At 13, Champaign native has already found successful career


At 13, Champaign native has already found successful career

Dylan Minnette may be living a high-profile life. But at 13, he's doing the job he's always wanted.

You can watch the former Champaign resident at 9 p.m. Monday on TNT in the final nine episodes of "Saving Grace." He has worked on the show since he was 9, making it his longest job. He said cast members became close.

"When I first found out 'Saving Grace' was canceled, I was really bummed about it," Minnette said. The show took a break, which is when Minnette found out he'd be on a few episodes of the last season of ABC's "Lost," and in a movie scheduled to come out in October.

When taping for "Saving Grace" resumed, Minnette said he felt fine until the final night, when the show wrapped.

"I just started crying," he said. "Everybody had become a huge family there."

But before the show ends, there's plenty to see, he said: "The final three episodes are insane."

You've probably also seen Minnette recently on "Lost," which he has flown to Hawaii to tape.

"I love going to Hawaii," he said. "It's just a fun show to work on. Everyone's great there."

He hasn't met all the cast members but said the crew is great to work with.

"It's fun because I'm getting caught up on the show now," Minnette said. "It's my new favorite show."

He said he often finds that when he guest-stars on a show (as he's done with "Supernatural," "Grey's Anatomy," and "The Mentalist," among others) he'll want to know what happens, so he'll buy entire seasons on DVD.

Minnette said he has noticed his appearances on "Lost" have increased the number of people following him on Twitter.

It's the main way he communicates with his fans, he said, rather than in fan letters. He keeps his Facebook account private, but "I communicate with my fans on Twitter as much as I can."

You can find him at

Along with appearing on one of TV's most popular shows, Minnette recently completed a movie, "Let Me In."

He plays Kenny, a bully, in the horror movie, which was filmed last November in New Mexico and is scheduled to come out Oct. 1.

"That was my favorite role that I've played in a movie," Minnette said, because he got to act tough, although he and the kid he bullies in the movie would joke around between takes.

"I got to do this really cool stunt," Minnette said. "I can't say what it is, (but) it was fun because I'm a huge horror movie fan.

"It was great working on it, especially because I'm in the big ending, which was a lot of fun."

"Let Me In" is a remake of a Swedish movie and featured a cast with lots of kids.

"Every night when we weren't working, we would hang out," he said.

Minnette, you'll remember, started as a print model at age 6, and started working in California at 8. He started with guest appearances on "Drake & Josh" and "Two and a Half Men." He considers "Prison Break" to be his break, and he started doing more guest roles and smaller movies.

"The only way we turn down jobs if it's an audition and it's a ... role that's not appropriate for me," Minnette said, or if he had a bigger role and couldn't commit to something.

Along with taking on more roles, Minnette has had a change in his personal life: His father, Craig, moved to California recently from Champaign, so their family is now together all the time.

"It's great to have him here after being apart for a certain amount of years," he said.

It's also nice for Minnette's mom, Robyn, who home-schools him.

She said it's nice to be able to leave and her husband will be with their son. "Before, I had to worry about how I'm going to schedule everything," Robyn Minnette said.

Along with his online home-school program and math tutor, Minnette also has a band called The Feaver.

They're interested in recording, Minnette said. "We want to find a studio at some time," he said.

And while he's into music, he also wants to pursue other jobs in the entertainment business.

"When I'm older, I sort of want to get into producing and directing and screenwriting," Minnette said. "If I could, I'd love to be a screenwriter. I'm always coming up with ideas in my head. ... I'm really interested in making my own films and directing. I watch films, and I criticize (them) by the directing ... not the acting."

Robyn Minnette said "Saving Grace" has been an important factor in her son's career.

"I really think him being on 'Saving Grace' has been an incredible experience for him to grow," she said.

"He hadn't done very much, and he just learned so much from Holly (Hunter) and the other actors."

He does well running lines, she said.

"He has a photographic memory. He gets a feel for the character. ... I usually read it first for content, (and) he turns into that character, I believe, when he's auditioning."

Dylan Minnette said he's fulfilling the dream he has had since he was a small child.

"When I was a toddler, I was obsessed with performing," he said. "I don't know why, when I was 3 and 4 and 5 ... I would stand in front of the TV with a flashlight and pretend it was a microphone. ... I always wanted to do this."

About Dylan Minnette
Favorite food:
"I always like a good burger." His favorite is in Hawaii at Cheeseburger Beachwalk.
Apple or PC:
On his iPod:
The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Kings of Leon. "I'm really into classic rock."
What he does in his spare time:
"I like to read." He's especially fond of the Artemis Fowl series.
Favorite TV shows:
"Saving Grace" ("even if I wasn't on it I'd like the show"); "Lost," "Supernatural" (he guest-starred on both); and "Family Guy."


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