Call Answered: Daniel Franzese: “YASS! YOU’RE AMAZING!” at The Laurie Beechman Theatre
HBO's Looking was one of my favorite shows. In season two, one of the new characters introduced to us was "Eddie," played by Daniel Franzese. I immediately adored "Eddie." He had one of the biggest hearts I'd had ever seen and lived his truth no matter what anyone thought of him.
Now, Daniel is bringing his one-man show YASS! YOU'RE AMAZING to The Laurie Beechman Theatre. In this show, Daniel captures his amazing and quirky life in the entertainment industry, as well as hilarious stories about his Italian parents and their relationship with his new fiancée. Learn about his bilingual dog, if penguins have knees, his fear of Pompeii and a hilarious look on life in his new show.
YASS! YOU'RE AMAZING will play for one night only at The Laurie Beechman Theatre on April 11 at 7pm! (407 West 42nd Street, between 9th & 10th Avenue). Click here for tickets!
1. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? When I was just learning how to talk I lived in Brooklyn on the same block as almost all my relatives. My grandfather has 12 brothers and a sister and they almost all lived on the same street with their families. So if I learned a song or a joke I would perform what I call “The Coffee Table Circuit” haha. I learned very young that I was good at entertaining people and it brought me great joy. My grandmother and dad loved old school comedy. Sid Caesar, Jerry and Dean, Ernie Kovacks, and Jackie Gleason were all staples in our house. So that’s where it all came from.
2. This April you are bringing your one man show YASS! YOU’RE AMAZING! to the Laurie Beechman Theatre. What made now the right to premiere this show? I’ve been touring colleges and clubs all year and waiting for the right moment to bring the show to NYC. I love springtime in NY and it’s the northeast portion of my tour, so it all just fell into place.
3. This show, captures your amazing and quirky life in the entertainment industry. For starters, what is the quirkiest role you felt you have done thus far in your career? Yikes ummm there’s a few I’m glad never made the light of day but the weirdest thing was playing "Tirisius The Rat" at the end of Party Monster. Like three years before I was the "Templeton," the rat in a children’s theater production of Charlotte’s Web in South Florida and my entrance was under the stage through a trap door. I would die under the lights and lay there sweating in the August heat waiting for the kids to fill the theater. Flash forward and I’m filming a movie in a similar fur costume with five people fanning me between takes and holding my water as I sip it. I was like “Okay. Shit is changing now.“ lol
4. Since the show is called YASS! YOU'RE AMAZING what do you feel is your most amazing quality? Gratitude. I’m so grateful for all the amazing things and people around me. I’ve learned to really soak up gratitude. That and I’m really good at Nintendo.
5. What do you hope audiences with come away with after seeing your new show? A larger vocabulary than just using the word amazing. I use that word to bring to light how it’s the most overused and misused word in our slang these days. Not everything is amazing.
6. In this show you also tell hilarious stories about your Italian parents and their relationship with your new fiancée. You proposed to your fiancée after 2 years of dating. What was the moment you knew he was the one? Honestly, I was sure almost right away. He has such a gentle and giving heart. When my mom was visiting, I was called to work and she was injured, he hardly knew her but stayed with her and took care of her all day for a whole weekend. I was like damn he’s not only beautiful, he’s so caring. I was addicted to him in the best way.
6a. How long into the relationship was that? Less than a month.
6b. What is the best part about being with him? How selfless and kind he is. He gets embarrassed when I talk about it but I will give you an example. When his birthday came around I wanted to do something really special like a trip or a huge dinner and he asked I use that money to organize everyone to feed the homeless. So 20 of his friends and I got together with The West Hollywood Food Coalition and fed the homeless on his birthday. He’s always surprising me.
6c. What is the most challenging part about being with him? Being on tour is tough. He’s also a really dedicated dancer. So even when I am home we have different schedules. He dances all day, and at night, I’m usually doing stand up. That’s why we vacation and escape as often as we can.
7. You are widely known for playing "Damian" in the film version of Mean Girls. Looking back, what was that experience like for you? If you were to play him today, would you portray him the same or are there any changes you would make to your depiction of him? It was life changing in good and bad ways, but I wouldn’t do anything different.
8. My personal favorite role of yours, so far, was that of "Eddie" on HBO's Looking. What is one story you can share with us about playing "Eddie" that you have not talked about in a previous interview? Well I don’t think I’ve ever played a character that sexual before. On my first day we shot the skinny dipping scene and it was freezing and they had warm shower trailers for us in between takes and I remember working with Frankie J Alvarez who is such a sweet guy. Straight and married and an incredible actor but it was kinda like "Hello, Nice to meet you. Let’s go shower and act naked." Haha. Very awkward.
8a. What is one characteristic of "Eddie's" you are glad you yourself don't possess? "Eddie" doesn’t have a filter. He says whatever he wants. For him it’s a blessing, for me it would be a curse.
9. What has being activist for both the LGBT community and HIV/AIDS given you that no acting role could ever provide? Humanity. Hearing stories of so many people and really putting faces to the causes I fight for has humbled me and given me so much insight to people and their lives. In Hollywood, everyone is doing great on Instagram.
10. I have a segment to my interviews called 'I Can See Clearly Now," where I try to clear up misconceptions about people. What is the biggest misconception out there about yourself that you would like to clear up here and now? No, I didn’t go to high school with you. (Unless I did)
More on Daniel:
In addition to Mean Girls and Looking, Daniel Franzese has also co-starred on TV shows including Freeform’s Recovery Road and ABC’s Conviction as well as movies like Bully and I Spit On Your Grave. He has cracked us up on everything from The Comeback to Party Down, as well as his YouTube viral smash Sh*t Italian Moms Say (which has racked up over 5 million views). And, of course, you loved him as "Santa" opposite Alaska, Courtney Act and Willam in the AAA Girls’ Dear Santa, Bring Me A Man video. But now come and see him as you’ve never seen him before -- with a no holds barred hot microphone!