Film and TV

Young Dallas Actor Julian Hilliard of WandaVision Gets Turned Into a Pop! Doll

Actor Julian Hilliard shows off the Funko Pop! doll based on his character Billy Maximoff on the Emmy nominated Disney+ series WandaVision.
Actor Julian Hilliard shows off the Funko Pop! doll based on his character Billy Maximoff on the Emmy nominated Disney+ series WandaVision. Arianne Martin
The rules for making it to the big show in Hollywood terms have evolved. For a while, getting your likeness drawn in a Mad Magazine parody was one sign of stardom. Getting your drawn likeness on the wall of the Brown Derby restaurant was another sign at one point in time. These days, it's getting your own Funko Pop! doll.

Dallas actor Julian Hilliard, a thriving kid actor who's scored roles on two streaming shows including the Netflix drama The Haunting of Hill House and the Disney+/Marvel Studios sitcom drama WandaVision, has been given a Pop! doll for both roles. The latter is an official release from Funko and the former is from an artist on Etsy who Hilliard's parents spotted on the internet.

"Oh my gosh, that is so awesome!" Julian says. "That was my first thought."

On WandaVision, Julian plays Billy Maxmioff, one of two twin sons of Wanda "Scarlet Witch" Maximoff played by Elisabeth Olsen and Vision played by Paul Bettany. His Pop! doll is part of a double set of him and his brother Tommy, played by Jett Klyne, in their Halloween costumes during the show's Halloween episode in Billy discovers he has developed psychic powers.
Julian's dad, Justin, says he can't say too much about his son's time on the set or other merchandise for his character that may be in the works.

"We had a feeling there would be some merchandise when he was cast in WandaVision," Justin says, "but the first glimpse we saw of the official one was online from a leak."

Julian says he loves his Pop! doll showing Billy in his superhero Halloween costume firing a blast of his newly found psionic energy from his hand.

"I thought they looked just like my character," Julian says. "I love all the details, especially the blue power in Billy's hand."

Julian's family also has a custom, unofficial Pop! style doll made by a British artist on the Etsy page LilyNevesArt depicting Julian as the Young Luke Crane from The Haunting of Hill House, complete with bowler hat and signature black frame glasses.

Justin says the artist reached out about doing a custom doll and what he might want it to look like once it's finished.

"She asked if there was a wardrobe preference, and Julian said he'd love it with the big boy hat from the show," Justin says.

The demand for roles and appearances hasn't slowed for the young actor. He also recently scored a supporting role in the Conjuring horror film franchise's latest offering The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It. Julian plays David Glatzel, a young boy possessed by a demon who the movie's protagonist/antagonist Arne Cheyenne Johnson volunteers to take possession of at the start of the film. The appearance in the horror film also earned him a profile in Fangoria Magazine and possibly a live appearance at the upcoming Texas Frightmare Weekend horror convention in September.

"It's really exciting because he loves toys and action figures," Justin says. "So for him to be able to use one of his characters to play with is mind-blowing and so cool. He absolutely loves all things Marvel and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so for him to have one of Billy is extra special. He also flipped when he saw the Young Luke one. That was the first big project and is really special."

Sometimes, Julian says he wonders if his life isn't some kind of visual anomaly on set because he feels it's too good to be true.

"Sometimes on set, I have to stop and go, 'Is this real life?'" Julian says. "I get recognized pretty often. It's funny because it's usually kids." 
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Danny Gallagher has been a regular contributor to the Dallas Observer since 2014. He has also written features, essays and stories for MTV, the Chicago Tribune, Maxim, Cracked, Mental_Floss, The Week, CNET and The Onion AV Club.