First of all, why don't you introduce yourself to those of us who
don't already know you?
My name is Sean Dillingham and I am a professional working actor. 30 years
plus. 200+ commercials, 90+ films, 30+ television series. I am also an
acting teacher, as well as the author of the Book on Acting.
Any current and future projects of yours you'd like to talk about?
I have a lot of projects that I have done. Currently you can see me on Netflix
in the movie Falling for Christmas. You can also catch me on
Hulu in the TV series A Murder at the End of the World. I’m also
in previous episodes that you can see streaming, Better Call Saul,
Yellowstone, Walker: Independence, This
Is Us, Longmire, The Night Shift. And if you look my name up on
Amazon, you’ll see about 15 or 20 movies that I’m in as well.
As far as I know, you
started out as a comedian - so what can you tell us about that aspect of
your career, your training as a comedian, and your style of comedy?
not a comedian. I started in theatrical acting, and then discovered
improvisational acting - joined various improvisational troops, and then
had the opportunity to study improv with the four largest improv theaters
in the country. The Second City, I.O. West, the Groundlings, and
Upright Citizens Brigade.
can you tell us about your participation on the show America's Funniest
People, and in what way did that shape your career trajectory?
the show was holding auditions at a local mall, and so I went down with
several props that I utilized in improv and performed a few bits and they
liked it and two weeks later flew me out to be on the show. That said, in
course a desire to continue working in that medium and to work on projects
of that level.
what point did you decide on the jump from comedian to dramatic actor, and
what can you tell us about your training on the subject?
again, I am not a comedian, and because of my improv training, I was lucky
enough to be cast as a comedic actor in a lot of commercial comedic roles.
Movies and television shows as well. A lot of comedic acting. And as I
said, before, I studied with the four largest improv theaters in the
country, as well as studied acting and film, acting with the Stella Adler
Theater and the Lee Strasburg Theater.
you pesonally, what are the main differences between doing comedy, maybe
even standup, and drama?
only difference in the difference of performing comedic roles as opposed
to dramatic is, comedic roles, require a certain rhythm. Beats. You have
to give pauses to let the viewer or the audience know, this is the funny
part, this is where you laugh. So you have to learn to take beats in
What can you tell us about your
past film and TV-work, and some of your career highlights?
on the film On the Road with a star-studded cast and having it
produced by Francis Ford Coppola was a career highlight that was amazing
to be with that many well-known actors on such a high level, high
visibility project. Working for Netflix on the Lindsay Lohan-movie
Falling for Christmas was another one. Again they pulled out all the
stops and created one hell of a film, very proud of that. Luckily all the
television series that I’ve worked on have all been top-notch top level
productions, so everyone of them was a learning experience and an absolute
pleasure to work on.
worked both on films and for TV, what are the main differences, and which
do you prefer, actually?
the differences between television and film is the time. Television shows
generally take a week. You have a little bit of time to get into character
but they don’t really delve too deep. Film can be anywhere from a month
to two months or longer to shoot, there the schedule is really drawn out.
There’s some days you’re shooting just a few scenes, other days where
you’re shooting a lot of scenes, but film work is a lot more character
involved, and you have the opportunity to really go slow. Take your time
Having been in the game for
quite some time, how has the business changed/evolved over the years?
gotten political, it has agendas – it’s really not good right now.
Hopefully it changes, but you used to get booked previopusly on talent and
ability – and sadly, that is looked at last now.
also still doing stage shows as well, right? So what are these like?
is terrific. Nothing like being in front of a live audience!
would you describe yourself as a actor, and some of your techniques to
bring your characters to life?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results?
The links below
will take you
an actor – striving for creativity. Relate their emotions to mine, let
the subtext drive you in the scene.
Actors (and indeed
actresses) who inspire you?
Hoffman, Richard Dreyfuss, Gene Hackman.
Your favourite movies?
that tells a good story and tries to entertain – Guys and Dolls,
in the Rain, Mutiny on the Bounty, Sunset Boulevard, Glengarry Glen
... and of course, films you really deplore?
Yes! Any film with an agenda, i.e. political, gender-specific, anything that
has an agenda or a slant to it that is pushing a point or perspective,
rather than just a) telling a story and b) trying to entertain!
social media, whatever else?
SD Acting Studio: https://www.seandillingham.com/classes
Thanks for the interview!