A decade after his debut in ‘Mean Girls’, Daniel Franzese is all grown up and ready to take TV by storm in his role as Eddie on HBO’s ‘Looking’. Jane Casey chats to Daniel about the HBO drama, life after his role as Damian in ‘Mean Girls’ and his decision to come out publicly last year.
Though Damian was out and proud, you only came out last year. What prompted you to come out the way you did?
It’s something that has been looming over me for quite sometime. Whenever I would talk about it with colleagues, friends and family it never seemed like a priority to anyone that I came out. When Mean Girls began its 10th anniversary year more and more people began writing me and letting me know what an impact Damian had on them. It seemed fitting and honorable to finally come out to the fans. They were so inspiring. I had to.
How has your life, both personally and professionally, changed since coming out?
Well the best thing about being out is not having to hold back on certain jokes. Haha! I feel free to be me. The reception has been great.
You were in the closet when playing Damian , did you have any concerns or hesitation when taking such an overtly gay role?
Yes I was terrified. Of what people would think, what it would do to my career..what my Dad would say. It was such a good script and I knew I had to do it. I just took a leap of faith.
What’s the ‘Mean Girl’ quote that you get the most from strangers?
“She doesn’t even go here” and “You go Glen Coco” are a close tie. It doesn’t bother me at all. I love my #danfranfans – they can do no wrong. Just depends the time and place.I had no idea that the movie would become such a cult classic. I don’t think anyone could’ve planned for what it has become!
If you were a plastic, which one would you be and why?
I think Damian is the boy plastic In a way. If he were a girl he would go do the dark pink side.
What was it like working with Tina Fey, one of the funniest women in the business?
She’s a lovely, funny, down to earth person. I adore her.
If there was to be another sequel to ‘Mean Girls’ with all the original cast, would you do it?
Totally. If not just for the fans. They would love it. We have crazy schedules but I love it when [the cast] get to see each other.
HBO’s Looking season two just premiered last week. What can you tell us about your character Eddie?
Eddie is this really funny and sweet dude who works at a homeless shelter that supports gay and trans teens. He is sober and also happens to be HIV positive.
You are kind of a jack of all trades. Between comedy, acting and music – which do you like best?
I just love performing. I’m addicted to it. There’s nothing like a live audience though.
What is next to tick off your career bucket list?
I wanna record an album.
Daniel can be found on Twitter, Instagram and tumblr – @whatsupdanny.
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