Joe Kohen/Getty
Jeff Nelson
March 20, 2015 10:40 AM

While most would recognize him as one of Million Dollar Listing New York‘s charming real estate sharks, Ryan Serhant actually has a history in front of the camera.

The luxury broker, 30, acted before launching a career in real estate – and once appeared on the now-defunct CBS soap As the World Turns!

Serhant got a gig playing Dr. Evan Walsh after winning an online reality show. Check him out at the 2:35 mark in the clip below:

“I was a young biochemist prodigy, and I was basically curing diseases until the writer’s strike hit in 2008,” he tells PEOPLE. “Then I killed everybody and took a syringe to the heart.”

While he’s still balancing his fast-paced life as a broker, Serhant’s getting back into acting, appearing in the Toronto International Film Festival selection While We’re Young, which stars Ben Stiller, Amanda Seyfried, Naomi Watts and Adam Driver.

“My experience doing While We’re Young was, to the core, the happiest I’ve been in my entire life,” he says. “I think that’s how you know what your true passion is, when nothing else matters at that point. That’s the way I felt.”

The recently engaged Bravo star studied theater and acted before falling into real estate.

“It’s all I ever really wanted to do, but I also am realistic, and I couldn’t starve,” he says with a laugh. “So getting into real estate made sense, and it turned out I’m pretty good at it.”

While We’re Young hits theaters March 27.

For more on Ryan Serhant, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on stands now

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