Inside actor Danny Steele’s planet
Danny Steele is an award-nominated international actor and voiceover artist from London.
After working as a stand up comedian and improviser, Danny moved towards acting and has worked with many leading acting coaches in LA and London including Backstage winner Anthony Meindl, Crystal Carson (acting coach for Rachel Nichols, Paula Abdel, Jennifer Beals and other names), Ivana Chubbock (acting coach for Brad Pitt, Charlize Theron, Halle Berry and other leading names).
Danny continues to study at Anthony’s classes, where he is a masterclass student.
Danny has appeared in many independent films, including Two Rooms (opposite Rosie Day), played Floyd in the upcoming sci-fi feature Invasion Planet Earth, produced and played Richard in the comedy Cold Callers (for Amazon Prime), and was recently nominated for Best Actor in the Drama category by the LA Short Film Festival Awards for his role as Clyde in The Last Day.
Danny is currently working on the comedy Sentence as well as horror feature Creaks.
We were delighted to sit down with this emerging talent and chat acting, filmmaking and creativity.
Tell us about your history as an actor. How did you start your journey?
For several years I was into standup comedy and improvisation sketches, I worked as a standup and one day a guy came to a gig who was a radio producer. He asked me to present a weekend radio show which I did and took with me all the ideas I had from my comedy into the radio environment. I started training as an actor in 2013 and have never looked back.
Who are your current influences?
So many! Wonderful humans like Jeff Foster, Rebecca Campbell, Brene Brown influence me on a daily basis, I’m loving the work of JJ Abrams and looking forward to seeing The Rise of Skywalker film in December, the work of Risa Bramon Garcia and Steve Braun, what they do at the BGB studios is immense – and I get influenced by everything including kindness from strangers, people watching and my good friends and family.
What five TV shows do you think everyone should watch this year?
Here’s the thing: sometimes I find it difficult to keep up with shows, but I feel everyone should watch Big Little Lies, The Walking Dead (as who doesn’t like some zombies at the end of a hard day?), The Crown, Killing Eve and Chernobyl.
Cat or dog?
Um . . . both? A cat’s head with a dogs body – or is that too weird?
What was the one movie you saw that made you want to go into film?
The one film that made me want to be an actor would be Star Wars. I wanted to be Luke Skywalker (and still do).
Tell us about your career before you found film.
I originally trained as a Nurse. After that, I moved into a series of weird and wonderful jobs including barman, actors’ agent, and life coach. For several years I was into standup comedy and improvisation sketches.
How do you come up with your creative concepts?
I have to have a balance between giving myself what I need which could be time alone, meditation and mental space to write and study to meeting up with good friends and colleagues. I also find that for me, acting isn’t the end game – it’s a small part of who I am and I feel it’s more useful for me to think about how I can contribute to the wider community as a human, getting curious about myself and others.
What music inspires you to create?
As I’m writing this, I’m in a cafe on Hollywood and Vine and they are playing “Post Break Up Sex” by The Vaccines. Before that was David Bowie’s “Absolute Beginners” and before that was a medley of Fleetwood Mac, Kate Bush, and The Beatles. I work with everything from blaxploitation to ska, pop, rock and soul.
You’re very hands-on with your projects. How hard is it wearing all the hats?
For me it comes down to knowing that I’m enough to wear all the hats, knowing I can and do actually do it, trusting myself more and knowing that when I feel resistance to something, learning to give myself what I need in order to be able to do it.
What’s your next project?
I’ve submitted The Last Day to Toronto Independent Film festival as well as the London BFI Film Festival, so I’m looking forward to those.
What has been your biggest failure?
I fail everyday. I embrace failure and I no longer use it as a negative but a useful experience for growth.
What has been your biggest success?
Film wise, Invasion Planet Earth. Personally, training as a life coach and learning more about myself in the process.
Can we expect to see any episodic television from you anytime soon?
I hope so. I’m currently in Los Angeles and go back and forth to have meetings. Watch this space!
What’s your five-year plan?
I never really have a plan – I prefer to go where my passion is at the time.
What indie filmmakers should be on our radar?
I have to mention Simon Cox (the Director of Invasion Planet Earth), Giles Alderson, and Craig Griffith.
What’s your favorite film of all time, and what did you learn from it?
I get a lot from True Romance.
Who would compose the soundtrack of your life?
Yann Tierson or maybe John Williams or Hans Zimmer . . . they are pretty good, aren’t they?