Tak­ing on the role of Ja­son Pri­est­ley’s TV son

Fam­ily Chan­nel’s Luke Bi­lyk on work­ing with the 90210 star

Richmond Hill Post - - Life - By Ju­lia Mas­troianni

Luke Bi­lyk, one of the stars of Fam­ily Chan­nel’s Rais­ing

Ex­pec­ta­tions with Molly Ring­wald and Ja­son Pri­est­ley, has been in­volved in the act­ing in­dus­try for his en­tire life.

“My mom and my sis­ters were all in the in­dus­try be­fore I was born, so my mom just kind of put me right into com­mer­cial stuff,” says Bi­lyk, the youngest of four.

The young actor nabbed roles on pop­u­lar Cana­dian se­ries such as Lit­tle Mosque on the Prairie, and even­tu­ally re­al­ized that act­ing was the job for him.

“I had one scene, and I re­mem­ber say­ing to my mom af­ter that, ‘ This is def­i­nitely what I want to do for the rest of my life,’ ” he says.

Af­ter that, Bi­lyk’s ca­reer sped up at a pace as­pir­ing ac­tors could only dream of.

Only two years into his time at St. El­iz­a­beth Catholic High School, he landed the role of Drew Tor­res on De­grassi at age 15.

Bi­lyk jokes that he went to three proms on De­grassi — more than he ever went to in real life.

“My child­hood and teen years are all on tele­vi­sion, which, if I didn’t have a good group of friends and fam­ily around me to keep me hum­ble, could have been a bad up­bring­ing.”

Bi­lyk is now liv­ing it all over again on Rais­ing Ex­pec­ta­tions as Adam Wayney, the old­est of five bril­liant chil­dren with two bril­liant par­ents (Ring­wald and Pri­est­ley).

Bi­lyk says he’s the type of per­son who never wants to stop learn­ing and says Ring­wald and Pri­est­ley give him plenty to learn from.

“They’re the ut­most pro­fes­sion­als when it comes to be­ing in the in­dus­try,” Bi­lyk says.

He says Pri­est­ley was one of his Cana­dian act­ing role mod­els grow­ing up, so work­ing with him is in­cred­i­ble.

Bi­lyk says he was slightly starstruck at first, but he’s learned how to put that be­hind him.

“I re­al­ized we have a lot in com­mon — it turns out there wasn’t a lot of work that had to be done to build that fa­ther-son re­la­tion­ship [on the show].”

“We re­ally all be­came a fam­ily in those six months.”

Now that Bi­lyk has done both the dra­matic and the comedic, he says he’s re­al­ized a com­bi­na­tion of both is what works best.

“If you asked me as a 14-yearold, I would have said I only want to do the most se­ri­ous, dra­matic, Tom Cruise–run­ning style,” Bi­lyk says and laughs.

“But be­ing open to ev­ery­thing, I’ve re­al­ized hu­mour and drama go hand in hand. I think that’s what Rais­ing Ex­pec­ta­tions does so well: they deal with fam­ily is­sues, but they spin it in a way that makes you want to laugh at the prob­lems.”

Bi­lyk also has some of his own films in the works, to fol­low his pre­vi­ous self-pro­duced movies, in­clud­ing Cy­cle of Bro­ken Grace.

“It’s very in­ter­est­ing once you start to get into the whole pro­duc­ing realm. You re­ally see how the in­ner work­ings of mak­ing a movie be­gins — to the point where I can’t stop writ­ing.”

Bi­lyk’s most re­cent work in­cludes star­ring in Adam’s

Tes­ta­ment as Adam Gable, a movie se­lected for the In­ter­na­tional Chris­tian Film Fes­ti­val; along with a lead role in F the Prom, with The Orig­i­nals’ Danielle Campbell and Riverdale’s Made­laine Petsch. He also co-starred with fel­low De­grassi alum, Sarah Fisher in

Kiss and Cry where he plays the role of the boyfriend, John.

Bi­lyk plays Adam Wayney, son of Pri­est­ley’s and Ring­wald’s char­ac­ters

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