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 star-struck 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-year-old, 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.