The actor reveals what he's got in common with Zac Efron, for starters
In the new series Star-Crossed – premiering Monday on the CW – Matt Lanter plays Roman, a persecuted alien teenager on a future earth fighting against the prejudicial treatment of his people.
If the role fits Lanter like a glove, there’s a reason for that.
“I classify myself as kind of a Star Wars nerd, so I fit right in on this show,” the actor, 30, who has voiced the character Anakin Skywalker in the TV series Star Wars: The Clone Wars for the last six years, tells PEOPLE.
“I’m a huge sci-fi geek and I also really get into all of the alien shows on the History Channel where you see air force pilots talking about UFOs – I love that stuff,” he says.
So does he think we’re alone in the universe? “I’m not sure I believe in tiny green aliens with big heads, but there are so many planets and so many stars and honestly it wouldn’t surprise me too much if there were something out there,” says Lanter.
Here are five things to know about the Hollywood heartthrob.
1. He Worked for the Atlanta Braves
“I was a bat boy for two seasons,” says Lanter. “I was hoping that after I did the bat boy thing, I could move up to the offices and just be around the game of baseball in some capacity and get paid for it. If I wasn’t an actor, I probably would’ve tried to get a job with the Braves,” he adds.
2. He’s Spiritual
“I believe in the Bible and I believe in Jesus. It’s a big part of my life,” says the actor, who adds that, “it’s difficult sometimes to navigate the Hollywood lifestyle as a Christian.” Just don’t call him religious. “I don’t really like the word ‘religion,’ ” he says. “To me that’s like rules and regulations and paying money to send up prayers. That kind of all weirds me out, honestly.”
3. He (Almost) Starred in High School Musical
“I was in the final running for the Zac Efron role in High School Musical,” reveals Lanter. “I remember towards the end of the casting process, there were several pairs of people – Zac and Vanessa Hudgens were a pair and I was a pair with Diana DeGarmo from American Idol. In the end they didn’t end up selecting us and I was crushed, but obviously they made the right choice with Zac because it ended up being a huge thing, and he’s become super famous now,” Lanter adds with a laugh.
4. He’s Kissed a Lot of Women – On-Screen
“My wife and I were talking about 90210 and we were kind of joking around about how many girls I’ve kissed on the show and we got lost at like 25,” says Lanter. “That’s a lot! I can’t say that I haven’t enjoyed most of them. Of course, now I’m married, so my wife would be my favorite person to kiss,” he says.
5. In Case That Wasn’t Clear, He’s Very Happily Married:
Although it’s been 8 months since he tied the knot with his longtime girlfriend Angela Stacy, Lanter says he still feels like he’s on his honeymoon. “We’re having fun, enjoying life, enjoying each other, and getting to travel a bit,” says Lanter, who just got back from a romantic trip to the Bahamas. “She’s a great fit for me and I just can’t imagine life without her. I love who she is,” he says. And the icing on the cake? “She’s smoking hot!”
Star-Crossed premieres Monday night and then Tuesday at 3 p.m. ET, Lanter will be doing a Twitter Chat with @peoplemag! Send your questions with #AskMatt for a chance to hear directly from the handsome star.