Check out our interview with HBO’s Mega Hit series Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty actor Jon Young who is a series regular as Brad Holland. His role as Holland, the clutch shooter that helped secure the Lakers’ 1980 Championship is sure to put this young Hollywood actor on a path to success.

This former D1 college baseball player decided to trade in his cleats to pursue his lifelong dream of being an actor. It wasn’t long before he landed his first role in the Netflix mini series Hollywood starring Darren Criss and Dylan McDermott. Jon honed his craft as an actor on such projects as Alien Predator and as a writer and producer on The Counter Agent, and I’m Being Followed among others.

After losing his parents at a young age, Jon looks to give back to his community by working with such charities as The Jimmy V Foundation as well as environmental and mental health organizations.

Follow Jon @jontyleryoung

Hi Jon, please tell us a little about you?

I grew up in central New Jersey with a passion for baseball and performing. I played baseball for Rutgers University and originally I wanted to be a professional baseball player, but I got hurt. After that I decided to pursue other avenues. I enjoy traveling in my off time or being with family and friends.

Describe yourself in 3 words?

Learning, Evolving, Rising

How did you get started into acting?

I originally acted in the theater growing up, mostly for fun, but I switched to screen acting about four years ago and decided to pursue it professionally. After the loss of my parents at a young age, I felt that I had nothing to lose so I just went for it!

How has this changed your life?

Well, I’m in the main cast of a huge hit on HBO so that was something that’s a big change! All that aside, I’ve really gone on to learn more about myself and my outlook on life is constantly evolving. I try to get a little better each and every day and because of that I feel like my life is constantly evolving.

What is the best and worst part of being an actor?

The best part is easily stepping out of your own shoes and into the shoes of another person. It really can become an out of body experience. The worst part of course, is the time in between jobs. Although I’ve come to find that’s easily fixable by going out and making my own stuff!

How do you prepare for a role?

It really depends on the role. This is my first series regular role on a huge production and so the preparation was different from smaller Indie work that I’ve done. For this role in particular not only did I have to figure out who the man is (being he’s a real person) but I also had to get into top tier athletic and basketball shape. I had to train my body as well as how I was going to approach the character.

Tell us about your work on the hit Lakers and HBO series, “Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty?”

What an unbelievable experience, certainly one I will never forget. To work on a show of this caliber is to literally be living my dream. So grateful to be a part of it., to all the producers, to the directors and to my fellow cast members. Just grateful for the opportunity.

And about the role of Holland?

Man, playing this guy was amazing! I’m so happy that Brad was the role that was my break into the industry. When you’re constantly called by someone else’s name and you know so much about someone else’s life, it feels like you practically know them. That’s something I took away from this experience! And funny enough, I will actually be having dinner with him and his family soon which is incredible!

How was working with such a talented cast and on a great Lakers era story?

I mean…Oscar winners, Emmy winners, people I’ve seen on TV and film for decades. It was the most profound moment of my life! I was able to sit back and watch these guys work and let me tell you, I learned so much from them in different ways. Some were hands on, some you would just notice how they prepared. Also, the younger cast members, the up and coming stars – I learned from all of them! I’m so thankful to have met them as well. We really grew to be a tight knit group and I’m so excited to watch all of their success now and moving forward.

What other projects have you been part of?

My other big set experience prior to this was a role in “Hollywood ” on Netflix produced by Ryan Murphy. That was such a great way to get a feel for being a principal performer on a big Hollywood set (no pun intended). Other than that I create my own stuff with friends. I feel that it’s best to learn as much about all aspects of filmmaking not just acting or writing.

What kind of roles do you like or would like to play and why?

I just want to be challenged. Whether it be physically, mentally, or emotionally. I don’t want to tie myself down to a type because I really feel like I am versatile. Certainly, I have so much to learn, but I do really feel like the sky’s the limit with me!

What is the most rewarding part of your work?

I’d say just meeting and working with people who are like-minded in the fact that we all want to create something special. It’s such a rewarding atmosphere when the job gets done.

What’s your advice for the newer actors?

Make a choice for your character and stick to it! And be directable.

What would you say are the greatest lessons you learned so far in this business?

Know what you don’t know. You have to trust that the people around you may know better, and learn from them!

How would your best friend describe you?

My friends would describe me as loyal. And it’s true, I’ll always have their backs.

If you are a book, what would be the title of the book and why?

“Growth” A title as simple as that because of how far I’ve come and how far I’ve still yet to go.

What advice would you give to your younger self and why?

Listen more. It has taken me a lot longer to become the listener I am today than it should have. I feel like there are many lessons I could have learned sooner had I just listened a little more.

What book should every entrepreneur read?

I should say “Rich Dad Poor Dad” here shouldn’t I? Hmm…I’ll go with “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”.

What’s next for Jon Young in 2022?

Well season 2 is coming up soon. Other than that I have built a great team of representation and so I see plenty of opportunities coming in my future. On top of that, my Co-Creator and I have several of our own projects lined up as well.

What is your favorite healthy food?

I eat egg whites and spinach for breakfast every morning and it’s delicious!

And your favorite cheat food?

Definitely pancakes or Mac & Cheese!

What is your own definition of happiness?

Doing what I love and being with the people. What more do you need?

If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?

Such a tough question, so many good ones. I’ll go with Marlon Brando. It would be incredible to pick his brain.

Best advice ever given?

Think positively and block out the negatives. You’ll find that life is a whole lot better that way.

Do you support any charity?

I’ve done the most work with the Jimmy V Foundation, but I’ve also taken part in several others. A huge goal of mine is to start my own foundation one day.

Where do you see yourself and your career in 5 years from now?

I just want to continue working on movies and Tv consistently. The dream is to get to a level where I can make a bigger impact on society and hopefully start a foundation.

Favorite song? Why?

Heat Waves by Glass Animals. I’m just gonna say that I heard it first and leave that there!

What do you think of Social Media?

I think it can be a great tool to connect and keep in touch!

Where can we follow you?

@jontyleryoung on Instagram

Book: 1984

Quote: “If life were predictable it would cease to be life and be without flavor.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Movie: Anything Christopher Nolan

Tv Series: Winning Time on HBO duh!

Favorite Food: Mac & Cheese

Travel Destination: Ireland

Sports Team: Los Angeles Chargers



Photo Credit: Alexx Calise