Dion Wiyoko talks about his roller-coaster career journey in the entertainment industry
From Zero to Hero
Surabaya-born actor Dion Wiyoko talks about his roller-coaster career journey in the entertainment industry, which has seen him become one of the most prolific film icons of his generation
How did your career get off the ground?
It all began in 2003 when I won a modelling competition, which gave me the opportunity to sign a contract with a talent agency that opened access to many auditions for TV commercials, films, and soap operas. But, overall, these were years of struggle for me— winning a competition didn’t mean things became easier; in fact, that was only the beginning. I went from one audition to another only to be rejected or landed small roles as a supporting actor or extra. That situation continued for around five years, although luckily I was still able to finance my education.
After experiencing these hard times, did you think about switching jobs?
After this stagnant period, in 2008 I experienced a turning point in my life. I changed my mind and tried to start a career in another field, like being a wedding and event organiser, although I actually worked as a liaison organiser—a lower-rank position in the event-management industry. I swapped my dream to be an actor for a while because, at the time, my only focus was to work harder in order to survive, and I also wanted to learn from my supervisors. Then one day, I met my current manager, Sulung Landung, at a talent scouting event at a shopping mall.
Sulung Landung is well known as a talent scout. What happened next?
When I first met Sulung, he didn’t immediately offer me a place with his agency. First, he accepted me to work as a runner, which meant I had to be ready for many odd jobs. After three months of seeing my consistency, commitment, and persistence, Sulung asked me to join his agency without an audition. Being part of Sulung’s management led me to roles for many commercials and soap operas. Finally, in 2009 my dream came true: I landed a debut in my first full-length film Serigala Terakhir. The film turned out to be a mega-hit and received several awards at prestigious film festivals, including Festival Film Indonesia. After that success, I got plenty of offers from movie producers and film production companies, which made me who I am today.
Source: Ray Pama, Oka, “From Zero to Hero”, Tatler Indonesia, May Issue, 2019