Dylan Flashner On Going From A College Athlete To Hollywood: ‘Sometimes I Have To Pinch Myself’

Dylan Flashner is one of Hollywood's up-and-coming stars. He spoke EXCLUSIVELY with HL about his evolution from college sports to acting, working with Hollywood legends, and more.

Dylan Flashner
Image Credit: Henry Ammann

Dylan Flashner is loving life right now. In just a few years, he’s made quite the name for himself in Hollywood, racking up roles alongside Morgan Freeman, Josh Duhamel, and more. And he’s just getting started.

HollywoodLife chatted EXCLUSIVELY with the rising star about how he went from playing sports to becoming immersed in acting. He also discussed his current projects, including the upcoming film Deltopia, as well as why he wanted to become a producer. Read our full Q&A below:

Dylan Flashner
Dylan Flashner is an up-and-coming star in Hollywood. (Photographer: Henry Ammann)

You were a college athlete before you were an actor. What did you play?  
Dylan Flashner: I played postgraduate basketball for a little while before I went to Chapman, so I was trying to play basketball. I tore my Achilles while I was playing so I ended up walking on the football team out of all things. I played football there for a little bit. I played with their basketball team for a summer, but after that, my Achilles just wouldn’t hold up so that was the end of my playing career. But I still use the college athlete line. It’s a little bit of a gray area on that one, but my career wasn’t so long in college, unfortunately.

When you’re an athlete, that’s a whole separate type of life. Were you always planning to become an actor? 
Dylan Flashner: It’s really interesting how I got into it. I didn’t take a single acting class. I was too nervous. I was afraid of public speaking. I wasn’t ready to do it. When I was a younger adolescent, I was an athlete so I was focused on that. That was my main goal for a long time, but I’ve always loved entertainment. I’ve always wanted to be an entertainer. I never knew if the opportunity would come up, but I did music for a little bit after my basketball career. On a music video set, I actually got discovered by a television producer who asked me to be in a pilot, and I’ve been acting ever since that moment. I definitely did not expect to be where I’m at now at all. But I do think I would have tried acting at some point.

You’re also a producer. How did you find your way behind the camera?
Dylan Flashner: I actually got into producing early on. I wanted to look at the guys that I looked up to in the industry, whether it be male or female, and just seeing what they doing that I aspire to be. A lot of them have their own production companies. A lot of them do their own productions. I looked at Kevin Hart. I looked at The Rock. I looked at Kaley Cuoco and Jamie Foxx. I looked at these guys, and I’m like, “What are they doing differently than everyone else in the industry?” Honestly, it was doing their own content. So when I got my roles, I would always ask producers, “Is there any way I can get involved on production and try to build my production company.” I’ve been blessed to be in situations where they’ve all been very welcoming and allowing me to get in on production, so I’ve been able to basically be on production in everything that I’ve been cast in. It’s been very cool just trying to figure out the back end of the industry is kind of what I was going for with that move.

You’re a busy guy these days. For someone who hasn’t been acting for very long, you’ve gotten some great roles… 
Dylan Flashner: My parents told me to work hard, keep your head down, and things will happen. I’ve never been shy from hard work, and I’ve been blessed to be in a lot of situations where people have let me have opportunities. I’m definitely a little busier now than I used to be, and I’m not mad at it.

Are you currently filming Bandit right now?
Dylan Flashner: So I just finished Bandit. It actually just wrapped two days ago. I got to work with Josh Duhamel for seven days, and then I worked with Mel Gibson as well for two days. That was an incredible experience. Josh is one of the most humble people in Hollywood. I’ve had the pleasure to work with a lot of big-name stars. He’s by far one of the most genuine, humble people I’ve met. But I’m on a set called Deltopia right now. It’s based on the Santa Barbara college party that used to happen every year, but they got shut down recently because of the riots. We’re basically doing a movie based on that whole event. It’s been a great time. It’s great to film in LA as well.

Deltopia stars a lot of younger stars like Charlie Gillespie and Luna Blaise. They’re all very musical, too. Have you guys dabbled in performing together? 
Dylan Flashner: We’ve been talking a little music. They’re a little bit more established music-wise than I am. But we’ve been talking about music on set a lot. I know Hart Denton is going to start touring soon, and I’m super excited about his touring. Luna is a fantastic writer, so we can talk about that a little bit. But you know, Charlie’s got a voice. Just being around a lot of talented people, it’s hard not to be inspired. It’s really interesting to see how multifaceted some of these people are. It’s been fun working on set with some people my age as well.

Dylan Flashner
Dylan Flashner is currently working on the film ‘Deltopia.’ (Photographer: Henry Ammann)

Have you finished The Card Counter or are you about to start? 
Dylan Flashner: I filmed that back in 2019 or maybe 2020. In 2020, I believe. It was filmed in Biloxi, Mississippi, and I got to film with Oscar Isaac. Paul Schrader’s directing that one too. That was a very interesting experience. That was the first set on COVID protocols that I had. At the time they wouldn’t even let us sit in chairs because they were so worried about COVID. It was an interesting set to be on. It was definitely tough in some aspects, but it was also liberating in other aspects just being able to be out there. It was a great experience and very, very cutthroat. Some movies have that feel, but I’m excited for that one.

You’ve worked with major Hollywood actors like Mel Gibson, Josh Duhamel, and Morgan Freeman. What’s that been like for you as someone who is a rising star in Hollywood to be around such established actors and being able to learn from them?
Dylan Flashner: Sometimes I have to re-click in because I wonder, “Are they going to take me away from here? Like, am I really in this situation?” I don’t take it for granted. I really do appreciate every opportunity I get. Sometimes you’re in the right place at the right time and things are working out. It’s been great. The stars I’ve worked with have all been pretty humble and just really nice people in general. They’ve accepted me for being a new guy. It’s just an out-of-body experience sometimes working with these people, I’ve got to say. Sometimes I have to pinch myself a little bit while I’m in the scene. You have to focus on what you’re doing job-wise, but then you’re like, oh wait, that’s Morgan Freeman. That’s Tommy Lee Jones. Like, I literally just watched you on television yesterday. I just really can’t describe how awesome it is to be able to work with these people. You dream of situations like that your entire life. So just following a dream, that’s really what it is.

You have multiple roles under your belt already, but is there anything you’d like to dabble in acting-wise in the future? 
Dylan Flashner: I think for me, it’s showing off my diversity and showing off what I can do. I encourage wigs, I encourage different looks, and different things for my roles. But I’ve always wanted to do a boxing movie. I know it sounds a little out there, but I would love to play like an Arturo Gatti or some sort of character like that. Sports movies are something I definitely want to do in the near future, but I’m enjoying what I’m doing now. I have had a lot of cool opportunities to do a lot of cool dramas. At this point, if something comes down my table, I’m not going to hesitate. I’m enjoying what I do.

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