Interview with Derrick de Villiers
(Photos by Nora Moraa & Ian Redd)
1. I know you, but some people may not.
So could you please introduce yourself to the world?
”Hello! I am a Vancouver local, BC homegrown actor, Derrick de Villiers.”
2. What was your first job in the entertainment industry?
Also, what did you do before that?
”My first job in the entertainment industry was technically in 1995. My girlfriend at the time and I filmed an episode on The Tempest Bledsoe Show in New York. We were flown into New York from Seattle with a four-day stay, plus $100 to spend, lol. Before I found acting again in 2014, I was working in the printing industry for 15 years.”
3. Did you study acting before getting into the industry?
”When I came home from that New York trip, I did take an acting program at John Casablancas. I didn't pick it up again until I found Deb Podowski Acting Studio. That was the beginning of me taking this craft seriously. I had been doing scene study classes prior to having any real acting jobs.”
4. If you could work with anyone you'd want,
who would that person be and why?
”If I could work with anyone, it would be Dwayne Johnson because of his relentless work ethic, and his refusal to give up or quit no matter how many obstacles he faced in building his career. He blazed his own trail, similar to what I feel like I am doing as well (not on that level of course haha).”
5. What does a normal day in your life looks like?
”I don't know if I have normal days. It would usually involve me turning on music to start my day. I'm still in acting classes, so a lot of my time is spent studying and researching. If I'm not working on auditions, or doing background work, I usually find some form of exercise: biking, gym, or even a walk around the neighbourhood to clear my mind and keep my body moving.”
6. Where is your favorite place to be and why?
”I'm definitely a West Coaster. My favorite place is right here in BC. We have everything: mountains, the ocean, lakes, beaches, and more. It's one of the most beautiful places to live. I love to travel and explore, but I love coming home.”
7. If you could, what would be the one piece of advice
you would want to give to your younger self?
”Don't take your time for granted, use it wisely, and trust your heart and your gut. While I do think my experiences have led me to be where I am now, I do wish I would have pursued my passion earlier in life.”
8. What is the best piece of advice that you've got?
Who was the person that gave it to you?
”<Don't let the traumas of your past be lived in vain, use it in your art>, <you are good enough>, and <trust the process> are three of the pieces of advice that resonated with me the most over the years. All of which were given to me by my acting coach, Kaaren de Zilva.”
9. What is your biggest accomplishment so far?
”My biggest accomplishment so far has been staying dedicated to myself for the last eight and a half years, long enough to witness a change.”
10. If you could book any role in the next few years to come,
what would that dream role be?
”I've always envisioned continuing Brandon Lee's legacy working on The Crow as Erick Draven. It's dark, drama, action, and fantasy, what more could you want? AND it was filmed in Vancouver!”
11. Is there anything you can disclose about your role
on the Disney+ series Turner & Hooch?
”I can't say much, but I can say it's hardcore with a comedic twist. It's the best of both worlds. You'll just have to wait and see.”
12. You also have a role in the feature film Snake Eyes coming out in summer 2021.
What was the experience like?
”I still can't believe it. I grew up on GI Joe. It's funny, Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow were my top two faves, so getting a chance to work on a childhood toy turned movie is extremely mind-blowing. Robert Schwentke, Henry Goulding, and WWE wrestler Mojo Rawley were all so gracious and professional to be around. The set was on another level. I can't wait for everyone to see it. I knew a lot of the crew and BG on set from previous work. I couldn't have felt more at home. I am truly grateful for that experience.”
13. What is the best part about life on set?
”Hands down the best part of being on set is NOT having to make your own food. Big up to all Crafty!”
14. What is your favorite part of your job and why?
”I would say the freedom of expression is my favorite part. To be able to explore one's self through various perspectives of life and bring life to the words on the pages. It's amazing to see how it all comes together in the end.”
15. How is your job different now, during the pandemic?
Did it change the vibe around set?
”The only real difference on set during the pandemic has been the safety protocols, which I am thankful for. The vibe hasn't changed really. The industry has done such a great job in protecting everyone. The show must go on!”
16. In the end, is there anything you'd like to say to the people who support you?
”Thank you for believing in my crazy little dream, as far-fetched as it seems. I love you all and I can't wait to see where this journey leads to...”
Derrick de Villiers is an actor, best known for his work on projects like: Turner & Hooch, Snake Eyes, Charmed, Resurgence, Parallax etc.
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