get to see it?

Actually, I work at a sports bar so the commercial was on all the time. You’ve probably seen it. It’s that one where Pizza Hut delivers the pasta to the fancy restaurant. I’m one of the delivery boys. It’s a split second.

Have you appeared in any ads you wish you hadn’t done?

Not yet.

There must be something funny that happened on the “Gossip Girl” set.

It was kind of crazy because it was a location shoot. There was paparazzi everywhere. A friend of mine called me up two days later to tell me he had found a picture of me and Leighton Meester on a paparazzi Web site.

So I guess that means you’ve arrived. And you are on the cover of the new Hardy Boys series. Which Hardy Boy are you?
I’m Joe Hardy, I think.

What was involved with that shoot?

They did five book covers at once. They took some surfing ones and skiing ones – just dressed me up differently in each shot. They were actually shooting covers for “Nancy Drew” at the same time.

So the Hardy Boys were on the same photo shoot as Nancy Drew? Was there any romantic tension there?

Nah, she was like 14.

Any advice for people wanting to do what you do?

I was originally planning on moving to LA but I’m happy in New York. There’s less competition here, plus recently a number of shows are relocating here so there’s a lot of opportunity.