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Thomas Dekker

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Thomas Alexander Dekker (b December 28, 1987, in Las Vegas, Nevada) is an American movie/television actor, director, and producer, and guitarist, singer and music composer. Best known for his acting career, which began when he was six years old, his most famous roles include Littlefoot in the Land Before Time film series, Nick Szalinski in Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: The TV Show, his controversial role as Zach in Heroes, and as John Connor in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. He has also created two music albums, Psyotanic, released in 2008, and the upcoming Protean. Dekker has received many awards for his acting roles, with an especially sizable collection of Young Artist awards.

Biography

Dekker was born in Las Vegas, Nevada[1] to a Dutch father and a Welsh mother. His mother Hilary is a concert pianist, acting coach, actress, and singer, and his father David is an artist, set designer, opera singer and actor.[1][2] As a child he and his parents moved all over the world, spending time in the United States (specifically in Las Vegas, Los Angeles,[3] and California), Europe (Yorkshire, England, in particular) and Canada.[1] He has a step sister named Diana and a step brother named Erik.[1] He has three pets; two pug dogs named Captain and Noggin, and a rabbit named Bella.[1] He enjoys drawing, writing scripts and songs, listening to music, and watching and making movies.[1] Dekker is a vegetarian,[1] and was briefly vegan.[4]

Career

Early career

Starting his acting career at age six, Dekker was first seen in the soap opera The Young and the Restless. He then appeared in Star Trek Generations and Star Trek Voyager. Later, in 1997, he became a regular on the Disney Channel original show Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: The TV Show, (based on the movie of the same name) where he played Nick Szalinski for three years. After the show ended in 2000 he went on to appear in Run of the House, Fillmore!, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, House, Boston Public, Reba and 7th Heaven. He also appeared in movies such as Campus Confidential and the direct-to-video sequels to An American Tail.

Role in The Land Before Time

Petrie and Littlefoot in winter

From The Land Before Time VI: The Secret of Saurus Rock to The Land Before Time IX: Journey to Big Water, Thomas Dekker voiced the main character Littlefoot (right). He also did the singing voice of the character in The Land Before Time V: The Mysterious Island, although the speaking voice was provided by Brandon LaCroix.

One of Dekker's most notable roles was voicing the lead Land Before Time character Littlefoot from The Land Before Time V: The Mysterious Island (singing voice only) to The Land Before Time IX: Journey to Big Water. He was also the narrator for the Singalong Songs video.[5] His performance as Littlefoot won him one of his four Young Artist Awards (see below) in 2003, and garnered him two DVD/Video Premiere awards in 2001 and 2003.

Role in Heroes

In 2006 Dekker landed a recurring role on Heroes, playing the character of Zach. The character was written to come out as gay to his parents, which would give another character the push to tell her parents about her newfound abilities, and some references were made to the character's sexuality. There was much speculation that Dekker personally requested the series writer Bryan Fuller change his character's sexuality for fear that, having played a myriad of homosexual characters in his career so far, he might be seen by casting agents as a "gay only" role,[6][7] but he has denied this, saying "Neither I, nor my management have ever had any kind of problem with creating a gay character. To me, acting is about being prepared to play all kinds of roles and it is an honor and a challenge to portray anything that comes my way."[7] He also mentioned that the character was not meant to be homosexual, but meant to be in love with the character Claire.[7] Fuller, in the meantime, contradicted this statement, claiming that Dekker's manager threatened to pull him out of Heroes after he was offered the role of John Connor in FOX network's Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, because she feared a gay role would make FOX lose interest in Dekker.[7] Fuller also disputed Dekker's claims that his departure from the show around the same time as the occurrence of the controversy was purely coincidental. He said that "the showrunners didn't want to get hung up on the fact that one actor's management felt that it was a career killer for him to play a homosexual. We had episodes planned for him to be in, and she pulled him from the show altogether. So that's why he sort of disappeared."[7][8] Dekker played Zach for eleven episodes before he left Heroes.

Role in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

In Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Dekker plays John Connor, the son of Sarah Connor (Lena Heady), and stars opposite Heady and Summer Glau as Cameron Philips. Regarding the Terminator films, together with his character role in the series, Dekker has said, "They are like my favorite films when I was younger. So it's very ironic that I'm getting to do this. And I know for the younger generation and for myself, John was equally important to me as Sarah was, and I know a lot of the people that I hear from really, really care about John."[9] Dekker describes his character as "a continuation of Eddie Furlong's character" but "he's in a darker, more mature place now".[10] Upon the public announcement of the upcoming series, Dekker had originally harboured concerns that the series would be of formulaic and of bad quality, until he had auditioned for the role as John.[11]

Other

Dekker's latest projects include the independent thriller/horror movie From Within, which hit theatres in January 2009, Laid to Rest, in which he is re-joined with Lena Headey from Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, and the drama My Sister's Keeper alongside Cameron Diaz, Abigail Breslin and Medium star Sofia Vassilieva. He produced his own movie, Whore, which he also wrote, directed, edited, and starred in. Dekker is currently playing the lead character Nate Palmer in the web based sci-fi series IQ-145.[12]

Music

With parents who had musical careers, Dekker was brought up in a musical background, and frequently listened to classical music. For many years dreamed of being an orchestral conductor.[13] Although due to his family's nomadic life, he never attended music school, and learned to sing on his own,[13] he started writing music at age ten while living in Canada. At the age of fourteen he landed a record deal;[4] however, after feeling that he wasn't as involved in the music as he would have liked, he left to concentrate on making his own music. At the age of sixteen, Dekker started writing and producing his own classical music influenced by electronica which he describes as "European-electronica"[13] or "electrofolk". His first album, Psyanotic, was completed in 2008, and has recently been released for full download and purchase on the iTunes store. Dekker has recently completed a second album, Protean, which is scheduled for release in 2009. Some of his music is hosted on his MySpace page.

Filmography

Movies

Television

Discography

Albums

  • Psyanotic (2008)
  • Protean (2009)

Soundtracks

Reception

On Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, ReviewJournal critic Christopher Lawrence, who had said that "bringing a pop culture icon to TV was full of many pitfalls", thought that Thomas Dekker (in the role of John Connor) "could be forgiven had he opted for something simpler".[2] Robert Bianco of USA Today said that Dekker brings just the right mix of optimism and obstinence into the character.[14] Tim Goodman on SFGate said that Dekker's performance "puts the anti in hero".[15]

Awards and nominations

Young Artist Awards

In 1999, Thomas Dekker received a Young Artist Award nomination for Best Performance in a TV Drama or Comedy Series - Leading Young Actor, for playing the character Nick Szalinski in Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: The TV Show. However, his nomination lost to Zachery Ty Bryan for his portrayal of Brad Taylor on Home Improvement.[16] In 2000, Dekker won a Young Artist award for Best Performance in a TV Comedy Series - Leading Young Actor, for Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: The TV Show.[17] The following year, he won the Young Artist award for Best Performance in a Voice-Over: TV/Film/Video — Young Actor, for voicing the character Fievel in An American Tail: The Mystery of the Night Monster.[18] In 2003, he won the Young Artist award for Best Performance in a Voice-Over Role, for his role as the lead character Littlefoot in The Land Before Time IX: Journey to Big Water.[19] One year later, he won the Young Artist award for Best Performance in a TV Series — Guest Starring Young Actor, for his role as Julien in Boston Public.[20]

DVD Exclusive awards

In 2001, Dekker, together with supervising animator Zeon Davush, received a Video Premiere Award for Best Animated Character Performance, for his role as Littlefoot in The Land Before Time VII: The Stone of Cold Fire. However, the nomination lost to actor Mark Hamil and character designer Bruce W. Timm for the Joker in Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker.[21] Two years later, he received a DVD Premiere Award for Best Original Song, for "Imaginary Friend" from The Land Before Time IX: Journey to Big Water. The nomination was shared with performers Aria Noelle Curzon, Anndi McAfee, Jeff Bennett, and songwriters Michele Brourman and Amanda McBroom. In the end, the award went to Jennifer Love-Hewitt and Chris Canute for The Hunchback of Notre Dame II song "I'm Gonna Love You (a.k.a. Madellaine's Love Song)".[22]

Miscellaneous

Dekker received a Teen Choice Award nomination for Choice TV Breakout Star Male, for his performance as John Connor in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, in 2008, but lost to Chace Crawford for Gossip Girl.[23] At the Solstice Film Festival of 2008, he won the Grand Jury Award for Best Actor, for his role as in From Within.[24]

Quotes

  • I love acting because it's an artistic way to release the million different personalities I have in my head.
  • River Phoenix. I watched all of his films and thought he did some really revolutionary stuff for his age.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 "Frequently Asked Questions" on Thomas Dekker's official website. Retrieved on January 14th, 2009.
  2. 2.0 2.1 LIFE ON THE COUCH: 'Terminator' star still calls Henderson home. Christopher Lawrence, ReviewJournal.com. (August 10th, 2008.) Retrieved on February 16th, 2009.
  3. CTV.ca: The Sarah Conner Chronicles - Thomas Dekker. Retrieved on February 15th, 2009.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Thomas Dekker: Saving the Future. Lynn Barker, TeenTelevision.com. (January 8th, 2008.) Retrieved on February 16th, 2009.
  5. "Resume" at Thomas Dekker's official website. Retrieved on February 14th, 2009.
  6. TV Addict Interview: Thomas Dekker talks Terminator (and Heroes!). Retrieved on February 15th, 2009.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 Former 'Heroes' Actor Denies Demanding to Play it Straight. Michael Hinman, SyFy Portal. (May 7th, 2007.) Retrieved on February 15th, 2009.
  8. Popgurls.com - Bryan Fuller Interview on "Heroes". Retrieved on February 15th, 2009.
  9. Inside The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Francine Brokaw, Superheroflix.com (August 2nd, 2007.) Retrieved on February 15th, 2009.
  10. "'Sarah Connor Chronicles': 'T3' Rebooted". Svetkey, Benjamin, Entertainment Weekly. (January 11th, 2008.) Retrieved on February 15th, 2009.
  11. Star Dekker. Mumtaj Begum, The Star Online, Ecentral. (June 29th, 2008.) Retrieved on February 16th, 2009.
  12. Official IQ-145 website. Retrieved on February 16th, 2009.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Mr. Congenialty. Mumtaj Begum, Malaysia Star. (July 8th, 2008.) Retrieved on February 16th, 2009.
  14. Lena Headey saves the day in 'Terminator: Sarah Connor'. Robert Bianco, USA Today. January 13th, 2008.) Retrieved on February 16th, 2009.
  15. Review: 'Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles' is a running gag. Tim Goodman, SF Gate. (January 11th, 2008.) Retrieved on February 16th, 2009.
  16. Young Artist Awards Ceremony of 1999, at the Internet Movie Database. Retrieved on February 14th, 2009.
  17. Young Artist Awards Ceremony of 2000, at the Internet Movie Database. Retrieved on February 14th, 2009.
  18. Young Artist Awards Ceremony of 2001, at the Internet Movie Database. Retrieved on February 14th, 2009.
  19. Young Artist Awards Ceremony of 2003, at the Internet Movie Database. Retrieved on February 14th, 2009.
  20. Young Artist Awards Ceremony of 2004, at the Internet Movie Database. Retrieved on February 14th, 2009.
  21. First DVD Exclusive Awards Ceremony of 2001, at the Internet Movie Database. Retrieved on February 16th, 2009.
  22. First DVD Exclusive Awards Ceremony of 2003, at the Internet Movie Database. Retrieved on February 16th, 2009.
  23. Teen Choice Awards Ceremony of 2008, at the Internet Movie Database. Retrieved on February 15th, 2009.
  24. Solstice Film Festival awards Ceremony (Grand Jury and Jury awards) at the Internet Movie Database. Retrieved on February 16th, 2009.


External links


Preceded by:
Brandon LaCroix
The Land Before Time voice actors/actresses Succeeded by:
Alec Medlock


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