Thursday, September 2, 2010
MEET CANADA'S (NEXT) TAYLOR LAUTNER: DEGRASSI'S LUKE BILYK PINPOINTS THE CELEBRITY, CHARACTER, AND "VAMPIRE" SIMILARITIES THAT PUT HIM ON THE LIST
Take one look at Luke Bilyk, and you almost instantly notice his uncanning resemblance to Taylor Lautner - or Canadian roots that offer him potential alike Justin Beiber. The 16-year-old brunette holds a humble but impressive list of TV gigs (Little Mosque on the Prairie, Gooby, etc.), voice over roles (a singer on Warner Brother's Death to Smoochy alongside Danny DeVito and a voice over on Holedigger Film's Blizzard alongside Whoopi Goldberg), and various print as well as other commercial jobs. But when Luke landed the lead role as "bad boy" Drew Torres on Degrassi: The Next Generation just this June, he joined the ropes of a Canadian small-screen, decades-long phenomenon so memorable for its realistic teen storylines and impeccable acting that it has even been featured on American networks and propelled Toronto-based success stories - like Nina Dobrev, Drake, and Shenae Grimes - towards promising Hollywood recording and television opportunities. With his movie-star good looks and a reputable, experienced TV program that will emphasize his blossoming dramatic performance ability, Luke Bilyk is sure to follow in those same footsteps.
V.B. How did you get into acting? Was it always a passion of your's you wanted to pursue?
L.B. Passion? Yes, definitely. My Mom knew it was something I loved to do. When I was very young, I would dress up and pretend to be other people. My sisters (I have 3 older than me) and I would put on skits and act them out for our parents. At about the age of 2, I had an agent who would send me out on auditions for commercial. print, and film work.
V.B. You were in a few TV gigs before Degrassi. How have they helped you make a transition into performing in a principal role?
L.B. Having the experience from the other shows I've done and being in front of the cameras really helped me make the transition. Degrassi is different for me, because I'm in a stable environment - being a regular on the show. It was also that I have worked with two other cast members before on other shows (Jamie Johnson (Peter) on My Babysitter's a Vampire and Jahmil French (Dave) on Cartoon Gene). It's so awesome to be working with them again on Degrassi!
V.B. Many say you resemble Taylor Lautner. Are you flattered by the comparisons? Who are your influences (acting/non-acting), and why?
L.B. Yes, I get that all the time! I am flattered; he is a very talented actor who I look up to.
Leonardo DiCaprio is a great inspiration to me, I really enjoy the roles he gets, like the ones in Inception & Basketball Diary - to name a few. Another positive influence is Shia LeBeouf, because even though he started on a TV show, he was able to break into the film industry - and he is also an amazing, talented actor. A non-acting influence in my life is my Dad. He is an amazing father figure to me, and I respect him for that.
V.B. On Degrassi, you play the popular jock type. Would you say there are any similarities and differences between you and your character? Are there any issues your character will deal with that you can clue us into?
L.B. Our taste in clothing is very similar, and we both really enjoy sports. Our differences are that I am a lot nicer and more friendlier than Drew. In the second half of Season 10, Drew will be facing some controversy with Adam and some personal struggles he has to confront!
V.B. You will be featured in "My Babysitter's a Vampire." Can you tell us a little about that - and what other things you have planned for the - nearby or distant - future?
L.B. I play a vampire called "The Seeker" who is a vampire slayer. I suggest to slay the Vampire King.
My future plans...I would like to pursue my acting career in LA, doing feature films..