Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Exclusive Interview With Actor, Danny Williams

Casting for the film adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey is the single hottest topic around Hollywood. Worldwide, the excitement is spreading like wildfire through the media outlets.. While the roles of Christian and Ana are naturally receiving the most attention, there are a few supporting roles that are just as pivotal in bringing the story to life on the big screen.

One of those supporting roles is the part of Jose Rodriguez, who is Anastasia Steele’s best friend. We think we found a guy who would be perfect for the part. Danny Williams, is a twenty-two year old actor, who wants the role. After interviewing him, we are convinced he’d be great..

Last month, Danny talked to Fifty Shades Film in an exclusive interview, to discuss his career and his desire to bring the Jose to life in the film adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey.

Currently residing in Atlanta, Georgia, Danny is busy utilizing his talents across a wide range of activities. He is an actor, a stunt double and a college student. And, as if that’s not enough, he’s also an on-air personality for The Ken Coleman Show, a popular Atlanta based radio show that was recently in the news after the President of Chick-fil-A made controversial statements.

You've seen Danny on the very popular BET show, ‘The Game’ and in episodes of the hit series, ‘Supernatural’. He’s been in several independent films, in multiple commercials and was a stunt double on the set of The Vampire Diaries. Most recently, he had a role in the blockbuster movie, ‘Trouble with the Curve’

He was born in the Dominican Republic to an American father and a Dominican mother. Both of his parents are educators, his father has his doctorate and his mother is currently working on getting hers. Quitting college to focus on his acting career probably wasn't their ideal path for him, but at the young age of twenty-two, he's quite accomplished. Recently he decided to go back to college, adding a few classes into his already overwhelming schedule. We were very fortunate that he was able to fit an hour in to talk to us about his career and his desire to play Jose, in the film adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey

The day we talked to Danny, he had just finished an audition for a commercial. Of course, he had no idea of what the outcome of his morning audition would be, but he was extremely hopeful and in great spirits. His upbeat, carefree personality, positive outlook and humor are absolutely infectious. Always the entertainer, Danny was ‘on’ from the moment we started the interview to the moment we ended .. With his witty animated answers, even serenading us with his Mariachi rendition of the Twilight song Flightless Bird, he had us laughing through the entire interview.

How did he audition go, Danny?

“I nailed it,’ he boomed, with comfortable ease and confident laughter. “Really, you never know with these things,” he answered slightly more serious. ”It’s call backs and wait and see in the business,” his answer is laced with experience and a grin that we can practically see beaming through the phone.

How did your parents feel about you quitting college to go pursue an acting career?

“They are supportive, but they want me to do both.”
You actually went back to school though, correct?

“Yes, it’s going to be tough, but I’ll fit it in somewhere. My dad has his doctorate and my mom is working on hers. They are Nazis Gestapo’s about my education,” Danny jokes as he explains. “My father always told me, ‘no one can take a diploma away from you’. My father is a Professor. He was a Spanish teacher at the high school I went to, he was always there, making sure I did well. My mother is an educator as well, they have strong feelings about getting an education, but they are always supportive. I played baseball in high school. I’ve been playing baseball since I could walk. They thought I’d be a baseball player.” 

What position did you play?

“Second base and shortstop,” he answers, the love of the game evident in his voice. “Baseball’s big in the Dominican Republic. I played in the summer leagues that draft to Major League Baseball. Everyone thought I would be a baseball player. My friends were all baseball players, my best friend plays for the Tampa Bay Rays. It’s funny because he can speak almost as much Spanish as me, being around all of the Dominican players.”

When did you decide you wanted to become an actor instead of a baseball player or an educator like your parents?

“I don’t want to say it was rebellion but…” he hesitates. “I was looking for my purpose in life, what I was supposed to do, who I should be. I got on my knees and starting praying asking God to show me the man I’m supposed to be,” he says candidly.

“My friends were always telling me I was funny, and that I should be an actor. Like I could cry at chick-flicks and stuff… not that I was just going around crying all the time with my boys,” he laughs. “But I could do it, whenever I wanted. People just kept coming up to me telling me I should do it, be an actor. When you pray on something, things just start turning your way. I looked back on what I was asking God, and the things I was talking to myself about and I decided to go for it.”

"I went to one of those big churches, like the really big ones, with over ten thousand people. I went to audition for the churches actor’s team. I felt it would be somewhere to start. Little did I know that hundreds came out but they choose twelve and I was blessed to be one of them. After being on the team, I made connections with the best in town, who were represented by a fantastic agent, Joy Pervis. He is recognized in the film and TV industry for discovering, representing, and/or bringing to the forefront, some of today’s top stars; Dakota Fanning, Raven Symone, Maggie and Elizabeth Jones, Elle Fanning, Kyle Massey, and Lucas Till to name a few. In this scenario why shoot for the stars when there are foot prints on the moon? So I went for the best and they loved my Latino American heritage. It just took off. Right after I decided I wanted to become an actor, they started filming ‘The Vampire Diaries’ here. Since then, every single production is here now. ‘The Hunger Games’ filmed right by my house, arrows were practically flying into my backyard,’ he teases. “It’s been amazing and it’s been a journey. I've been very blessed. Next up, Jose in Fifty Shades!” 

How did you end up going from wanting to be an actor to becoming a radio personality with Ken Coleman? And so quickly, since you’re only twenty-two years old?

“I can’t put into words how blessed I am.” The earnestness in his voice makes us believe he’s sincere. “I was Ken Coleman’s assistant. He is an A-list interviewer and I was traveling with him. He told me I should intern so I did. I do social media for the show, and worked up to becoming a co-host. It’s been so great.”

In the weeks leading up to this interview, we asked our Twitter and Facebook followers to send in their questions for Danny.

“Bring it on, what do you have for me?” he asks, giving us the sense he truly enjoys a challenge.

Amanda from Texas asked, “How did you hear about Fifty Shades of Grey? Did you hear about book first and decide you wanted the role, or did you hear about the role, and then read the books?”

“I was driving back from the beach with my girlfriend and she was talking to me about this new book Fifty Shades of Grey. I told her to just read it to me. She started reading it to me on the eight hour drive home. I wanted to just keep driving to keep hearing the rest of the book. I would have kept driving around the world to hear more. When I heard about Jose, I really wanted to know about him. My girlfriend kept trying to read, but I was like, ‘wait go back to the part about Jose. What color are his eyes, his hair, how tall is he, what’s his background, is he Latino?’ When we got home . I was stealing her Nook to keep reading it. I finally went to Barnes and Noble and bought my own books. I knew they would make a movie because they were that great. Everyone on the block was saying ‘Laters Baby’ and I thought, ‘who is this baby guy?’ When I read about the part of Jose, I just knew… this is me. He even says ‘dios mio’, just like me! I’ve been saying that since I was in the crib.”

@MediaSageJen from New Hampshire asked, “ In Fifty Shades of Grey, Jose loves Ana but will never be anymore than a friend to her. Has this ever happened to you in your life?”

“Actually with the current girl I’m with now, she never wanted to be more than friends. But I had more swag than Jose and I got the girl,” Danny says proudly.” If I was Jose, I would have made it work with Ana. I’m a Latin lover. I’d do it the Menudo way, speak Spanish to her. I use Spanish soap operas to get my Rico Suave down,” he says in a dramatic Latin accent. “I’d cook for her, make her some rice and beans, have sex on the beach… but not with all those chains, and whips and stuff,” he laughs. “No, really if you love her you’re going to get her.”
@IamHeatherlewis from Louisiana wants to know,”Who do you see playing the role of Ana since Jose has such a big crush on her? Also who would he like to see play Christian?”

“Uhh, it’s … uh… wow, this is hard to say because no matter what I say someone will want someone else to be Ana, or someone else to be Christian, you know? It’s hard.”
Yes, we know, we interjected, sympathizing with him. It’s very difficult. As a fansite, people ask us this questions everyday.

“Exactly, I don’t want to say anyone, because I don’t want people to think ‘oh, he doesn't want that guy… ,” he tries to explain. “But, honestly I think probably Ian Somerhalder, because I know the guy from Vampire Diaries. I think he’d be the best bet. One, because I have a semi-connection to him, since I met him… and two, he’s a sexy guy,’ he laughs. “I was doing stunts for Tyler [on the TVD set], because we’re the same height and everything. Ian walks in the room and I’m like, ‘oh my god, like I’m a dude, and I’m straight, and I’m looking at this guy like, ‘Whoa, the guy is hot’, and I’m sweatin’!” he exclaims animatedly, laughter erupting throughout the room from all of us at Danny’s joke. 

“But the same thing with Henry Cavill, I mean you look at Henry and he’s Superman, in this huge role… he’s an attractive guy, but the question is, will he drop your jaw when he walks in the room? Like Matt Bomer would, for sure, for sure,” Danny adds. “I like him as well, but I think Ian has this suave and swoon, and he can be cold. But really, I want whoever is more true to the books, whether it’s a celebrity or not a celebrity. It has to stay true to E.L. James. It won’t do it justice. For the true Fifty Fans, it has to be perfect. I feel like the majority of the fans have read the book with whoever they want in mind. Obviously, when I read Jose, I was picturing me. I was getting shut down and denied like, ‘dang it, Ana dumped me again, what the crap?! It’s the same with these girls reading the book like ‘OMG Ian… or Matt… or Chris …or whoever. Some girls might even picture Edward Cullen, you never know.”