Chris Zylka

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Chris Zylka
Chris Zylka 2011 b.jpg
Zylka in 2011
Christopher Michael Settlemire

(1985-05-09) May 9, 1985 (age 35)
OccupationActor, model
Years active2008–present
Known forThe Leftovers

Chris Zylka (born Christopher Michael Settlemire; born May 9, 1985)[1] is an American actor and model, known for his television roles as Jake Armstrong in The CW's The Secret Circle (2011-2012) and Tom Garvey in HBO's The Leftovers (2014-2017).[2] He has appeared in films Shark Night (2011), The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) and Freaks of Nature (2015).[3]

Early life[edit]

Zylka was born and raised in Howland Township, Ohio, U.S.[4][5][6] He took his mother's maiden name, Zylka, as a stage name.[7][8] Zylka was raised by his mother and he has never met his biological father.[9][10]

He graduated from Howland High School in 2003.[8] Zylka studied Art at the University of Toledo for two years, but dropped out to care for his maternal grandfather when he suddenly became ill.[11] “My grandfather is from Ukraine, and when I was caring for him he turned me on to Stanislavski, Chekhov, and all these amazing Russian artists. I was completely blown away," he said in 2015.[12]

At the age of 19, he relocated to Los Angeles to pursue a career in acting.[11] He was homeless for six months upon arriving to Los Angeles and lived in his car in the parking lot of a 7-Eleven in Burbank.[13][14] Zylka described this time in his life by saying: "For about six months I lived in a ‘94 Ford Probe behind a 7-11 parking lot. I wound up leaving it in the lot because it wouldn't start anymore, and it just kind of became my home. I think that's where my naivety helped or I was just being stupid! I had this adolescent mind telling me everything was going to be okay, and it was. I’ve been very fortunate."[12] Zylka began working at restaurants, where he was discovered by manager and acting coach Jon Simmons.[7]



Zylka began his acting career with a guest appearance as Jason on the teen drama television series 90210 in 2008. He was cast in a recurring role in Everybody Hates Chris and had guest roles in television shows Hannah Montana, Cougar Town and Zeke and Luther.[citation needed] In 2009, Zylka landed a sixteen-episode recurring role as Joey Donner in sitcom 10 Things I Hate About You. Zylka began to move into films around this time, appearing in the comedy film The People I've Slept With (2009) and the horror television film My Super Psycho Sweet 16 (2009). Zylka would later reprise this role in the sequel, My Super Psycho Sweet 16: Part 2 (2010). He portrayed Thor in the mystery comedy film Kaboom (2010), which premiered at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival.[15][16]

Zylka starred in two animal-attack-themed films, Shark Night (2011) and Piranha 3DD (2012).[17] Zylka portrayed Flash Thompson in the superhero film The Amazing Spider-Man (2012).[18][19] The film was a box office success, grossing over $757 million worldwide, becoming the seventh highest-grossing film of 2012. He played the role of Jake Armstrong in The CW's supernatural drama television series The Secret Circle.[20][21] BuddyTV ranked him number ninety on its list of "TV's Sexiest Men of 2011".[22] He had a leading role as Kermit in the crime drama film Dixieland (2015). The film centers around good-hearted Kermit, who just got out of prison and returns home to Mississippi.[23]

He played Tom Garvey in HBO's The Leftovers from 2014 to 2017.[24] He portrayed Alex Lachan in Lifetime's television film I Killed My BFF (2015). The film is inspired by a true story, the murder of Anne Marie Camp by Jamie Dennis and her husband, Michael Gianakos, in Minnesota in 1997.[25] He played Chuck Harris in the drama film Novitiate (2017). The film received generally positive reviews from critics and fans.[26][27] In 2018, he directed Paris Hilton's music video for the song "I Need You".[28][29] He portrayed Will Jefford Jr. in the drama film The Death and Life of John F. Donovan (2018), released in September 2018.[30][31][32] By April 2019, Zylka has been cast in a recurring role in USA Network's upcoming television series Dare Me.[33] The series follows the lives of competitive high school cheerleaders in a small Midwestern town.[34] On May 29, 2019, talent agency ICM Partners announced that they have signed Zylka.[35]


Early in his career, Zylka appeared in an advertising campaign for Abercrombie & Fitch, shot by photographer Bruce Weber.[9] He has appeared on the cover of several magazines, including Wonderland,[36][37] Glamoholic[38] and Bello.[39]


He enjoys painting and is also an artist.[40] Zylka started artmaking when he was nine years old. He described his art often coming from "a darker place”.[41] He launched his first art exhibition titled "Why Use A Name" at Pikes Hotel in Ibiza, Spain in August 2018.[42][43][44]

Personal life[edit]

Zylka was engaged to DVF brand ambassador and model Hanna Beth Merjos in April 2014.[45][46] The couple called off the engagement and broke up in early 2015.[47][48] Zylka became engaged to heiress and television personality Paris Hilton in January 2018.[49][50] He proposed to her with a ring worth US$2 million during a vacation in Aspen, after one year of dating.[51][52] The couple called off the engagement in November 2018.[53][54][55]

He has several tattoos, including a tattoo that says “Mom” in a heart and "an angel gone bad".[10][41]


Year Title Role Notes
2009 The People I've Slept With Mr. Hottie
2010 Kaboom Thor
2011 Shark Night Blake Hammond
2012 Piranha 3DD Kyle
2012 The Amazing Spider-Man Eugene "Flash" Thompson
2014 The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Deleted scenes
2015 Freaks of Nature Chaz Jr.
2015 Bare Haden
2015 Dixieland Kermit
2016 Welcome to Willits Jeremiah
2016 Animal Man Short film
2017 Novitiate Chuck Harris
2018 The Death and Life of John F. Donovan Will Jefford Jr.
Year Title Role Notes
2008–2013 90210 Jason Episodes: "Games People Play" (2008), "We're Not Not in Kansas Anymore" (2013)
2008 Everybody Hates Chris Various characters 3 episodes
2009 Hannah Montana Gabe Lamotti Episodes: "Knock Knock Knockin' on Jackson's Head", "Promma Mia"
2009–2010 10 Things I Hate About You Joey Donner 16 episodes

Nominated–TV Guide Award for Best Ensemble (shared with the cast)

2009 Cougar Town BJ Episode: "Pilot"
2009 My Super Psycho Sweet 16 Brigg Jenner Television film
2009–2010 Zeke and Luther Doyce Plunk 3 episodes
2010 My Super Psycho Sweet 16: Part 2 Brigg Jenner Television film
2011 Teen Spirit Nick Ramsey Television film
2011–2012 The Secret Circle Jake Armstrong 17 episodes
2012 My Super Psycho Sweet 16: Part 3 Brigg Jenner Uncredited; television film
2013 Twisted Tyler Lewis 4 episodes
2013 Bloodline Troy Robbins Television film
2014–2017 The Leftovers Tom Garvey Main cast
2015 I Killed My BFF Alex Lachan Television film
2019–2020 Dare Me Corporal Kurtz Recurring role


  1. ^ "Paris Hilton to wed former UT student". Toledo, Ohio: WTOL-TV. January 3, 2018. Archived from the original on September 21, 2019. Retrieved September 21, 2019. Zylka was born in Warren, Ohio and attended Howland High School as well as the University of Toledo.
  2. ^ Maloney, Maggie (November 19, 2018). "Everything You Need to Know About Paris Hilton's Former Fiancé Chris Zylka". Town & Country. Archived from the original on May 18, 2019. Retrieved September 21, 2019.
  3. ^ McBride, Caitlin (January 3, 2018). "Who is Chris Zylka? 5 things to know about Paris Hilton's new fiancé". Irish Independent. Archived from the original on May 18, 2019. Retrieved 2019-05-18.
  4. ^ Gray, Andy (January 3, 2018). "Howland native engaged to Paris Hilton". Tribune Chronicle. Warren, Ohio. Archived from the original on September 21, 2019. Retrieved September 21, 2019. Zylka, whose name was Chris Settlemire growing up, played quarterback for Howland High School, where he graduated in 2003.
  5. ^ Corinthios, Aurelie (January 2, 2018). "Chris Zylka: 5 Things to Know About Paris Hilton's Fiancé". People. Archived from the original on September 14, 2019. Retrieved September 21, 2019. Zylka was born and raised in Youngstown, Ohio, as Chris Settlemire (Zylka is his mother’s maiden name).
  6. ^ Rathe, Adam (February 16, 2012). "Chris Zylka". Out. Archived from the original on July 31, 2018. Retrieved September 21, 2019. Zylka was born and raised in Youngstown, Ohio—back then he was Chris Settlemire (Zylka is his mother's maiden name)
  7. ^ a b Fallon, Kevin (June 27, 2014). "From Homeless to HBO, 'The Leftovers' Star Chris Zylka's Crazy Hollywood Story". The Daily Beast. Archived from the original on June 29, 2017. Retrieved January 2, 2018.
  8. ^ a b Gray, Andy (July 2, 2009). "One-time Howland QB changes playing fields". Tribune Chronicle. Retrieved January 15, 2012. – via MediaPass (subscription required) Reprinted here and on January 2, 2018.
  9. ^ a b Yi, David (2014-06-19). "'The Leftovers' Star Chris Zylka Takes on Hollywood". WWD. Retrieved 2019-05-18.
  10. ^ a b Zylka in Brown, Emma (June 25, 2014). "Chris Zylka Remains". Interview. Archived from the original on January 2, 2018. The Warren, Ohio native.... [M]y grandfather [is] from the Ukraine, Kiev.
  11. ^ a b Maloney, Maggie (2018-11-19). "Paris Hilton Has Reportedly Ended Her Engagement to Actor Chris Zylka". Town & Country. Retrieved 2019-05-18.
  12. ^ a b Lonardo, Thom (March 7, 2015). "Chris Zylka". Un-Titled Project. UTP Publishing. Archived from the original on May 18, 2019. Retrieved May 18, 2019.
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  15. ^ "Cannes 2010: Lineup reveals a heavy dose of auteurs, with a dollop of celebrity". LA Times Blogs - 24 Frames. 2010-04-15. Retrieved 2019-05-18.
  16. ^ "Chris ZYLKA". Festival de Cannes 2019. Retrieved 2019-07-29.
  17. ^ Nat (2018-01-04). "Five Things You Didn't Know About Chris Zylka". TVOvermind. Retrieved 2019-05-18.
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  19. ^ belloteam. "» Chris Zylka in The Amazing Spider-Man". Retrieved 2019-05-18.
  20. ^ Abrams, Natalie (August 24, 2011). "Secret Circle Taps Chris Zylka As the Witchy New Bad Boy". TV Guide. Retrieved August 25, 2011.
  21. ^ Peterson, Price (May 3, 2012). "The Secret Circle's Chris Zylka on Romancing Faye, Renewal Optimism, and His Proudest Season 1 Moment". Retrieved May 4, 2012.
  22. ^ "TV's 100 Sexiest Men of 2011". BuddyTV. December 5, 2011. Retrieved March 9, 2012.
  23. ^ "Chris Zylka Is Totally Unrecognizable in His First Leading Film Role—Here's What He Has to Say About 'Dixieland'". Teen Vogue. Retrieved 2019-05-19.
  24. ^ Reilly, Kaitlin. "Chris Zylka Distracts Us From "The Leftovers" Heartbreak With Cute Interview About Girlfriend Paris Hilton". Retrieved 2019-05-19.
  25. ^ Reyes, Traciy (January 3, 2015). "'I Killed My BFF' Lifetime Babysitter Movie Based On True Story Of Anne Camp, Jamie Dennis Gianakos Case". Inquisitor. Retrieved 2019-05-19.
  26. ^ Scott, A. O. (2017-10-26). "Review: 'Novitiate' Shares a Young Nun's Emotional Story". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-05-19.
  27. ^ Travers, Peter (2017-10-26). "'Novitiate': And Then There Were Nuns in Stirring, Soulful Convent Drama". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2019-05-19.
  28. ^ Wallace, Francesca (2018-02-15). "Paris Hilton releases a new song dedicated to her fiancé". Vogue. Australia. Retrieved 2019-05-18.
  29. ^ "Paris Hilton's New Single 'I Need You' Is Inspired by Her 'Perfect' Fiancé Chris Zylka". People. Retrieved 2019-05-18.
  30. ^ Cusumano, Katherine. "The Trailer for The Death and Life of John F. Donovan Is Here at Last". W. Retrieved 2019-05-18.
  31. ^ Debruge, Peter (2018-09-13). "Toronto Film Review: 'The Death and Life of John F. Donovan'". Variety. Retrieved 2019-05-18.
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  33. ^ Petski, Denise (2019-04-29). "'Dare Me': Chris Zylka & Taveeta Syzmanowicz To Recur In USA Network Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 2019-07-29.
  34. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (2018-07-25). "'Dare Me': Willa Fitzgerald, Herizen Guardiola & Marlo Kelly To Star In USA Pilot". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 2019-07-29.
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  36. ^ "Wonderland Magazine - feat Chris Zylka, Analeigh Tipton, Shiloh Fernandez, Tyler Posey, Ambyr Childer, Haley Bennett & Brie Larson | Beau Ideal | Chris zylka, Tyler posey, Celebrity magazines". Pinterest. Retrieved 2019-05-18.
  37. ^ Weatherby, Jager (2012-08-28). "Teen Wolf's Tyler Posey Looks Hot on the Cover of Wonderland Magazine With Chris Zylka (PHOTOS)". Wetpaint. Retrieved 2019-05-18.
  38. ^ " | Glamoholic Monthly Entertainment Magazine". Retrieved 2019-05-18.
  39. ^ "The Amazing Spider-Man". Retrieved 2019-05-18.
  40. ^ "Paris Hilton and Chris Zylka Have Plans to Become Serious Artists". Architectural Digest. Retrieved 2019-05-18.
  41. ^ a b Eckardt, Michael Beckert, Stephanie. "Paris Hilton and Chris Zylka Open Up About the Highbrow Secret to Their Love". W Magazine. Retrieved 2019-05-18.
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  43. ^ "Paris Hilton and fiance Chris Zylka pack on the PDA at his art exhibit opening in Ibiza – Entertainment Dialogue". Retrieved 2019-05-18.
  44. ^ "Sealed With a Kiss from Paris Hilton and Chris Zylka's Cutest Pics". E! News. Retrieved 2019-07-29.
  45. ^ Corriston, Michele (April 27, 2014). "Chris Zylka and Hanna Beth Are Engaged". People.
  46. ^ Rivera, Zayda (April 27, 2014). "'Spider-Man 2' actor Chris Zylka gets engaged to Hanna Beth". Daily News. New York City. Retrieved June 14, 2015.
  47. ^ Johnson, Zach (March 12, 2015). "Chris Zylka and Hanna Beth End Their Engagement and Their Breakup Gets Insanely Messy on Instagram and Twitter!". E! News.
  48. ^ McRady, Rachel (March 12, 2015). "Chris Zylka, Model Hanna Beth Split, End Engagement in Nasty Online Feud". Us Weekly. Retrieved June 14, 2015.
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  50. ^ "Paris Hilton engaged to 'Leftovers' star Chris Zylka". CBS News. Retrieved 2019-05-18.
  51. ^ France, Lisa Respers. "Paris Hilton keeping 20-carat engagement ring". CNN. Retrieved 2019-05-18.
  52. ^ Hilton, Paris (January 2, 2018). "I said Yas!". Paris Hilton verified Instagram account. Archived from the original on March 18, 2018. Retrieved April 1, 2018. So happy & excited to be engaged to the love of my life.
  53. ^ "Paris Hilton and Chris Zylka Have Ended Their Engagement". Elle. 2018-11-19. Retrieved 2018-11-20.
  54. ^ Gonzales, Erica (2018-11-19). "Paris Hilton and Chris Zylka Called Off Their Engagement". Harper's Bazaar. Retrieved 2019-05-18.
  55. ^ Baty, Emma (2018-11-19). "Paris Hilton and Fiancé Chris Zylka Have Split, Meaning That Huge Engagement Ring Is Officially Retired". Cosmopolitan. Retrieved 2019-05-18.

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