'I freaked out': Newest actor to play Gilbert excited for role

The newest actor to fill Gilbert's shoes is excited to fill the role and looking forward to coming to P.E.I. for the first time.

J.J. Gerber will play Gilbert Blythe in the 54th season of Anne of Green Gables: The Musical

J.J. Gerber will be the first non-white actor in the role of Gilbert. (Confederation Centre of the Arts)

The newest actor to fill Gilbert's shoes is excited to fill the role and looking forward to coming to P.E.I. for the first time.

Brampton, Ont.-native J.J. Gerber will play Gilbert Blythe in the 54th season of Anne of Green Gables: The Musical at the Confederation Centre.

"I got the call from my agent and I freaked out, I jumped around, I called my sister, she freaked out because we used to watch Anne of Green Gables together all the time and we read the books," Gerber told CBC News: Compass on Monday.

"I've always felt akin to Gilbert, I think him and I have a lot of similarities so when I heard it just felt right."

Gerber has never been to the Island before and Gerber said he's excited to be moving to P.E.I. for the summer.

"It's one of the last places in Canada that I haven't been to yet so I'm extremely excited, I've always wanted to go to P.E.I.," he said.

While Gerber will be the first non-white actor in the role of Gilbert, he said it's not something he considers noteworthy.

"Every role I've done professionally has been a non-ethnic role, it's never been a problem for me in my professional career," he said. "I think today, that's where Canada is. We are open to all different ethnicities, and to me that's not even really news anymore."

Gerber will join AJ Bridel, who is returning in the role of Anne, and the rest of the cast at the beginning of May for rehearsals. The show runs from June 18 to Sept. 22, 2018.

"It's definitely the top of the list for me, I'm so excited for it," he said. "This is probably the one role I've been most excited about."

With files from CBC News: Compass