Entertainment

Jon Young – Winning In Hollywood

Born in Old Bridge, New Jersey, Jon Young to Los Angeles after graduating from Rutgers University. This former D1 college baseball player decided to trade in his cleats to pursue his lifelong dream of being an actor. It wasn’t long before he landed his first role in the Netflix mini series Hollywood starring Darren Criss and Dylan McDermott. Jon honed his craft as an actor  on such projects as Alien Predator and as a writer and producer on The Counter Agent, and I’m Being Followed among others. Turns out all this was preparing him for his biggest series regular role yet as Brad Holland on HBO’s Mega Hit series Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty starring John C. Reilly. His role as Holland, the clutch shooter that helped secure the Lakers’ 1980 Championship is sure to put this young Hollywood actor on a path to success. After losing his parents at a young age, Jon looks to give back to his community by working with such charities as The Jimmy V Foundation as well as environmental and mental health organizations. When not working, Jon enjoys traveling, playing sports, and spending time outside in the California sunshine.

HI! THANKS FOR TAKING THE TIME TO CHAT WITH US! CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF, WHO IS JON YOUNG IN YOUR OWN WORDS? 
I’m just a guy trying to make the most of my life. I found that acting was a fascinating art so I went for it. And I’m inspired by the countless actors who have made a difference in the world through philanthropy, which is a goal of mine as well. I’d really like to leave the world with a positive impact. 

WHAT PROMPTED YOUR TRANSITION FROM BASEBALL TO ACTING?
I was going through a really difficult time when I transitioned from sports to entertainment. I had just lost my second parent, my mother, to cancer not too long after losing my father. I tore a ligament in my elbow which basically ended my baseball career, and at the time, I felt that I had nothing to lose. It was really an impulsive decision. Losing so much really opened my eyes to how short life is and that I really needed to just go for it. It’s not all sad though, through the difficult times I feel like it’s really pushed me to be the best I can be.

Photo Credit: Jill Morehouse

HOW WAS IT WORKING WITH CELEBRITIES SUCH AS JOHN C. REILLY?
It was such a surreal experience working with John, Adrien Brody, Wood Harris, Sally Field, Rob Morgan, Jason Segel… The list goes on and on. Here I am working with Oscar winners and people I’ve been watching in TV and film for decades. Beyond that though, I’m really grateful to have met and worked with all of the young guys on the team. Everyone is growing together and getting their big break. I’m so excited to watch these guys blow up, they deserve it.

WHAT WAS IT LIKE WORKING ON YOUR FIRST NETFLIX MINISERIES, HOLLYWOOD?
Hollywood was my first taste of a big set. It was my first taste of working with a producer like Ryan Murphy and well known actors like Jim Parsons and Darren Criss. It was definitely inspirational and confirmed that this is the right industry for me. The set was fun and relaxed, the people I was working with were so much fun to be around. I couldn’t have picked a better entry into the acting world.

APART FROM YOUR ACTING ABILITIES, YOU’RE WELL-KNOWN FOR YOUR WRITING AND PRODUCTION ABILITIES.
My co-creator and I met doing stand-up comedy several years ago, and we soon realized that we really wanted to be in TV and film. So rather than waiting for opportunities to come our way, we decided to make our own. We’ve mainly created short films to this point in an effort to learn all aspects of filmmaking, but we have our sights set on a full length feature film.

WHICH OF THE THREE IS YOUR FAVORITE AND WHY?
At the end of the day, I’m a performer first, so I’d have to go with acting. There’s something so appealing to me about stepping out of your own shoes and into another person’s. I love the creativity and the work it takes to get into someone else’s psyche. Although another goal of mine would be to produce or direct a project that I am also acting in. I’ve tried it already and I must say it is extremely difficult to balance both, but hopefully with more experience, I will continue to get better at it.

WHAT’S SOMETHING WE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT YOU THAT MIGHT SURPRISE US?
Being a sporty guy, it often surprises people that while I was playing baseball for Rutgers University during the day, I would sing for the university’s all-male a capella group at night!

ANY UPCOMING PROJECTS YOU CAN TALK ABOUT?
My co-creator AJ and I just released our latest short “Decaf” into the festival circuit. We have one more short film being developed, before the undertaking that will be a full-length feature film titled “The Pregame.”

WHAT IS ONE MESSAGE THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO GIVE TO YOUR FANS?
Find the thing you want and go for it. Give it 100%. But leave some time to give back and help others, even in small ways. If you want the world to be a better place, it starts with you!

WHERE CAN OUR READERS FIND YOU ONLINE?
Find me on instagram @jontyleryoung

Ritika

Ritika is renowned Fitness, Nutrition & Lifestyle Specialist and contributing writer for ABOUT INSIDER. She enjoys covering current events and writing about celebrities, health, and fashion.

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