What Only True Fans Know About Hallmark Star Akono Dixon

Hallmark's Mahogany brand aspires to share Black stories on the small screen, and their latest film, "Spring Breakthrough," is set to be released on April 30, 2023, on Hallmark's Movies & Mysteries channel. The film stars Akono Dixon in his first leading role and Hallmark film. Dixon is an up-and-coming actor from Olive Branch, Mississippi who is best known for portraying Andre on The CW series "All American." Dixon has also had minor roles in "Euphoria" and the film "Dolemite Is My Name." In "Spring Breakthrough," Dixon's character, Shawn, gets engaged. However, his fiance's mother, Monica (Keesha Sharp), attempts to thwart their relationship.

Dixon explained to MediaVillage that he loved working on "Spring Breakthrough" and said that the set felt like a tight-knit community. He said, "Everyone in the film bonded because they were so true to themselves, and at the same time loved this script and understood its deep, loving message. All of that connected us in a natural way. Everyone was great to work with, very kind, helpful and very supportive, so it was a joy working with [them]."

While most Hallmark actors are completely different off-screen, Dixon told The Knockturnal that he saw himself in his character, Shawn. The Hallmark newcomer also shared that he would like to continue working for the network. But what only true fans know about Dixon is that his road to stardom was anything but easy.

He's a former model

Per The DeSoto Times-Tribune, acting was Akono Dixon's childhood dream. However, he had to overcome certain hurdles to get to where he is now. Dixon told the publication that he had a speech impediment. Moreover, when Dixon told a family member that he wanted to become an actor, they expressed doubts. Nevertheless, Dixon decided to follow his dreams and turned to modeling. In an interview with The Knockturnal, the Mississippi native said, "I started modeling when I was 17, I would travel to New York during spring and summer breaks." Once he graduated high school, Dixon moved to New York. 

"I took a Greyhound bus from Memphis to New York, with $80 in my pocket. I lived in a hostel. It was rat-infested and roach-infested, but I was really determined. My parents weren't too happy," he told The Commercial Appeal. His goal was to continue modeling while pursuing a career in acting. Dixon admits that he struggled to book jobs but did not want to give up on acting.

His hard work paid off; in 2019, he was cast in "Dolemite is My Name." Dixon said (via The DeSoto Times-Tribune), "I think I got like 180 no's before I got that role." He added, "And then I had this one audition. It was like, you know what Akono? Just be you.' That instilled confidence in me. I went in to casting and then I found out a week later that they booked me."

Akono Dixon left school to pursue acting

While Akono Dixon is undoubtedly on his way to superstardom, it almost didn't happen. He told The Knockturnal that at some point, he left New York and went back to Mississippi. The Commercial Appeal reports that Dixon thought about pursuing a career in medicine (his father is a pharmacist) but he still couldn't let go of acting and, once again, left his home state for New York. Explaining his reasoning behind this decision, he told said, "One thing my father instilled in me was a firm belief in going after what you want."

Dixon has been a working actor ever since. Beyond starring in Hallmark films, the multi-talented performer, per The Knockturnal Times, has big plans for the future. Dixon said, "I hope to have been in 5 or 6 big major film and television shows that have caused an awakening in the human consciousness. I hope to have fully produced my feature film 'Caterpillar' which I've written and am starring in. And I also hope to be working with Marvel, portraying a superhero. I love Spiderman and Superman."

The future is bright for Dixon. According to IMDb, he has several projects in the works. Dixon is also teaching an acting class in August 2023 in Memphis, Tennessee.