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Saturday, July 25, 2020

Actor Preston James Hillier: Taking One Step at a Time Towards His Goals


by Cyrus Webb

It’s easy to look at where someone is now and think “I wish I was them”.  The real question to ask is are you willing to do what they did to get to where they are today? When it comes to actor Preston James Hillier* he is someone who has been on a nice climb in his career. The point to remember is that it’s been a CLIMB. Nothing has come easy.

The two of us connected in 2019, one of the biggest years of his career. He’s had the privilege to grace the screen for television and film—and there is more to come.

In this conversation we discuss the journey to where he is today, the challenges and the reward for not giving up.

What has it been like for you to see how everything you've done has led up to this year?
You know, it's a very fickle business. There's highs and lows. There's ups and downs. There’s always transitions. I think looking back at some of those times where you're the right age and the right look for a certain time, and then you have a little bit of a lull. Then you're into the next category…the dad or whatever. It's those times in between the work that really test you. As an actor in this business a lot of people don't have the tenacity. It'll break you as a human being sometimes when you're not working, and just trying to get to that next level and you keep thinking, ‘When is that time going to come?’

I think that's always the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow for every actor. You’re waiting for that moment, and hoping that it's going to come. And when it starts pulling together, and when you can kind of take a step back and look at what you've done—from  where you are to where you started—you do say I guess I really have done quite a bit of stuff. At the time it doesn't seem like it. You're just constantly fighting and trying to get to that next level.

So glad you shared that. It really shows that you have to be willing to do the work. So my question would be, I guess, did you know going into this industry that it was exactly what you said:  fickle with some highs and lows?
Yeah, to an extent.  I moved out here when I was 24, and everything I ate, drank and breathed was about moving to LA and pursuing this business. Nothing was going to stop me from doing that. And as you get here and look at things your friends are doing and you look at other people's careers, you kind of get a better idea of the scope of what lies ahead. I didn’t get to the border of California and they were handing out TV shows, but you just start chipping away at little things here and there. You realize there's a lot to this. There's no such thing as overnight success.

It’s been two decades now, Preston, that you’ve been able to do work in front of the camera. That is amazing. There have been some people who have come and gone in the time that you have been in the industry. As I look at where you are and how you kept pushing, what is it that helped you to do that? What is it that you think helped you to keep going even when it seemed difficult?
It's a good question. You know, I think a lot of it is surrounding yourself with good people. You know it can be a competitive business, and I have a lot of friends that are in my categories and we go out for a lot of the same things. When you can find those people you just keep pushing each other and helping each other up the ladder. That helps immensely, because you need a good support group. Otherwise it can be really difficult. Getting a little bit of work here and there satisfies you and makes you want more. I think that those are the little things to keep you going.

Follow Preston online through Instagram at www.instagram.com/prestonhillier and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/prestonhillier.  


*     Photo by Rob Nixon

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