His Nick Clark was the focus of the first few moments of the Fear the Walking Dead series premiere, and Frank Dillane will continue to be a scene stealer as the Walking Dead companion series unfolds the rest of its six-episode first season. And if you’re wondering where you might have seen the 24-year-old actor before, bust out your Harry Potter DVDs and read on for scoop on what’s already on Dillane’s impressive résumé, and where you’re going to want to make a point of seeing him next.
1. The British-born actor is the son of actor Stephen Dillane, better known to Game of Thrones fans as Stannis Baratheon. Frank’s Dillane’s mama is actress Naomi Wirthner.
2. Father and son co-starred as — what else? — father and son in the 2012 indie dramedy Papadopoulos & Sons, about self-made millionaire Harry (played by Stephen), who loses his cash and reunites with his estranged brother to re-open their family’s fish and chips shop. Harry and his family — including shy horticulturist son James (played by Frank) — have to live above the London shop in the sweet flick, which is available on Netflix.
3. The Dillanes also played father and son in 1997’s Welcome to Sarajevo. The role was the movie debut for then six-year-old Frank. (This father/son project is also available on Netflix.)
4. Most fans probably first saw Frank Dillane in 2009’s Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, where he played teen Tom Riddle, aka He Who Must Not Be Named, aka Lord Voldemort.
5. Frank is the lead singer and guitar player for the band Tinker Wright. Several of the group’s performances are on YouTube.
6. He plays Shugs in Netflix’s Sense8, directed by the Wachowski siblings.
7. Frank is a 2013 graduate of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. His fellow RADA alums include Anthony Hopkins, Kenneth Branagh, Jon Cryer, Joan Collins, Tom Wilkinson, Andrew Lincoln, Michael Sheen, Diana Rigg, Dean Norris, Ian McShane, Ralph Fiennes, Liev Schreiber, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Allison Janney, Clive Owen, Alan Rickman, Peter O’Toole, Vivien Leigh, and Robert Reed (yes, Mr. Brady).
8. Frank is next on the big screen in Ron Howard’s December epic In the Heart of the Sea. The thriller, based on Nathaniel Philbrick’s 2000 nonfiction book, unfolds the story of the 1820 sinking of the whale ship Essex, which resulted in the crew being shipwrecked for several months and eventually resorting to cannibalism.
In the movie, which also stars Chris Hemsworth, Cillian Murphy, and Benjamin Walker, Dillane plays Owen Chase, the First Mate of the Essex. It was Chase’s own written account of the disaster — the 1821 book Narrative of the Most Extraordinary and Distressing Shipwreck of the Whale Ship Essex — that inspired Herman Melville’s Moby Dick.
9. Dillane is clearly a fan of Method acting. “I’m such an idiot that I took the whole starving thing a bit too far,” Dillane told Interview magazine about transforming himself to play an emaciated Owen Chase. “No food, two hours in the gym, and 14 hours on a boat every day takes its toll. Everything that is an unnecessary perk goes out the window — sexual libido, peace of mind, and then happiness.“
10. To prepare himself to play drug-addicted Nick Clark in Fear the Walking Dead, he carried around a copy of Thomas De Quincey’s 1821 London Magazine drug autobiography Confessions of an English Opium-Eater.
11. He plays a roadie in the upcoming romantic drama Viena and the Fantomes, in which his Keyes is one leg of a love triangle that involves Dakota Fanning and Shameless star Jeremy Allen White.
Making the movie in Las Vegas apparently left him with an appreciation for the “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” philosophy. “It’s one of those places where you have to be drunk to cope with it,” he told Interview. “You go mad. Now I understand that old proverb, ‘There are things I shall never speak of again.’” Viena also co-stars Evan Rachel Wood, Zoe Kravitz… and The Walking Dead alum Jon Bernthal.
Fear the Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on AMC.