Dion was born on October 12th, 1975 in Montreal, Canada. He lived the first five years of his life with his biological mother before being separated. He and his twin brothers were adopted when he was nine and spent the rest of his childhood in Edmonton, Alberta.
A natural born performer, Dion had always been a creative person, discovering passions for drawing and music at a young age. It was not until high school, however, that Dion discovered what would soon turn in to a career, acting. "It was the place where I could be both an artist and a musician and anything else I could put my mind to."
Dion started out by performing in high school plays and then productions with the local theatres. He got his BFA in Acting from the University of Alberta and after a bit of touring around western Canada, he decided to move to Vancouver to pursue theatre, film and television.
In 1999, Dion landed the role of Captain Nelson, a young warrior being trained to invade Earth by the series main villain, Apophis, in the Stargate SG-1 episode Rules of Engagement. He impressed the producers and was hired to return three episodes later for the mid-season two part episode Jolinars Memories/The Devil You Know where the SG-1 team travel to a hell planet to rescue Samantha
Carter's father. Actor Peter Williams was unavaliable for most of the episodes, so Dion was hired to play his character, of Apophis/Nao'nak. Luckily for most of the first episode Apophis is posing as Nao'nak, as he is now known, and does not show his face until the very end. Being a similar height and weight to Peter, it worked out well. Peter came in later and provided the voice and appeared for the scenes where his face was needed to be seen. He also appeared in the next episode of season 3, entitled Foothold, playing an alien invading the SGC. He was in full prosthetics, and it was the first time he worked with Alex Zahara, another actor often used to play aliens on the show.
The year 2000 saw Dion appear in the tv series Freedom, So Weird and Honey, I Shrunk The Kids. He also shot his first tv movie, The Man Who Used To Be Me, playing Doctor Peter Newell. He also provided a voice over (as a news reporter) in Murder at the Cannes Film Festival. He also returned to Stargate SG-1 as an Unas named Chaka, who kidnaps and then befriends Daniel Jackson [Michael Shanks] in the episode The First Ones.
Though Stargate SG-1 was his first television role, Hope Island was his first stint on a series where the character mirrored his own life. "On Hope Island I played Marcus, a young man who comes to the Island in search of his birth mother." He appeared in 3 episodes towards the end of the first year (2000), and it was not renewed.
In 2001 Dion won a small role in the tv movie Josie In The Pussycats and guest starred on Big Sound as Martin, Da Vinci's Inquest as Vincent Towne and Beyond Belief as Detective Hanson. He then shot Stargate SG-1 episode The Fifth Man where he played an alien posing as a fifth member of SG-1. He and O'Neill are stranded off world and the SGC won't authorise a rescue mission until they find out who or what Lieutentant Tyler is. This was an excellent episode for Dion, as you got to see his face for most of it, and it definitely got the fans attention. He also reprised his role of alien beast Chaka several weeks later in the episode Beast of Burden in which Chaka and several other wild Unas are captured and enslaved.
2002 was a very busy year for him when he played Curtis Peck in the L.A. Law movie, Lieutenant Gitomer in the pilot for hit series Monk, a Highway Patrolman in I Was a Teenage Faust and guest starred in My Guide to Becoming A Rock Star, The Dead Zone, Jeremiah, Breaking News and Just Cause playing a lawyer named Lucius Walker. The other role for Dion that year was Rigo Valentine in The New Twilight Zone episode To Protect and Serve, with a good guest cast including Usher.
In 2003 Dion appeared in his first big-screen movies The Core playing Astronaut Lieutenant Timmons and Dreamcatcher as a paramedic. He made two more appearances in Stargate SG-1, as Captain Warrick in the episode Forsaken, and Metamorphosis as Wodan, an alien who had been experimented on and altered by the Goa'uld Nirrti. Earlier that year he had starred in Romeo and Juliet at the Vancouver Playhouse. In March he arrived at the Stratford theatre in Ontario for a seven month season. After the season had ended, he stayed on to train with their excellent coaches and directors.
Due to commitments at the theatre, he was unable to reprise his roles as Warrick and Chaka in Stargate SG-1 season seven episodes Space Race and Enemy Mine, and they were instead played by Patrick Currie, another actor who has played several characters, most noteably the Evil Replicator named Fifth, who captured and tortured Samantha.
Dion remained at the Stratford Theatre for 2004, and is now staying on once again until October 2005. In October he will return to the screens and hopefully back through the Stargate! He is enjoying his theatre acting very much although he admits he does miss being on a set. "I've got a lot of faith in the theatrical work I've been doing because, as you know, I believe it adds to the work I do onscreen," he told me. He admires actors such as Ian McKellan, Anthony Hopkins, Ewan McGregor, Ralph Fiennes and John Malkovich, actors who he believes are especially great because of the range of characters they had the opportunity to play on stage.
Dion Johnstone has compiled an impressive resume in only five years and gathered a respectable fan base worldwide, as proven in February of 2004 when he appeared at his first ever Stargate convention, Wolf SG-7, in London. He impressed his fans with his dedication when he flew from his home to L.A., screen tested for a part, and then flew straight to London for the convention. Most actors in similar situations have cancelled their appearances. His name is regularly mentioned on their message boards and many fans are hoping he will return at a future event, as is Dion. 2005 is sure to be a great year for this very talented star.
Biography by me with much help from Dion, for Dion Johnstone Online.