Military child balances acting career and school work
Fifteen-year-old Drew Haytaoglu found his passion in life in fourth grade after playing the Tin Man in his school’s production of The Wizard of Oz. Since then, Haytaoglu has pursued a career in acting, landing two movie roles including YTV’s Bruno & Boots: Go Jump in the Pool, that premiered on April 1.
It was only a few years after that life-altering role as the Tin Man that Haytaoglu was referred to his current agent Colin McMurray. With the help of his agent, the aspiring thespian started his career by acting in commercials for businesses like Boston Pizza.
Haytaoglu landed his first major role in YTV’s production of Anne of Green Gables, playing Gilbert Blythe. Notable cast members for the movie included the well-known American actor Martin Sheen.
Though Haytaoglu and Sheen did not have any acting scenes together, the fifteen-year-old says the two had some valuable time together.
“He was a really genuine guy, very nice. It was a lot of fun to talk to him and listen to him telling me about his experiences on set for so many different movies,” said Haytaoglu.
Experiencing a movie set for the first time, Haytaoglu says some of his most memorable moments consisted mainly of spending time with the cast and crew.
Not long after landing the role of Gilbert Blythe, Haytaoglu was called in for a second movie role with YTV. The movie, Bruno & Boots: Go Jump in the Pool, follows the story of Bruno Walton and Melvin “Boots” O’Neil, two mischief makers at the MacDonald Hall boy’s school, based on the popular MacDonald Hall book series by best-selling author Gordon Korman. Haytaoglu plays Chris Talbot.
“It was so much fun to film. It was five guys just hanging out during the summer. We had a food fight, jumped into the pool with all of our clothes on. We had a great time,” recalled Haytaoglu.
The audience is sure to have a few laughs while watching the film, assures Haytaoglu.
As a young actor, Haytaoglu still has to juggle his acting career with being a regular school-aged kid.
“It’s hard to juggle it just because you might get a lot of homework one night and you have to go do an audition…it gets difficult at times but most of the times I can handle it and cope with the work,” mentioned Haytaoglu.
His family has added juggling to do as Haytaoglu is the son of an RCAF captain. Haytaoglu parents often need to juggle their careers, Haytaoglu’s acting career and their families needs while his father is away. But his mother, Maura-Jo says the military community in Trenton has stepped in many times to support the family, even driving her son to auditions in Toronto at times.
“People are willing to do that, and that’s what I love about the military family community, because people get it,” said Maura-Jo.
Maura-Jo says her son is appreciative of the support his family has given him and at the end of the day she says it’s worth it.
“I just found that he’s passionate about it but humble at the same time. He’s able to carry out his regular activities…it’s just so interesting to watch him live out his dream,” explained Maura-Jo.
Haytaoglu hopes to continue to pursuing his passion for acting, admitting his job doesn’t really feel like a job.
“My favourite part is the fact that it doesn’t feel like a job for me. I have so much fun on set with the cast and crew, just hanging out and doing the work that it doesn’t feel like a job. I think that’s what everyone wants in their job, and I’m really lucky to have that,” said Haytaoglu.
Be sure to visit YTV.com to catch Drew Haytaoglu as Chris Talbot in Bruno & Boots: Go Jump in the Pool.