Born and raised in Vancouver BC, Hunter is most recognizable from his lead role in Holly Hobbie on Hulu/Family Channel/Universal Kids, as well as his major series recurring role on season 2 of Fox’s The Exorcist. In 2017 he had a recurring role in AMC/Netflix’s Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, appeared in Fox’s Wayward Pines and played Joey Panther, in the title episode “Who is Joey Panther” in Gabby Duran & The Unsittables. Notably, Hunter has also portrayed a young Sam Winchester on The CW’s Supernatural in addition to playing a young Peter Kavinsky on Netflix’s smash hit To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before. He is the voice of Boa Alcazaba in the popular animated series Beyblade and is currently looking forward to the release of Holly Hobbie’s Season 2, which completed filming this summer 2019. When not in school or working, Hunter can be found playing guitar and songwriting.
1. For the people who might not know you, could you introduce yourself?
I am Hunter Dillon. I am an actor, part-time psychologist, and an amateur fantasy football player.
2. What sparked your interest in pursuing a career in the entertainment industry and how did you get started?
It kinda just happened, when I was little I wanted to be a dentist, or a UFC fighter, but when my parents enrolled me in theatre I fell in love with acting and it went from there.
3. You are currently starring on “Holly Hobbie”. What can you tell us about your character and how does it feel like to be a part of this show?
Tyler is a little bit of the odd one out, but it isn’t the worst thing for him because it gives him time to focus on things he is passionate about. He also has secrets, like everyone else. Being part of Holly Hobbie is enjoyable because it has given me a chance to work with other actors like Ruby (Holly), Kamaia (Piper) or Saara (Amy). We also have a lot of fun behind the scenes.
4. Who would you love working with on a project and why?
For directors, I would love to work with Paul Thomas Anderson, Robert Eggers, Taiki Waititi or Guillermo Del Toro. Each of them always has a clear picture of what they want their project to look like, and they seem to put in heart and soul every project they do and it’s just hard not to admire them.
5. What do you hope to achieve through your art?
This is a tough one. I want to reach out and impact people, give a young kid someone to look up to. Acting is something I have always done, it’s part of me. I guess I want to reach my fullest potential, I don’t even know what that means. I just do it because it’s what I love.
6. What has been your biggest accomplishment so far?
There have been a couple of things I am proud of. Landing the lead role of Tyler, on Holly Hobbie, was a big one. And in September I signed with Alchemy Entertainment, which is an LA-based management agency, and being an actor from Canada that’s a big step.
7. Which artists influenced you, and how did they influence your thinking and career path?
That’s a tough one as there are so many artists I admire. Let’s start with Tom
Hardy because he’s in one of my favorite films, Legend. He played two characters so seamlessly, it was incredible to watch. Next would be Willem Dafoe, he has done some amazing films including At Eternity’s Gate, Boondock Saints, Life Aquatic, and of course Spider-Man. I love that no matter the role he gives it his all, that’s why his part in Grand Budapest Hotel is also one of my favorites. It’s not a big role, but the impact he leaves makes him such a highlight of that film. I could go on as my list is long, but I’ll wrap it up with Joaquin Phoenix and Ewan McGregor. Both have different styles of acting that I gravitate towards and anytime, no matter the movie, they hypnotize me on screen as they have a way of stealing a scene, I just love it. I guess they all influence me in how I want to do my craft. I want to leave an impact no matter the size of the role, I want to challenge myself and look at a role through multiple different ways, and I guess I want to lose myself.
8. What is the best vs. the worst thing about the entertainment industry?
The best thing is probably being part of a director’s story, like the directors I listed, to be a brushstroke on their canvas is honestly a wonderful thing that I can’t begin to describe. The worst thing is the waiting. Sometimes you wait, which feels like forever, to hear back about an audition, or producer/director session.
9. What is one piece of advice you would give to your younger self?
People always said this to me, and I didn’t really listen, but now I honestly feel the same way. “Start doing it now”, I’d say. There were times where I could’ve started acting earlier, but just never saw it as a possibility and was scared to take the first step. But now I am thankful that I went into it when I did and thank my mum for pushing me to do it too.
10. How do you deal with the stress of the entertainment industry?
When you’re under a lot of stress the best thing to do is to have something to do relieve the tension. Be it working out, sports, writing, playing an instrument, or going to one of those rooms where you smash everything. It’s good, no matter, what to get rid of stress. Personally, I like to work out, play guitar, or write to relieve stress.
11. What is one philosophy that you live by?
I guess enjoy and make the most out of life. We don’t really know what happens when we die, and if this is it I want to make the most of it. I want to enjoy it and make sure that there is some way to make it more enjoyable for everyone else. Everyone deserves happiness.
12. Do you have any advice for people who want to get started in the industry?
Today getting into the industry is easier and harder than it used to be. It’s easier because there are so many ways to get noticed. You could be a YouTuber and gain a lot of attraction from your channel; you may catch the eyes of people in the industry. You could also start with theatre productions in your city or town, or in short films. Today there are so many avenues to get started in the industry, but that makes it harder because you may have thousands of other people doing the exact same thing. So, the best advice I can give is to do what you love with passion and conviction, work hard and don’t give up.
13. What plans do you have in mind for the future?
Well, I am close to finishing High school so there are many possibilities. As long as I’m acting, I am open to whatever comes my way.
14. What are some causes that are dear to your heart and hope to bring awareness to in the future?
Climate change, with what’s going on in Australia right now it’s just kinda… bananas that people still deny it. I mean, in BC, the province where I’m from we have had forest fires become a normal summer thing. If people do all they can; like drive less, buy local, do ocean cleanups or don’t buy into fast fashion it will make a difference. I do feel we need to reach some middle ground with large corporations. They don’t need to just stop what they are doing and go out of business, but they must change what they are producing and how they produce it. If it’s more expensive to produce something, but more environmentally conscious, spend the money. There is a term called spend money to make money. But honestly, this is just me ranting, I am not a professional, I know a little bit about business, and I know a little bit about climate. But if we don’t put stuff aside and make the changes, the world is going to be a very different place in the near future.
Photo Credit: Mandisa Photo