The star of Younger and TV Lands is enjoying life as a new father and working on his new web series, Vicious Mannies. He shared with us his new projects, married life, and family life during quarantine.
Was acting always in your vision or something you fell into?
There was a time when I wanted to be a clown with Ringling Brothers. Seriously. I applied to their official Clown College and was rejected. Granted, I was 7, but it still was a bitter sting. No, but really, I always wanted to be an actor or veterinarian. I never set out seeking fame, or even to necessarily do TV or film. I think I could have been happy to scrape by working with a cool theatre company in the Midwest. I fell in love with the art first, and also the amazing community that comes along with working in it. I feel very lucky to get to act in great projects now with passionate collaborators and to travel the world. And I satisfy my animal-loving side by keeping a small menagerie at home of two cats and an adopted parrot!
Tell us about your new web series, “Vicious Mannies.”
“Vicious Mannies” comes from the witty gritty minds of Grant Sloss and Aaron Hartzler. Grant produced and wrote several of my “Younger” episodes, and he just constantly makes me laugh in real life. I also had already read a gay YA novel Aaron wrote, so I was chuffed to be invited into the “Mannies” sandbox with them both. The show is about 3 unlikely “Mannies” in Los Angeles that are a bit down on their luck - their adventures. It also stars Rex Lee from Entourage. It’s just a damn smart and funny nibble of a series. Each episode is under 10 minutes and on YouTube.
How are you finding the balance between fatherhood and your career?
Theodore was just born in December, and he came a few weeks early—actually on the day I was supposed to fly out of town to start work on a film! It was a crash course in fatherhood and choices. I boarded a different plane going in the opposite direction, had to pull out of the film. It was pretty rough. But I was at the hospital waiting for Teddy’s arrival within a few hours. I wouldn’t have given that up for anything. I intended to take a few months off to be with him. Now those few months have turned into another few months or so, given our health crisis. I’m thankful to have this time with him, without the constant pressure of running around New York or traveling to a set somewhere in who knows where. Happy to have this time to bond, to be present. But I also can’t wait to get back to work and have Teddy on set!
How are you handling being so close-knit during this time of the pandemic?
We are in week seven of isolation, sheltering in a little cabin we have up in the Catskill Mountains. We haven’t seen another human in over a month. My husband, Eric, is still working full time from home, so Teddy and I have commenced his music education with some old records. We do hikes and basically just live that homemaker fantasy life I didn’t know I needed. Teddy is pure love and joy and beauty. But I also crash hard at the end of every day. I used to be a night owl, but now I’m up with Teddy by 5:45 am each day!
What are some of your other upcoming projects?
During this pandemic, my friend, Jordan Dean, reached out to me and my friend, Kersti Bryan, with an idea for a project: to get loving and joyful messages of gratitude and song to front line medical workers in NYC, to add a little light to their very challenging days. Jordan nearly died last year, and the crew at Mount Sinai saved his life, so this was his idea to give back. Mount Sinai got on board with our project, which we named Songs for Mount Sinai, and we just launched. The videos are used widely in the hospital’s internal monitors and network of 42,000 employees, but anyone can also watch online. Messages of thanks, poems, songs, dances, etc. Broadway legends like Victor Garber and Audra McDonald to TV folk like Melissa Joan Hart, and some amazing performance artists mixed in too. 15 eclectic new videos every week, and you can find more out at @cleardayproject or our website www.cleardayproject.org. of, it will allow others to see and have a perspective of what is possible and what love is. I think sharing our stories, allows others to look at themselves and see what inspires them to take the plunge in creating a family or go on a date, and know that there are married couples out there. P&E - Teresa Robinson
Follow Dan on Instagram at @danamboyer.
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