LAWRENCEVILLE -- Justin Miles has gone from appearing in a film about bloodthirsty, zombie-like townspeople in the film "The Crazies" to policing a community of vampires and other supernatural creatures in the ABC television show "The Gates."
The Lawrenceville native landed the recurring role on the prime time TV drama just after filming wrapped on a third project, the family movie "Hero," in which Miles plays one of the leads.
In "The Gates," Miles' character, Marcus Jordan, is a cop policing an entirely self-contained and self-sufficient community where the residents are more than what they seem. When a new chief of police moves into the community, an investigation into a missing persons report may reveal the secrets some of the residents are trying desperately to hide. "The Gates" is set to premiere at 10 p.m. Sunday.
"It's like a sort of a cop drama rooted in this sort of like a 'Desperate Housewives' feel," he said.
The role of Marcus Jordan is one Miles shouldn't be playing after his audition tape was filed under a different character name.
"It happens sometimes but it really sucks," Miles said. "I almost didn't get the part because of it."
Gina Matthews, one of the show's executive producers, somehow managed to still view Miles' tape and cast him in the role.
"It really almost makes me feel like I have to be here, like I really need to be here," Miles said. "I shouldn't have even been considered. Now I'm here.
The only recurring cast member not based in L.A., Miles prefers to keep his home base in Atlanta.
"I've never even been to California," he laughed.
The 23-year-old is now living in Shreveport, La., where the series is filmed. Sometimes, he admitted, he has a difficult time believing his day job is acting on a prime time TV series.
"I feel so lucky and I'm so humbled to be out here," he said. "The big running joke (on set) is, 'Justin's just happy to be here.' There are days when I still can't believe it and I don't know why they chose me. This is television. This is the big time. ABC has invited me into everybody's homes every Sunday every week."