ONTARIO, Canada July 18, 2016 (PRIDE) — Shailyn Pierre-Dixon is looking forward to attending the New York City premiere of the highly anticipated Warner Bros action movie, Suicide Squad, on August 1.
That’s because she stars in it as Zoe Lawton, the daughter of Will Smith, who plays the character, “Deadshot,” and fulfills her dream to play a comic book role.
The film opens in theatres worldwide on August 5.
This is not the first time that the 13-year-old Canadian actor is appearing with a star-studded cast in a film.
She was young Aminata Diallo in the award-winning adaptation of Lawrence Hill’s book-turned-miniseries, The Book of Negroes, in 2015 and the mysterious, yet gritty Netflix series, Between, currently airing on Citytv and Netflix.
Born on June 1, 2003, Shailyn, often referred to as Shai, is following in the footsteps of her mother, actor, writer and producer, Christina Dixon. Her father is Trinidad-born Maurice Pierre.
“I think I just enjoy watching someone perform and be someone who they’re not really. And, I found that really interesting and I guess I was influenced by my mom and I kind of just fell in love with it,” says Shailyn about her love of acting.
Christina says Shailyn started modeling at the age of 5, and was doing background roles about that time as well, but her first big acting role was at age 8 or 9.
“I have been acting all my life, not professionally, but in one form or another. And, it was around the time that I decided to start acting professionally, is when Shailyn was more exposed to that, and that’s when her interest took off as well,” says Christina, who has really been acting professionally as long as Shailyn has – five years.
Her resume includes starring in the well-received comedy-drama film, The Best Man Holiday, in 2013.
Shailyn continues to shine as a young actor, whose roles are in the realm of adult-themed shows and films.
She won the Canadian Screen Award — Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Supporting Role in a Dramatic Program or Series — for her portrayal of young Aminata Diallo in The Book of Negroes.
“It was a great experience, I loved it. I loved it because I felt that I was a part of history and I got to learn a lot while filming. It was great, the cast, the crew, everything just made my experience better,” says Shailyn about her role in the 2015 award-winning mini-series.
She is ecstatic about the award presented to her at the 2016 Canadian Screen Awards in March.
Organized by the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television (ACCT), the awards honour achievements in Canadian film, television and digital media production.
“That, to me, means I have accomplished something that not many people have, but also that I’ve worked hard and that I’ve earned it. And, I think that that’s something that everyone should be able to have,” she says.
Shailyn was also nominated for a Golden Maple Award for Newcomer of the Year, and received an ACTRA Award nomination for Outstanding Performance.
In Suicide Squad, her character, Zoe Lawton, allows Shailyn to not only play the key weakness to Smith’s character, but to act alongside one of the most well-known actors of our time.
“Will Smith is an amazing person. He’s so funny, he lightens the mood; he always welcomed me on set. He made me feel welcomed,” she revealed.