When you're the male lead on a CW series, there's a shirtless clause written into your contract. OK, so maybe we don't know that for a fact, but the CW does have a penchant for stripping down their handsome male stars. You may not know when, or where, or even for how long, but you definitely know it's coming. So, when Nathaniel Buzolic landed the lead in the network's new comedy "Significant Mother," he knew what needed to be done.
"I was fortunate that I had started training well before I got this job," he told MTV News. "I started training with my best friend, Jason Dundas, and he's a super fit guy, weeks before the show started. I was a lot more comfortable taking my top off than I would have normally been."
"It was definitely a confusing experience, having clothes be my safety blanket on set," he added.
In the premiere episode of "Significant Mother," we meet Buzolic's character Jimmy -- a good looking Lothario -- with his latest conquest, who just so happens to be his best friend's mother Lydia, played by the magnetic Krista Allen. But wait! It gets even more awkward when said BFF Nate (Josh Zuckerman) catches them in the act.
For some friends, that may be a deal breaker -- "I don't think I'd still have a friend," Buzolic said -- but for childhood bros Jimmy and Nate, it's just a minor roadblock. After all, who is Nate to stand in the way of his mom's happiness? Plus, it's not like Jimmy is a bad guy. It's not his fault he's so goddamn charming. For the 31-year-old Australian actor, Jimmy's cheery, somewhat opportunistic, outlook on life was pretty darned refreshing.
"As an actor, you always like to do something that's a stretch from who you are, and Jimmy is definitely that stretch," Buzolic said. "I do sometimes get quite shy, and I'm not that forward with the ladies, so it was a fun character to play. But also, he's just so optimistic -- everything is fixable. And that sort of character is also a cool thing to play because I think so often we're looking at the glass half empty, but Jim's like, 'The glass is definitely full. I'm going to drink it all, and then I'm going to refill it up.'"
Buzolic is already a network favorite. He first appeared in season 3 of "The Vampire Diaries" as cheeky Original vampire Kol Mikaelson. His death on the series sparked so much internet outrage that "Vampire Diaries" co-creator Julie Plec had to find a way to bring him back in a flashback on "The Originals." So it seemed inevitable that the CW would eventually give him his very own show.
While the actor is definitely used to fielding some crazy fan questions, there is one "Significant Mother" question he's already dreading.
"At some point, if the show does well and we start to get fans, I'm so scared that some guy is going to come up to me and go, 'Oh my gosh. I can relate to Nate so well because that's what happened to me and my best mate when he slept with my mom,'" he said. "I'm really scared! What do I say? Do I get a pen and paper out and ask him some questions and get some story lines?"
"And I'm also really worried that my best friends won't let me be around their parents any more," he added.
In "Significant Mother," Jimmy's bedfellow -- aka Nate's mom -- Lydia totally owns her sexuality. She's allowed to be sexual without it being the butt of some lame cougar joke, and for a network like the CW, that's a step in the right direction.
"The CW hasn't really had a female lead that's Krista's age, that's taking control and being empowered by her own sexuality," Buzolic said. (And having really hot sexy times with a younger man, but you know, we digress.) "She's confident and beautiful -- and it's really important to see that on TV."
And it's also empowered Buzolic to embrace his inner Kardashian and flaunt his own sexuality on social media. A quick glance over the actor's Instagram page will reveal a newfound appreciation (obsession?) for the art of shirtless selfie-taking. You know what they say: you can take the boy out of the CW, but you can't take the CW out of the boy.
"There's a little bit of shame every time I post one," he said. "I do definitely cop a lot of slack from my friends in Australia every time I post one, so it does come with repercussions."