10 Things to Know About "Fear the Walking Dead" Star Frank Dillaneby IMDb-Contributing-Writers | last updated - 06 Apr 2016
When "Fear the Walking Dead" launched its brief first season in 2015, Frank Dillane's drug-addicted but undead-savvy character Nick Clark quickly took center stage. Here are 10 things to know about the actor before the Season 2 premiere on Sunday, April 10. — Gina Carbone and Sara Bibel
Dillane, 24, is nailing L.A. teen Nick's California accent, but the actor is from London.
Dillane told Entertainment Weekly, "Dialect was my biggest fear. So, I spent a long time working with dialect coaches just trying to get American down. I think it’s very important and very easy to misinterpret."
He's the son of Stannis.
He's not literally the son of Stannis Baratheon, but Dillane's father Stephen Dillane, plays the Lord of Dragonstone and self-proclaimed king on "Game of Thrones." The elder Dillane has also played a real-life leader. He was nominated for an Emmy for his portrayal of Thomas Jefferson in the HBO miniseries "John Adams."
The two Dillanes played father and son in the 1997 war drama Welcome to Sarajevo and the 2012 film Papadopoulos & Sons.
Dillane's first major role was a small but memorable one as 16-year-old Tom Riddle, aka the young Voldemort, in the 2009 blockbuster Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
His Potter experience prepared him for his dealings with the "Walking Dead" fandom. Dillane told Entertainment Weekly, "I was exposed to that kind of hysteria quite early on. So, I kind of expect it. It’s not going to be a surprise at least."
He graduated from a prestigious drama school.
Dillane attended a school that is almost as exclusive as Hogwarts. The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London is regarded as one of the best drama schools in the world. Dillane graduated from the three-year acting program in 2013. He described the experience as "boot camp in tights."
He starved himself for 'In the Heart of the Sea.'
In the film In the Heart of the Sea, Dillane plays smug Henry Coffin, who was added to the Essex's crew because he's the cousin of the captain. Dillane described his intense approach to the role: "I'm such an idiot that I took the whole starving thing a bit too far. 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."
His portrayal of Nick was inspired by both classic literature and a friend.
Dillane's preparation for the role of Nick was also rigorous. In order to accurately portray a heroin addict, Dillane read the 1821 autobiographical novel "Confessions of an Opium Addict" by Thomas DeQuincey. Nick's childlike traits were inspired by a friend of his. He told Entertainment Weekly, "I had a mate who was an addict for 15, 20 years, and he’s a bit older now. But if you meet him, and you talk to him, it’s like talking to a 16-year-old boy. All those years of growing up, he sort of lost. So, he’s this strange mixture of old and young at the same time."
He learned to drive for the show.
Dillane did not have much driving experience before he started filming "Fear the Walking Dead." He had to get up to speed quickly since the show is set in Los Angeles, where nearly everyone has a car. He told Den of Geek about his most challenging moment behind the wheel: "I don’t drive ... So, I had to learn how to back up down a dry riverbed. I looked all right then because I did just have to reverse."
He is Johnny Depp's doppelganger.
Anyone who checked Twitter during "FTWD" Season 1 probably saw tweets about Dillane's resemblance to a young Johnny Depp. Dillane isn't just a lookalike; he seems to have a similar eccentric bad-boy persona. When a New York Times reporter asked about background noise during a phone interview with him, Dillane revealed, "I was having an argument in a car, and that resulted in me being dumped on the side of the road. I’ve got to find my way to a pub, and I’m sort of running late."
He's a musician.
Dillane sings and plays guitar for the band Tinker Wright. The band is less than prolific: It has only posted three songs on Soundcloud. Several Tinker Wright that were posted on YouTube videos back in 2012 were recently discovered by Dillane fans. In them, a shorter-haired Dillane sings, strums a guitar, and plays the harmonica.
He avoids social media.
Frank Dillane fans have created numerous Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram accounts about him. But the actor avoids social media. That makes him a rarity among actors and 24-year-olds in general. Perhaps his technology avoidance prepared him to play a character who lives in a post-apocalyptic society without internet access.