Gaius Charles

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Gaius Charles
Born (1983-05-02) May 2, 1983 (age 34)
Manhattan, New York, U.S.
Occupation Actor
Years active 2006–present

Gaius Charles (born May 2, 1983) is an American stage, television and film actor best known for playing Brian "Smash" Williams on the NBC sports-drama television series Friday Night Lights. He starred as Dr. Shane Ross on the ABC medical drama series Grey's Anatomy. Charles also had a recurring role on the NBC historical-drama series Aquarius as Black Panther leader Bunchy Carter.[2]

Early life[edit]

Charles was born on May 2, 1983 in Manhattan, New York, then lived in Queens, and later moved to Teaneck, New Jersey with his family when he was in middle school. Growing up in the childhood home of composer Alan Silvestri, he graduated from Teaneck High School in 2001.[3] He attended Carnegie Mellon University's College of Fine Arts, where he obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in drama and performed in productions including Candide, The Wild Party and Spunk, the college's first production with an all-black cast.[4] He appeared in Romeo and Juliet as Mercutio at the Princeton Rep Shakespeare Festival and also studied at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) in Sydney, Australia.[5]


Jeffrey Reiner, Jason Katims, Adrianne Palicki and Gaius Charles accept the Peabody Award for Friday Night Lights, June 2007

Critically acclaimed actor Gaius Charles continues to demonstrate his strength, magnetism and versatility in film, television and theater. He currently stars in NBC’s television drama series Taken, based on the blockbuster Taken film franchise.

Perhaps best known for his portrayal of “Brian ‘Smash’ Williams” in the Emmy nominated and AFI and Peabody award-winning television drama, Friday Night Lights, Gaius' television credits also include Grey's Anatomy (series regular), Aquarius (recurring) in which he portrayed bold Civil Rights Activist and Black Panther Bunchy Carter and Necessary Roughness (recurring). Gaius’ other television credits include guest appearances on: Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Blindspot, Comedy Central's Drunk History in which he portrayed iconic boxing legend Muhammad Ali, NCIS, Pan Am, and Law & Order: SVU.

Gaius’ film credits include award-winning independent features, The Stanford Prison Experiment (directed by Kyle Patrick Alvarez) alongside Billy Crudup and Ezra Miller, Toe To Toe (directed by Emily Abt) and The Messenger (directed by Oren Moverman) with Ben Foster and Woody Harrelson. He's also worked on studio films like Salt (Columbia Pictures) with Angelina Jolie and Takers(Sony/Screen Gems).

In addition to film and television, Gaius starred in the Labyrinth Theater Company’s production of Othello, co-produced with the Public Theater, alongside Phillip Seymour Hoffman and John Ortiz. He also received rave reviews for originating the roles of “EZ” in Beau Willimon’s play Lower Ninth and “Malcolm” inBroke-ology directed by Tony Award winner Thomas Kail.

Personal life[edit]

Charles's first name Gaius is an homage to both Gaius Julius Caesar and to one of Jesus' early disciples, Gaius, to whom the Third Epistle of John is addressed.[6] In 2007, he said of his name: "It's so unique that I guess as a kid you don't appreciate it. But as I've gotten older, people have come to really respond to it and really appreciate it for its unusual factor."[6]

Charles is Christian, calling his faith in Christ and God "the only thing that's really gotten me here to this point".[3] Charles's interests include public speaking, boxing, aviation, and writing.[5]


Film and Television
Year Film Role Notes
2006 The Book of Daniel Carver Episode "Betrayal"
2006-2008 Friday Night Lights Brian "Smash" Williams 41 episodes
2007 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Jadon Odami Episode "Fight"
2009 The Messenger Recruiter Brown
Toe to Toe Kevin
2010 Salt CIA Officer
Takers Max
2011 Pan Am Joe Episode "Truth or Dare"
2012 NCIS Baltimore Detective Jason King Episode "Rekindled"
Necessary Roughness Damon Razor / Bryce Abbot Episode "Wide Deceiver"
2012–2014 Grey's Anatomy[7] Dr. Shane Ross Recurring (Season 9)
Main Cast (Season 10): 46 episodes
2015 Aquarius Bunchy Carter Series regular
2015 Batman: Bad Blood Luke Fox/Batwing Voice role
2015 Drunk History Muhammad Ali Episode "Cleveland"
2016 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D Ruben Mackenzie Episode "Watchdogs"
2017 Taken John Series regular


  1. ^ "Gaius Charles". ATX Television Festival. ATX Television Festival. Retrieved 24 August 2016. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b Rohan, Virginia (November 26, 2007). "Teaneck actor got in the zone to land Friday Night Lights role". The Record. 
  4. ^ "Alum Shines in Friday Night Lights". Carnegie Mellon University. 2006. Retrieved 2008-10-24. 
  5. ^ a b "GAIUS CHARLES as Smash Williams". NBC. Retrieved 2008-10-24. 
  6. ^ a b Holloway, Lynette (January 1, 2008). "Gaius Charles: Lights up the night". Ebony. 63 (3): 36. 
  7. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (July 16, 2012). "'Grey's Anatomy' Admits 'Friday Night Lights' Alum". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 17, 2012. 

External links[edit]