Up-and-coming Australian actor Dylan Stumer joins us on Close-up Culture to talk about his role in Aquaman, short film projects, ambitions to work in the US and more.
Q: We are fast approaching the release ‘Aquaman’. Can you tell us about your experience working on such a big film and what it meant to you?
A: Working on Aquaman was a massive eye opener. I’ve never worked on such a big production before and just seeing all the fine detail in the production design, costumes, equipment and all was mind blowing.
There are so many intricacies that go into making a movie – so many pieces built by so many amazing people. Everyone brings their craft and talents together and you can feel the passion that goes into the project. I had an incredible experience and I learned something new while I was on set. Being able to be a part of that means a lot to me, and being able to take those experiences with me moving forward means just as much.
Q: Can you share any fun or interesting memories from working on the film?
A: I can’t really say too much! But, it was extremely fun working in the water tank. A lot was happening that day and I can’t wait to see how it turns out.
Q: The Conan Daily List named you on their 10 most handsome ‘Aquaman’ co-star list. Do you find that kind of attention flattering?
A: That kind of thing is always flattering, but it was more of a shock at the time! I came across the list while researching a release date for the trailer and was very humbled by it. It’s not something you expect to see out of the blue, but I’m very grateful to be recognised for my work on Aquaman – especially alongside so many amazing actors.
Q: It looks like you have some interesting short film projects coming up. What can you reveal about ‘Just Like You’?
A: Just Like You is written and directed by Patrick Evans and produced by Xanthie Milton. The film is just getting some finishing touches before hitting the international film circuit.
It is an interesting, beautiful film that tells the story of a family and their cycles of life. I play the leading role of Philip, a young high school student and the youngest in his family. He’s often a target, but he’s smart, scrappy, and just wants to have his voice heard.
This film has a lot of heart. I think it’s a message will genuinely resonate with audiences.
Q: I heard you did stunt work on ‘Primal’ as well as ‘Just Like You’. How did you find getting involved in this physical work?
A: I absolutely loved it! I was a bit nervous at first – as you should be when doing something as serious as stunt work – but once getting the swing of things, and make sure it’s all safe, you have a lot of fun.
It really amazed me with the amount of fine detail that goes into it – to make it look perfect. It wouldn’t have come without the talented stunt coordinators guiding me through every step. So, a big thanks to Yasca Sinigaglia and Darko Tuscan.
Q: Frazer Bailey’s documentary ‘Root Cause’ is coming to Netflix soon. What was your experience like working on that feature?
A: It was my first time working with Frazer and I had such a great time on set. I met some great people who I became friends with and I’m absolutely stocked for it to be on Netflix soon!
Q: Do you have any other upcoming roles you can tell us about?
A: I am auditioning a lot, and there are definitely some things in the works that I can’t mention. I guess I’ll just have to say “watch this space”.
Q: I believe your interest in acting start at 11 years old. Was that a particular event or moment that sparked this passion?
A: My passion for acting started really young. I think I was actually about six when I started doing school plays and theatre, then made a shift toward documentary style film-making. I did some community radio and voice overs.
As I got older and my passions were facilitated and nurtured, I found myself drawn toward film and TV. I’ve been improving my craft in this arena ever since. There wasn’t really an event or moment that sparked my passion for acting. It was just something I always felt that I wanted to do. It is something that I have always done since I had the opportunity to do it.
Q: How has your journey been so far and what challenges do you feel lie ahead?
A: The journey has been amazing. It’s been such a blessing, and I’ve been constantly learning and growing and meeting new people. I’m taking my time to absorb it and really focus on it all; to appreciate each step and make the most of it. I’m extremely grateful for all the opportunities that I’ve been given and excited to see what the future holds.
For next steps, I’ve been working with dialect coaches to help me take my craft to a more international level. I’ve also been working on shifting towards the US and taking Australian talent out into the world.
Q: What are your hopes for the future?
A: To keep making great stories. As I mentioned, I’m currently putting together my O1 – Visa paperwork so I can work in the States. I’ve got a good agent, a good team and amazing opportunities. I know I’ll be ready for the next step, and the next one, and the one after that.
Title image by Marcus Walters