Making the move to directing is challenging says Amboyer
Dan Amboyer was another Hollywood hunk playing the quintessential charming stud on the hit comedy-drama series Younger alongside Hilary Duff, and living another life off screen, until he married his long-time partner, Eric Philip Berger, in October 2017, when he simultaneously came out to the world.
In a move that many mainstream actors would regard as potentially damaging to their career, Dan Amboyer only propelled forward with continued appearances on Younger in conjunction with roles on The Blacklist: Redemption, Blue Bloods, Tell Me a Story and various television films. This year, Amboyer made his directorial debut in the critically acclaimed off-Broadway play Whirlwind, which challenges what it means to be eco-friendly in addition to highlighting the politics of mixing business with pleasure.
What is the transition like going from acting on screen for so long to working behind the scenes in theatre?
Dan Amboyer: It is great. I feel like this has been a natural progression because, as an actor, you have to direct yourself most of the time. In television, often times you don’t receive any direction at all, as the focus is primarily on moving cameras, the photography, etc. Fortunately, over the years I’ve had the opportunity to work with fantastic directors in both television and theatre. I grew up loving the Royal Shakespeare Company and getting to work with their directors has truly educated me.
Is directing a field you would like to grow with long-term or was Whirlwind more of an experimental venture?
DA: This is something I’ve always wanted to do, however, I always thought it would come along further down my career path merely because, as an actor you have to be somewhat tunnel-minded and focused on constantly hammering to get anywhere. Essentially, you don’t want to scatter yourself because you risk everything dissipating from there. I always wanted to accomplish what I set out for within the acting world before I began dabbling and directing. However, when the opportunity came to me, and when someone says, “Hey I have this play, I have a theatre that wants to produce it, do you want to do it?” … It is a no brainer.
Has anyone from the cast of Younger or any of the other projects you worked on come out to support you?
DA: Nico Tortorella and Debi Mazar have been really supportive. Nico and I actually did a workshop of the play approximately two years ago. It was fun to have him back and for us to witness this project come full circle.
Are you going to reemerge on Younger?
DA: We will see what happens. My storyline was left open ended, and since, there has always been talk that I will come back. It is interesting because the show has grown considerably and gone on an entirely different path from season to season. I loved the challenge of playing Thad Weber for two full seasons, then being killed off and coming back as his twin, Chad Weber. If it serves the show and there is a way to integrate, I’ll definitely be back.
You recently tied the knot to long-time partner and financial advisor Eric Philip Berger. Describe married life?
DA: It is good! We have been together for 11 years and have been living together for 10 years. Thus, we have been kind of established for a long time now, yet there is a renewed energy when you say “I do.” The actual wedding is such a beautiful experience which provides such a positive boost to the relationship. If you are lucky enough to have families who are as supportive as we do it, is a magical experience. Today, we are settled in Park Slope and living the life which has been really great. We are both juggling busy careers, and all these years later, still do not take each other for granted. Every chance we have to be with one another we sincerely relish.
As an actor, is it challenging to consistently play heterosexual characters?
DA: As it is, I’ve been cast in many romantic storylines. I would love the opportunity to portray a gay character because I am so used to playing a role where I am romantically involved with a female where I have to go to myself “what is my substitution” in order to get into it. On the flipside, there is a safety net in that women know I am not going to cross the line, and in turn, feel more comfortable with me knowing they can get more into character without having to be concerned with a potential awkward factor. It would be fun to be in a coming of age project which spoke to gay youth.
Today, we are witnessing many actors getting involved with reality television, a move which was previously criticized prior to it becoming such a major platform. Would you be opposed to making the move? Do you feel reality television diminishes an actor’s reputation in terms of being taken seriously within the industry?
DA: There was a project in development by the same producers of the Real Housewives franchise for a gay variation of the series. They approached me about a year ago as they believed I would be great for it, however, I declined. I also got approached for Finding Prince Charming. It would have to be pretty special for me to say yes to reality TV, albeit I would definitely be a guest on RuPaul’s Drag Race (laughs).
What can we expect from you next?
DA: In 2018 alone, I worked on a plethora of television projects including the movies Faith Under Fire, The Wrong Son and Country Christmas Album in conjunction with appearances on the television series Tell Me a Story and Blue Bloods. Recently, I have been taking a different approach through rediscovering what I enjoy doing, what I am most passionate about and ultimately recalibrating to focus on what I love most. I have started being more selective in what I do. Right now it’s pilot season, and the difference between then and now is that I actually read the script before I audition (laughs). Not everything is Younger, and I want to find a project just as special.