updated 10/04/2012 AT 3:00 PM ET
•originally published 10/05/2012 AT 6:00 PM ET
The actor – who has appeared on Girls as Matt and in the Tony Award-winning musical Spring Awakening as Georg – plays Jesse, a Breakfast Club buff and member of the rival Treblemakers with a crush on Kendrick’s Beca.
Here are five things to know about Astin, 25, and Pitch Perfect as the film hits theaters Friday.
1. He booked his first role – as Jesus – in a basketball uniform
The Rockland County, N.Y., native began acting at 14 in a community production of Godspell – a role he auditioned for after heading straight from a junior high game.
“My mom bribed me with some great dinner that was neighboring the theater. I always secretly really liked singing, and I’ve been playing piano since I was 5 so I went for it, in my basketball uniform,” Astin said at a recent press conference. “I booked the gig, due to the lack of males at that level. Jesus was going to be a girl for the first time ever, so I snagged that.”
2. His last name is really his middle name
Although Skylar is his first name, Astin is actually his middle name – and Lipstein is his last.
“When I was 15, my first agent just did it for me. I’m not ashamed, I’m not embarrassed, but she said it was just less specific to one thing and she chopped it off,” he tells Movieline.com. “Forever to my friends I will be Skylar Lipstein,” he adds.