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Raised in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Ian Nelson began his career at an early age as an actor, singer, and dancer. His screen debut came in a featured role in the blockbuster Lionsgate film THE HUNGER GAMES. He then starred in the independent film MEDEAS directed by Andrea Pallaoro which premiered at the Venice Film Festival. Nelson next played a recurring arc as the young Derek Hale in the hit MTV television series TEEN WOLF. Soon thereafter, in 2014, he played Vincent D'Onofrio's son in David Dobkin's feature THE JUDGE for Warner Bros. starring Robert Downey Jr. and Robert Duvall, followed by Relativity’s THE BEST OF ME with James Marsden and Michelle Monaghan. Nelson kept up the momentum by booking the lead in Universal/Blumhouse’s 2015 thriller THE BOY NEXT DOOR opposite Jennifer Lopez.
In the TV realm, his guest star credits include CBS’s CRIMINAL MINDS, TNT’s LEGENDS, IFC’s COMEDY BANG BANG, and LAW & ORDER: SVU on NBC. He also appeared as a lead in Fullscreen’s THE DELETED directed by Brett Easton Ellis.
Most recently, Nelson was seen in the films LIKE ME opposite Addison Timlin, which premiered at SXSW, and Trudie Styler's FREAK SHOW with Bette Midler that debuted at the Berlin Film Festival and was distributed by IFC. He also wrote, produced, and directed his first short film, PICTURE WINDOW. On the TV side, Nelson starred in the Hulu pilot LESS THAN ZERO and can currently be seen on NETFLIX in Joseph Cross’ SUMMER NIGHT opposite Victoria Justice. He can also be seen in the lead role on Peacock’s THERE’S JOHNNY and as a lead in Inon Shampanier's coming-of-age indie PAPER SPIDERS.
Next up, Nelson will play opposite Joey King in CAMP. In addition to his acting, writing, and producing, Nelson is currently recording his debut album.