Interview With Actor Nikolas Dukic, “When Calls the Heart”

By Ruth on May 6, 2017 in Interview, movie, television

There is nothing like catching sight of a fresh face amongst the Hope Valley kids on Hallmark’s original series, When Calls the Heart, and season four introduced a veritable potpourri of young pupils to Miss Thatcher’s classroom, Nikolas Dukic being one of those. As Earl Wyatt, the lone bully in the group of upstanding schoolchildren, the character of Earl was prominent and memorable for all the wrong reasons, thus meaning that Nikolas’ portrayal was stellar for all the right reasons. Recently, I had the chance to speak with Nikolas about how he got started in the industry, his notable works thus far, and even a bit about his aspirations for the future.

RH: Nikolas, you definitely have a lot of fans, as I’m sure you well know.

ND: Oh, I love the Hearties, yes!

How old were you when you started acting?

I started acting when I was six months old. I got an agent, and then I had my first audition at nine months. I booked that commercial, and I’ve been acting ever since.

And how old are you now?

I’m thirteen.

So basically you’ve been acting your whole life–it’s all you’ve known. 

Yes, at the time I was with an agency that got me a lot of commercials, but the agent I’ve had the past two or three years does a lot with TV and movies.

I noticed that your TV and movie credits were limited, but now I understand that most of your work has been commercial work. Do you happen to remember what your first job was?

My first job was a Live, Laugh and Learn commercial for Fisher Price. It was a for a little toy house, and I was one of the kids ringing the doorbell.

I understand that you won a Joey Award last year.

Yes, that was my first award that I won for acting. It was pretty amazing. And it was my first nomination also. The award was for a web series with a name that might be considered an inappropriate name, but it really wasn’t meant that way {Average Dicks}. I won the Joey for Best Actor in a Web-Based Series Age 14-17.

With that web series, how many episodes were you in?

I was in one episode, and it was a Christmas special. I was a guest star, and there is a chance I may come back for another episode. They are thinking of possibly having another season of this show.

What can you tell us about this show and your part in it?

It’s a comedy show about these guys who live in a house and do really funny things. They’re not the smartest people, but it’s really interesting. When I went on the show, I knew I wouldn’t be doing anything inappropriate in any way. I played a runaway who went there and pretended to be their son or something like that. It was pretty funny.

So how did you get involved with When Calls the Heart?

I got called for an audition some time in October of last year. There were a lot of kids there auditioning, but I thought, “I really fit this character.” I really dedicated myself to the script and thought I’d just go there and give my all. I went in and thought I did pretty well, and I came back for a callback. Mike Rohl was the director for that. There were only a couple of kids there for the callback. When I did the audition, I was very proud of myself for the performance that I did. And I knew I would be proud whether I got the part or not. And then I ended up getting it.

Was that the first time you had auditioned for When Calls the Heart?

Yes, it was.

Now that is not the experience of most of the kids that are part of the show. Usually, they’ve been auditioning for When Calls the Heart a lot before they finally book a role. So they must have liked what they saw in you. I think the Hearties, including me, were very impressed with how you portrayed Earl Wyatt. You were kind of the mean kid. What was that like to play the mean kid with all these other kids who are so nice?

It was fun, but they are super nice kids, and I got along with them well. They were so nice when I came on set. I was a bit a nervous ’cause it was a new set and all these people knew each other. But when I got there, they were so nice and completely took me in.

It is a great cast, and the kids are really great too. I’m glad this show exists and that so many nice kids are involved with it. {pause} I got to interview Carter {Ryan Evancic}, and he told me that one of his favorite scenes was the fight scene with you. 

Yes, that was pretty fun. We had to do these stunts, and it was kinda hard because it was really cold outside, and it was raining on and off. Then we had to fall onto the ground, and it was covered with gravel. It did hurt a bit, but I do a lot of martial arts so that helped me. But I got to bond with him and help him. We all worked together on that really well.

I read about some of your martial arts training and thought, “Oh, that’s why he did so well in that fight scene.” How many episodes were you in?

Two episodes.

But now that the show has been renewed for season five, maybe we’ll see you again. I think Hearties would agree that we didn’t really get an end to your story. We saw the direction that you and your brother were headed, but we didn’t see a real resolution.

I agree. You never know, and I hope I get to come back.

And of course, we have the story with your dad and then your uncle is in prison.

And my uncle might take over the prison and the town. You never know.

I know some of the Hearties are saying, “Well, that’s the end of Ray Wyatt,” but you never know.

That’s right. He has a lot of power.

I know these kids welcomed you and you had a great time with them, but are there any kids you bonded with quickly?

Yeah, I really got along with Carter, Mason McKenzie, who played my brother, and Jaiven Natt.  They were the ones who were mostly in my scenes, and we liked to sit around and talk when we had free time. And we also did schooling together.

Since you’ve been involved with acting basically your whole life, have you had a hard time keeping up with your school work?

I go to a regular school, and I’m used to missing school and having to make up my work. It happens a lot. But I’ve been able to keep up with everything, and it hasn’t been a big issue for me. Also, there’s always a tutor on set to help me.

Since you’ve done this your whole life and the whole time you’ve been in school, do you think it’s easier for you than someone who becomes an actor when they are an older kid?

Yeah, I think so. It can mess up your schedule a lot, and you’re not used to missing school and having to work and then make up that work later. I think the kids who come in later can get used to it, but I think it’s a lot easier when you’ve done it from when you were very young like I did.

In addition to these shows we’ve mentioned, is there anything else upcoming that you can mention?

I did work on a couple of things, but most of the time, they don’t want you to mention them until later. If I could, I would. But these projects are super confidential.

Well, it’s good to know that there are a couple of things upcoming where we can see you, and if we’re following you, you’ll announce them when you can. Hearties are really good about supporting the actors who have been on the show, even if it’s only been one or two episodes. 

Yes, for sure. I want to thank the Hearties. They have made awesome artwork and all kinds of things for me. I love how much they are super proud of the show, and they welcomed me so much to the show. They take such pride in the show.

They are amazing, and I am impressed with how kind and supportive they are.

I also want to thank the writers, the producers, and the directors and all the cast and crew for their help with the production ’cause they were so great to work with.

In your free time, what do you like to do?

I like to train, and I do martial arts. I go swimming. I do a lot of physical activities to keep me in shape. I am a world champion in jujitsu. I compete a lot, and so I really have to train a lot.

And what would you say about your mother?

She is very supportive, and she is why I am able to do all that I do. Without her, I wouldn’t be doing any of this. She is the one who takes me to the auditions, and she does all the paperwork. So big thanks to Mom!

Are you an only child?

Yes, I am.

Well, that is great. She sounds like a wonderful mother, and it’s great that she is letting you be your own person, but she’s there to support you. 

Yes, she has never held me back in anything. She lets me choose what I want to be involved with. She lets me choose if I want to do it, or I don’t, or I want to do something different. That’s a big help to me.

It never ceases to amaze me just how impressive the young actors are that When Calls the Heart continues to hire. I have always found that each one is the cream of the crop, and there is no doubt Nikolas fits that category extremely well. He is grounded, talented, and willing to do whatever necessary to work together with everyone to create an extraordinary show. While he is confident in his capabilities, he never comes across as arrogant nor rude. He has found that perfect balance between self-assurance and unobtrusiveness. I believe that as long as he maintains this attitude, his star will continue to rise higher with every role he books. And the fact that he recognizes both his mother’s influence and the support of his fans means that at the age when too many teenagers begin to rebel, he has already understood what is vital not only in the entertainment business but in life itself. If you have not seen his laudable performance in season four of When Calls the Heart, I strongly suggest you get caught up today. Furthermore, please consider following him at the links below so that you don’t miss a moment of what is quickly becoming a monumental list of credits for this young man!












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About the Author

RuthView all posts by Ruth

43-year-old single mother of an active 14-year-old girl
Born in Tacoma, WA; lives in Yelm, WA
Entertainment Writer
Available For Interviews and Reviews
Substitute Teacher


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