Daniel Letterle stars in the summer indie feel-good flick Camp, a hilarious, showstopping, heartwarming story about a group of misfit teens learning to be themselves at a camp for talented teens. Daniel plays Vlad, the one certifiable straight male at the camp who has all the girls (and guys) swooning. We caught up with Daniel recently in New York City, where he lives.
How did you know you wanted to be an actor?
I knew I was interested in the arts when I was little, but I didn't know the specifics. I mostly played sports, but began dabbling in theater. When graduation time came I figured, what the hell, why not move to New York?
What was it like moving to New York as a teenager?
Moving to New York at 17 was very hard. Being from a small town in Ohio, it was a huge adjustment. I didn't know what to do with my time. I had no friends and a crazy roommate. One night I decided to go roller skating! It was something I did as a child, I'm sure I did it to find some comfort. I found a rink in the Bronx. I was so proud to get there on the subway. I got jumped, but it was kinda fun -- sort of like being baptized. The city was a big adventure. A few years later, I can finally say "I love New York." I encourage every young person to live here, at least for a spell.
How did you come to be cast in Camp?
Getting cast in Camp was pretty rough. I started out as a chorus boy in New York. First I did dinner theater, then I danced in Europe and had the best time of my life, and then I quit. I wanted to act, which is a whole different game to play. Bernard Telsey (the casting director of Camp) had my info from chorus boy days. They called me in, and I auditioned for two weeks, full days. It was exhausting. I really wanted the part. They were going to tell me before the weekend; they didn't. I fell down the subway stairs that Friday night and had to go to the hospital -- it was a real low point (my friends refer to it still as 'Bloody Friday'). Then they called on Tuesday to offer me the part. I said maybe.
What's your next project?
I feel like I could retire! But no, I will stay the course. I'm an actor. That means I audition till I die, and fight to keep this ship afloat. There are projects I'm writing -- it will be a task to get them picked up. Todd [Graf, the director of Camp] is writing something now that is really exciting. He's got the muscles, and I hope we will be shooting in the upcoming months.
Who are some of your favorite actors?
I love Tom Hanks, Barbara Barrie, Jack Nicholson and Toni Colette.
Are you dating anyone?
Yes, I'm going steady with a super girl right now, and I'm going to try to pin her.