Check out our interview with model and actor Connor Dean who’s breakout role was playing BUTCH the BULLY in the COOL CAT Movies starring ERIK ESTRADA and VIVICA A. FOX. This character has reached cult status creating video views in the millions along with a multitude of fan pages and memes. Connor was nominated for 2 YOUNG ENTERTAINER AWARDS for his work in COOL CAT and his recurring role in Fox’s hit drama 9-1-1 starring the incomparable ANGELA BASSETT and PETER KRAUSE. His leading role in JINGLE TRAILS now streaming on AMAZON PRIME garnered him another nomination and win for BEST LEAD ACTOR.
Connor is a philanthropist and celebrity ambassador, using his platform to help such organizations as Starlight Children’s Hospital, St. Baldricks, and SNPLA. At just 18 he is the CEO of his own production company, Penny Arcade Pictures, which has several projects in pre-production. Outside of the entertainment industry, Connor is an elite, competitive tennis player training 20+ hours per week. In his “off” time, he enjoys gaming, playing piano, and drawing.
Follow Connor @theconnordean
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Hardworking, Honest, Loyal
How did you get started into the business?
When I was younger, I used to have to go with my brother to his auditions because I was too young to be left home alone. I got to a point where I thought that if I was going to these auditions, I might as well try auditioning. So I started to go to auditions and I loved it. That is why I am still doing it today.
How has this changed your life?
Acting has changed my life in many ways. While I may have missed out on some “normal teenager” things, I have many experiences kids my own age haven’t been able to do. I’ve traveled many places, met some amazing people, gone to red carpet events, and other fun things that I wouldn’t have been able to do without being an actor. It may be challenging at times, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.
What is the best and worst part of being an actor?
As an actor, I love to play a character that is completely different from my personality. It is something that you cannot do very often and it is fun to be able to play something that is different from yourself. The worst part of acting is that you never know when you will get an audition. You could get one with a week’s notice, or you could get one that is due that same night.
Tell us about your work on Amazon Prime’s “JINGLE TRAILS?”
“Jingle Trails” was a short film I starred in and actually won the Young Entertainer’s Award for my work in that film. It’s about 2 teenagers that meet Santa Claus on a hike in his “off time”. The best part about the short was working with director Neil D’Monte. He is a great director, a good friend, and a lot of fun on set. He really guides you as an actor to get the best performance he can.
How do you prepare for a role?
When I have to prepare for a role, I usually look over the script a couple times beforehand. I think about who I am playing and what my character wants in the scene. I then put myself in that character’s shoes.
What other projects have you been part of?
One of my most notable projects has been playing the role of Butch the Bully in the Cool Cat films with Erik Estrada, Vivica A. Fox, and Eric Roberts. My character became kind of a cult favorite and there were memes of me as that character. I also have been in the TV show 9-1-1 which was a blast.
What kind of roles do you like or would like to play and why?
I like to play characters that are completely different from myself. I like to be able to play a character that has a different personality to mine because I find that fun to do. I would also like to play a character in a more futuristic or sci-fi project like Star Wars. That is something that I have always wanted to do.
What is the most rewarding part of your work?
The most rewarding part of my work is being able to entertain people and see the smiles on their faces. I am happy if a person enjoys the work that I am doing because that is my goal. I want to be able to entertain people and put smiles on their faces.
How would your best friend describe you?
I think my best friend would describe me as funny, kind, and loyal.
What’s next for Connor Dean in 2021?
I have a lot of things coming up that I unfortunately cannot talk about. I have also been working on a lot of scripts lately that I hope that I can produce through my production company that I have with my brother, Penny Arcade Pictures. I have a lot of things coming so just stay tuned.
Now talking about Instagram, can you share some tips for keeping your account interesting?
I like to keep my Instagram positive. There is so much negativity on social media so I like to keep my posts positive and fun. I post not only about the things I’m doing, but also about my tennis and my friends. I want my followers to know a little bit about me but also that I am a normal teen just like them.
What is your favorite healthy food?
Quest Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Protein Bars
And your favorite cheat food?
Pizza or Cheese Fries
What is your own definition of happiness?
I think you have to find ways to be happy everyday. Happiness for me is playing tennis, laughing with friends or being on a set working. Even when things are hard, I try to find a way to turn that into something good. Being happy is a state of mind!
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
I would love to meet George Lucas because I am a HUGE Star Wars fan. George Lucas is an amazing director and visionary. He turned a little film like Star Wars into one of the biggest franchise films in history!
Best advice ever given?
My acting teacher used to have the saying “what we believe, we achieve” and this is very true. If we believe that we can accomplish something, then we can. If we believe that we cannot do something, then we are mentally blocking ourselves from being able to do it. This quote has been with me for most of my life and I live by it.
Do you support any charity?
I support several charities. I work with Starlight Children’s Foundation, St. Baldrick’s, SNPLA (Spay Neuter Project Los Angeles), and St. Jude. I am very fortunate and I believe it is important to give back to your community.
Favorite song? Why?
I listen to a wide variety of music so I have a lot of favorite songs. Right now, my favorite is probably “Dear Winter” by the group AJR. I like it because it tells the story of a father writing to the daughter he hopes to have someday named Winter. I like songs that have stories.
What do you think of Social Media?
I think social media is both good and bad. It is good when it is used to spread positivity and kindness. I like that it can connect people and family and keep them in touch with what you are doing. It is bad when it is used to spread hate and negativity. Too many people believe everything they see on social media, especially the hateful comments. It’s important to ignore those and only focus on the good things you see!
Where can we follow you?
Book: I don’t have time to read much, but when I do it’s usually a book about Tennis or Star Wars
Quote: What you believe you can achieve
Movie: Star Wars Episode 4
Tv Series: Friends
Favorite Food: Pizza
Travel Destination: I love going to Disney World in Florida
Sports Team: LA Dodgers
Photo credit: Julian Dahl