What Only True Grey's Anatomy Fans Know About Jake Borelli

Jake Borelli's journey to success in the entertainment industry has been nothing short of inspiring. Born in Columbus, Ohio to Linda and Mike Borelli, he grew up alongside his elder siblings, Ben and Zack. During his final year of high school, he achieved great success by winning a national art competition. This achievement sparked his passion for art, as he loved indulging in sketching and painting, and even contemplated the idea of enrolling in art school to further explore his creative talents. However, his interest in acting was stronger so he decided to pursue a career in performing arts.

He definitely made the right choice, as his remarkable portrayals of Wolfgang in the popular Nickelodeon comedy series "The Thundermans" and Dr. Levi Schmitt in ABC's beloved medical drama "Grey's Anatomy" have catapulted him to stardom, earning him a devoted following of fans. After being introduced as Dr. Levi Schmitt during Season 14 of Shonda Rhimes' beloved series, Borelli quickly captured the hearts of the fans as one of the newest interns at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital. Audiences eagerly followed Dr. Schmitt's journey as his historic storyline unfolded, witnessing the first kiss between two male doctors and a groundbreaking gay romance on the show.

While he is best known for his role on ABC's critically acclaimed medical drama, he's more than just an actor. Beyond the hospital setting, it's time to dive deep into the life of Borelli behind the iconic scrubs.

He struggled for eight years before landing the role of Dr. Schmitt

Many people have misconceptions about the life of an actor, assuming it's just about using their charm to get what they want. However, this is far from the truth. Before making it to the small or silver screen, actors endure countless auditions and struggle with tight budgets for basic necessities. Even A-list actor George Clooney had to work as an insurance agent before he became a Hollywood icon.

For Jake Borelli, his hardships involved years of failed auditions as the actor spent eight years constantly auditioning. Tired of rejection, Borelli decided to leave LA behind and go to New York to study. He was so determined to push through with this as he had already resigned from his current job. But, it seems he was fated for a different path. In an interview with Euphoria, he recalled that "Literally, six weeks later, I got a call from my agent saying I have a tape audition for Grey's Anatomy. At that point, I had been auditioning for eight years. It's such a huge iconic show that it's hard to get an audition. I then got a call two weeks later saying, 'Can you come and film tomorrow morning in LA on 'Grey's Anatomy' for one episode?'"

Eventually, his supposed appearance for a single episode turned into two, and the next thing he knew, he become a series regular.

He never watched Grey's Anatomy before his audition

"Grey's Anatomy" has become a big part of Jake Borelli's life; though, he confessed that he had never seen an episode before he was set to audition for the series. In his defense, he has valid reasons why he couldn't watch it. He told Euphoria, "I was young when it first came out, so my parents wouldn't really let me watch it. I didn't watch it in the beginning. Plus, we didn't have these streaming platforms like Netflix where you can sit and binge-watch the whole thing."

While he has never viewed an episode, he was well aware of the impact of the series in the country. He would hear some of the iconic scenes on the show, but that didn't convince him to see it. It was only when he was asked to audition for "Grey's Anatomy" that he watched the pilot. However, after he started the first episode, he couldn't stop until he caught up with the series. He added, "It took me a year!"

Seeing it on TV and filming for it are two different things, so Borelli recalled feeling challenged upon joining the show. He explained, "One of the most difficult things, which I'm still trying to grasp, is with every new script you get, you learn more about your character. It's not like a play or movie where you have the whole thing written out."

He wouldn't trade his role on Grey's Anatomy for anything

Jake Borelli's passion for acting ignited at a tender age. His journey began with the Columbus Children's Theater when he was merely 10 years old. As fate would have it, in 2009, shortly after graduating from high school, he made the bold decision to relocate to the entertainment mecca of Los Angeles, where he would chase his dream of becoming a full-time actor. Since then, he has been diligently honing his craft and achieving remarkable success in the industry. Through hard work and dedication, Borelli has enjoyed a steady stream of acting opportunities. Now, he delves into the memorable journey that led him to the prestigious Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital, captivating viewers with his portrayal of Dr. Levi Schmitt.

Joining the show has been a pivotal point in his life and despite all the hardships he's been through before landing the role of Dr. Schmitt, he wouldn't have it any other way. He told Popsugar, "When I first started the show . . . I was jumping on a moving train and being thrust into work with a lot of these idols that I had looked up to, in terms of television actors and whatnot. And it was so inspiring to see these people work at the top of their game within television and drama acting. I really couldn't have asked for a better show to grow on and learn on and be a part of."

Grey's Anatomy helped him come out in public

As Jake Borelli navigates his character as Dr. Levi Schmitt on the longtime running series, he has also learned to explore his own sexuality. Throughout Dr. Schmitt's journey, he has embarked on a path of self-discovery, and the same can be said for Borelli himself. In a groundbreaking episode in 2018, when Dr. Schmitt came out as gay, the actor found the courage to publicly embrace his own truth. Taking to Instagram, he shared a heartfelt message, "As a gay guy myself, tonight's episode was so special to me. This is exactly the kind of story I craved as a young gay kid growing up in Ohio, and it blows my mind that I'm able to bring life to Dr. Levi Schmitt as he begins to grapple with his own sexuality this season on 'Grey's Anatomy.'"

In an interview with Grazia, he further shared the liberating feeling of being out. He noted, "I was able to accept myself better and learn how to communicate my queerness better, and it has been a wild journey." Although he was out to the people close to him, the public did not know. Messages from fans inquiring about Dr. Nico Kim and Dr. Schmitt's love story further helped him decide to finally come out. He added, "I was having all of those same emotions, and I really wanted to join them . . . It meant so much to me."

He has a soft spot for rom-com films

The meet-cute encounters. The tender kiss amidst gently falling snowflakes. The part where it seems like they can't stand each other. Romantic comedy films often feature a formula that everyone seems to enjoy over and over. These films have given us memorable moments, like the classic line from "Notting Hill," "I'm also just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her." Watching rom-coms is essentially an escape and just like the rest of us, Jake Borelli has indulged himself in laughter and tears enjoying these films.

Among his top choices were "Always Be My Maybe," "Sex and the City," "Love, Simon," and "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days." Borelli shared that the movie that takes the No. 1 spot on his list is the 2008 film "27 Dresses." Detailing the reasons why the movie stands out from the rest, he told Interview Magazine, "Probably my all-time favorite rom-com. My mom took me to the movie theater to see it when I was younger. I immediately fell in love with James Marsden.

Admittedly, the film ignited sexual orientation confusion for him. He added, "Back then, I thought I wanted to be James Marsden, and now I realize I wanted to be Katherine Heigl and have James Marsden sing 'Bennie and the Jets' to me in the rain at a bar. So that was a very eye-opening experience for a young queer kid in Ohio."