Do you remember the first time we saw Daniel of The Kingdom? I do and I was so excited for what was to come by his very presence. Morgan looks a little hesitant but that handshake set into motion a wonderful partnership.
Source: Gene Page/AMC
Daniel is one of King Ezekiel‘s finest soldiers, usually found on any detail with the King. Of course, he fought valiantly to overcome the Saviors and Scavengers and save our Survivors.
Source: All three photos GenePage/AMC
Daniel Newman was kind enough to answer our Baker’s Dozen of questions. Keep reading about this fascinating and versatile actor.
Where were you born and where did you grow up?
I grew up in McDonough, a small farm town in South Georgia.
How did you get into acting and was it always your dream to become an actor?
I was obsessed with acting since I was a kid. I saw my dreams and fantasies on TV and in movies, and I wanted to escape my small town life. I’m pretty much Benjamin Button. I took a brief case to school at 10 years old, and I started mowing lawns and doing chores to make money, then I researched local photographers and booked my own head shot appointment. My mom got called, and she was like, “Why is a photographer calling me? He says you have a photo shoot appointment.” Haha. So I paid to get my head shots done, and I researched all the film productions going on in Georgia in industry papers. I got my mom or friends to drop me off on all the sets, and I would crash them illegally and pretend I was an extra, and I would join the extras and work all day, and at the end of the day they’d be paying people and they were like “Who are you? You’ve worked all day so I guess we have to pay you.” I also started a school newspaper, so while I was pretending to be an extra, I’d go up to the director and stars of the show and ask them to give me interviews for my school newspaper. They always agreed, so I made a lot of connections with big Hollywood stars and directors that way a lot, and got a ton of advice. After 3 extra jobs you’re SAG-eligible to join the union, so I did, and I researched the acting agencies and submitted a fake resume to them with my head shots and got signed. I’d warn anyone reading this though, I got away with all of this because I was a cute 11 year old kid. You’d probably get arrested if you’re an adult doing any of this stuff, breaking onto sets and stuff. Haha.. Just a warning. But then I got a local agent, did tons of work, and then signed with Macaulay Culkin’s agent in Los Angeles and moved there and started working. Then I moved back home, finished high school like a normal kid, did a program at Yale, and then took off to New York City and Europe.
What was your very first acting role?
I was an extra in I’ll Fly Away, and FLUKE, and my 1st speaking part was on 7th Heaven. I got so nervous I messed up my one line and they had to overdub some grown man’s voice on mine. Ha
How did you land the role of Daniel of the Kingdom?
I did tons of auditions for other roles over the years. I quit acting when I became the CEO of a tech company, and then 6 months later my agent called and said that Scott Gimple wanted me for a new role. I said I couldn’t audition since I was working, and they said, “No, it’s not an audition, they love you and are giving you the role.” I was so excited I knew I would just have to make it work with my company. It’s been intense balancing both schedules but I’m loving it.
Were you a The Walking Dead fan before landing the role?
What are your thoughts on King Ezekiel and Shiva?
My KING! Shiva is so cool.
What has been your favorite acting role?
Probably this one. It’s incredible that it has an effect on millions of people globally. People tell me they hate their family, but every Sunday night is the one time they all gather to watch the show. That’s incredible.
Who are your heroes, your inspirations?
I love leaders in industries and humanitarians. Fighters for equality, technology, medicine, prosperity for humanity. People that put their lives on the line and work their asses off daily to make a difference in the world for other people. Whether they’re famous revolutionary icons, or even teachers, builders, soldiers, and cops spending every day in uncomfortable situations for the good of their communities, building prosperity for everyone. So…I don’t necessarily put actors on a pedestal like a lot of other actors do. I actually think actors are more utilitarian, but seeing as though it’s something like 85% of all “Working” employed SAG Union actors make less than $5,000 per year, and maybe 1 out of 100 actors ever even gets to be in the union or get signed to an agent or employed in TV and film, I would never advise anyone to do acting. It’s an art. You’ve got to go into it knowing you’re never going to make money, and it’s not a career, it’s purely for the enjoyment of the art. I’m lucky I won the lottery and work so much. I’m a part of the .01% of actors. So I’m well aware this is not normal. I think I heard statistically way more people win the mega lottery than actors that can retire from acting. That’s insane.
Do you actually ride a horse? Have you always ridden?
I grew up owning a horse and riding tons at our stables.
Did you do anything special to prepare for the role?
Tons of preparation and training. Like any job, just learn your craft and study, practice, work. I like Meisner and Esper’s techniques.
Were there any funny or memorable behind the scene moments you experienced?
A horse got spooked and destroyed our scene. It’s only funny since no one got hurt, but growing up with horses I warned everyone “this horse is Not Okay. It’s not fit to be on set.” No one listened. It wasn’t trained to deal with harnesses and pulling carriages. Then they hooked it up, and put me next to it and I warned everyone when I saw its eyes and the way it was breathing, “This horse should not be doing this scene. It’s about to bolt.” The horse trainer is awesome and I love them, but on a set with 200 people and tons of things happening all at once, no one listened to me. We started the scene and the buggy was fastened onto the horse and when we started to move the horse felt it and started to buck and go wild, then took off towards the camera and crew and everyone jumped out of the way and it took off dragging everything across all the people. Fortunately, no one got hurt and the horse turned the other direction at the last minute and flipped the buggy. So the funny part was we cut the scene and just cut to the Walkers eating the horse in the next scene. Fun. Scary, but interesting.
Do you have any new acting roles in your future?
I’m loving filming this show. I hope you guys come to love my character! Next season is huge and amazing!
Is there anything you can tell all us fans about yourself that we don’t know?
You’d have to ask. I’m an open book! I love you guys and can’t believe there are millions of people following me on social media. Message me on www.twitter.com/DanielNewman and www.instagram.com/DanielNewman and I’ll reply. Thanks again; I’m so grateful to you guys!
Daniel has had the most interesting life! I can’t wait to see what Season 8 will bring for our Kingdom soldier. Until October, I’ll just leave this here for all you fans to dream over. Isn’t he just the cutest thing you ever did see with those dreamy eyes? I hope you’ll be watching for Daniel with me, @sassypoo.