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 37)
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 roles in the films Shark Night (2011), The Amazing Spider-Man (2012), Doyce Plunk in the TV series Zeke and Luther (2009–2011), and Tom Garvey in the HBO series The Leftovers (2014–2017).[2][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] His grandfather is from Ukraine.[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.[7] 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.[13] He was cast in a recurring role in Everybody Hates Chris and had guest roles in television shows Hannah Montana, Cougar Town[13] 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.[14][15]

Zylka starred in two animal-attack-themed films, Shark Night (2011) and Piranha 3DD (2012).[16] Zylka portrayed Flash Thompson in the superhero film The Amazing Spider-Man (2012).[17] He played the role of Jake Armstrong in The CW's supernatural drama television series The Secret Circle.[18][19] 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.[20]

He played Tom Garvey in HBO's supernatural television series The Leftovers from 2014 to 2017.[21][22] 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.[23] He played Chuck Harris in the drama film Novitiate (2017). The film received generally positive reviews from critics and fans.[24][25] In 2018, he directed Paris Hilton's music video for the song "I Need You".[26][27] He portrayed Will Jefford Jr. in the drama film The Death & Life of John F. Donovan (2018), released in September 2018.[28][29][30] In April 2019, Zylka was cast in a recurring role in USA Network's teen drama television series Dare Me.[31] The series follows the lives of competitive high school cheerleaders in a small Midwestern town.[32] In April 2020, USA Network canceled the series after one season.[33] On May 29, 2019, talent agency ICM Partners announced that they have signed Zylka.[34] Zylka portrayed Adult Ray in the short film Sorry or What Could Have Been (2020) opposite Paris Hilton.[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] Glamoholic[37] and Bello.[38]


He enjoys painting and is also an artist.[39] Zylka started artmaking when he was nine years old. He described his art often coming from "a darker place”.[40] He launched his first art exhibition titled "Why Use A Name" at Pikes Hotel in Ibiza, Spain in August 2018.[41][42]

Personal life[edit]

Zylka dated actress Lucy Hale for nine months,[43][44] and the couple split in September 2012.[45] He was engaged to model Hanna Beth Merjos in April 2014.[46][47] The couple called off the engagement and broke up in early 2015.[48][49] Zylka became engaged to heiress and media personality Paris Hilton in January 2018.[50][51] He proposed to her with a ring worth US$2 million during a vacation in Aspen, after one year of dating.[52][53] The couple called off the engagement in November 2018.[54][55][56]

He has several tattoos, including a tattoo that says "Mom" in a heart, "an angel gone bad" and a gorilla.[57][10][40]


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 & Life of John F. Donovan Will Jefford Jr.
2020 Sorry or What Could Have Been Adult Ray Short film; also as executive producer
TBA Model House Thomas
Year Title Role Notes
2008, 2013 90210 Jason Episodes: "Games People Play", "We're Not Not in Kansas Anymore"
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 28 episodes
2015 I Killed My BFF Alex Lachan Television film
2019–2020 Dare Me Corporal Kurtz Recurring role, 8 episodes
2021 Killer Infatuation Oliver Television film


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  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 November 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 c 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.
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  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.
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  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.
  13. ^ a b Jeffery, Morgan (2012-06-29). "Chris Zylka joins American Horror Story". Digital Spy. Retrieved 2021-08-12.
  14. ^ "Cannes 2010: Lineup reveals a heavy dose of auteurs, with a dollop of celebrity". Los Angeles Times. 2010-04-15. Retrieved 2019-05-18.
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  18. ^ Abrams, Natalie (August 24, 2011). "Secret Circle Taps Chris Zylka As the Witchy New Bad Boy". TV Guide. Retrieved August 25, 2011.
  19. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (2012-06-29). "'American Horror Story' Adds 'Secret Circle's' Chris Zylka". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2021-08-12.
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  24. ^ 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.
  25. ^ Travers, Peter (2017-10-26). "'Novitiate': And Then There Were Nuns in Stirring, Soulful Convent Drama". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2019-05-19.
  26. ^ Wallace, Francesca (2018-02-15). "Paris Hilton releases a new song dedicated to her fiancé". Vogue. Australia. Retrieved 2019-05-18.
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  28. ^ Cusumano, Katherine. "The Trailer for The Death and Life of John F. Donovan Is Here at Last". W. Retrieved 2019-05-18.
  29. ^ 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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  32. ^ 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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  35. ^ "Watch This Short Film Starring Paris Hilton and Nasty Cherry's Gabriette". Paper. 2020-05-06. Retrieved 2020-07-30.
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  37. ^ "". Glamoholic. Retrieved 2019-05-18.
  38. ^ "The Amazing Spider-Man". Bello. Retrieved 2019-05-18.
  39. ^ "Paris Hilton and Chris Zylka Have Plans to Become Serious Artists". Architectural Digest. Retrieved 2019-05-18.
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  44. ^ MTV News Staff. "'Secret Circle' Star Chris Zylka Keeps Things Creepy With 'American Horror Story' Role". MTV News. Retrieved 2021-08-12.
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  46. ^ Corriston, Michele (April 27, 2014). "Chris Zylka and Hanna Beth Are Engaged". People.
  47. ^ 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.
  48. ^ 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.
  49. ^ 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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  51. ^ "Paris Hilton engaged to 'Leftovers' star Chris Zylka". CBS News. Retrieved 2019-05-18.
  52. ^ France, Lisa Respers. "Paris Hilton keeping 20-carat engagement ring". CNN. Retrieved 2019-05-18.
  53. ^ 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.
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  55. ^ Gonzales, Erica (2018-11-19). "Paris Hilton and Chris Zylka Called Off Their Engagement". Harper's Bazaar. Retrieved 2019-05-18.
  56. ^ 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.
  57. ^ Reslen, Eileen (2019-08-14). "Chris Zylka's makeup artist on why he covered his Paris Hilton tattoo with a gorilla". Page Six. Retrieved 2022-05-20.

External links[edit]