The emergence of Justin Baldoni -- EW's Jennifer Armstrong sits down with the new ''Everwood'' cast member

By Jennifer Armstrong
December 02, 2005 at 05:00 AM EST

It’s tough to be the one to come between star-crossed Amy (Emily VanCamp) and Ephram (Gregory Smith) on The WB’s tearjerker Everwood (Thursdays, 9 p.m.). But as overworked med student Reid, 21-year-old relative newcomer Justin Baldoni (biggest previous role: a date rapist in the CBS movie Spring Break Shark Attack) has just the qualities needed — and we’re not talking about those gratuitous shirtless scenes. (Really!)

He’s modest. When Baldoni caught on that he’d be baring his pecs at least once an episode (not to mention in a national magazine), he says, ”I got really nervous about it. Most men won’t admit it, but we’re insecure.” For the record, the bod is a result of a lifetime of sports — track, soccer, running, lifting weights.

He’s so not L.A. ”I don’t drink, I don’t do drugs, and I don’t believe in premarital sex,” he boldly declares. ”It’s tough when you’re 21 and you don’t party.”

He’s sensitive. ”During the audition process, I watched all of the [previous] episodes, and I started sobbing,” he says of the notoriously heartrending series. ”I loved that my family would be able to watch me in something they wouldn’t be embarrassed about.”