Recently, I was watching a Hallmark film called All Yours, and I was genuinely captivated by the male lead, Dan Payne. Up to this point, I was unfamiliar with his works, but as a result of careful research, I discovered he was also joining the cast of Good Witch this season, which just added to my desire to interview him. When he agreed to answer a few questions, I was ecstatic as he talked about most things Hallmark as well as a few other pragmatic details.
What inspired you to become an actor?
I was very fortunate to have my first real career as a pro athlete playing volleyball in Holland. I absolutely loved performing and playing a sport I was passionate about in front of a responsive crowd! I remember that when I was fully engaged in a game that the rest of the world disappeared. When I chose to walk away from that career, I still yearned for that feeling, and I missed the pressure of performing and the audience. My brother and I had always dreamed of making movies together, so the day after I “retired,” I called my brother, who was living in Australia. We decided to start that path together. We created comedy shows for the resort islands in the Whitsundays and wrote together. It made for some of the most amazing memories! After a few years, I moved to the UK to pursue acting the “old school” way by getting an agent and getting on the audition trail. I took a lot of “weekend warrior type” acting classes and seminars, but a lot of learning came through trial by fire. Once I felt I had achieved enough credits and experience, I decided to come “home” and hit the ground running!
As you have appeared in several Hallmark projects, how would you describe your experience working with the brand?
Hallmark has been amazing to me. They have been extremely supportive and continue to be. I am grateful because they make movies that everyone can watch. The whole family can sit down and enjoy any movie they make. The stories almost always center around family, friendship and love – in a word “connection.” And connection for me is like a life force …so its a good combo! One specific moment from a past experience I can remember is working with Daphne Zuniga and getting to meet and work with Faye Dunaway (on A Family Thanksgiving)!
Concerning All Yours, what was that experience like?
The role on All Yours was ….well, me! At least I like to think it was very close to “me.” The kids, Genea [Charpentier] and Kiefer [O’Reilly], were a blast. We had tons of fun and a whole lot of laughs. Jayne Eastwood [who played Vivian] is beyond hilarious and such a beautiful human being, and I was honored to work with her. Nicollette Sheridan is a force. She is a stunning, powerful woman who knows what she wants and how to make things happen. I learned a great deal working with her and enjoyed every minute! When do we shoot All Yours 2?
How did you get involved with Good Witch? What can you tell us about your role without giving away too much?
The Good Witch was one of the fortunate experiences of a booking from a taped audition. My agent called with the audition and asked if I wanted to do it. When I read it, I felt like I knew the character very well and was excited to put my hat in the ring. I am very grateful that Jon, Kim and Raff (the producers) and Hallmark liked what I did. It was a tremendous pleasure shooting with Catherine Bell and Jamie Denton. All I can say is, things may get complicated when an old flame interrupts a budding relationship.
What was it like working with the cast of Good Witch?
The cast of Good Witch is a tight knit group that knows each other very well. They work extremely well together and are, at the same time, very, very welcoming to newcomers! The tone of the set is an upbeat and family-like one. I felt at home almost immediately. The producers and directors are so talented and so conscious about keeping things rolling in the right way. I would love to be back there if the storylines permit it!
Any other upcoming works you can mention?
I wrapped another Hallmark movie KAREN KINGSBURY’s A Time to Dance which airs on May 15th with Jennie Garth and Corbin Bernsen. It was a fairly intense journey into some darker emotions to find the light again, and I appreciated taking that trip with Jennie Garth to confide in and work with. And I just wrapped a thriller called The Plateau with Robin Dunne (who is hilarious!). It is the story of two brothers who go on a hunting trip that goes sideways. I can’t wait for people to see it as well. That character is a slight departure from some of my more recent work. I enjoyed indulging in that world for a while!
Any thoughts or plans to write, direct, or produce in the future?
I have written a pilot for a comedy series I would like to star in! Just looking to find a home for it. I am intrigued by and look forward to trying my hand at all aspects of the industry. I love my job and as I say, “every day in a set is a great day.”
What do you like to do in your free time?
I love hanging out with my family and playing with my kids. Best to do it now because it won’t be too long before they are bigger than me and kicking my butt at everything….scary thought! In my own free time, I play hockey whenever I can. I absolutely love hockey. And as the kids get older, I hope to travel more and more. In the meantime, I want to work!
Upon digesting Dan’s clever and concise responses, I found myself growing to admire him even more as an actor and a human being. He has a distinct presence every time he is on the screen, and now I know a little more about his mindset and background, which just causes me to admire his naturally flawless ability and instant “likability factor” on the screen. Be sure to check out all of his current works, including Good Witch, which airs on the Hallmark Channel on Sunday evenings, and the premiere of A Time to Dance this Sunday on the Hallmark Mysteries & Movies Channel. (Actually, this Sunday, Dan will be appearing on both networks at the same time, so this would be the time to use those DVR’s to their full benefit.)
Also, don’t forget to follow this phenomenal guy on the links below lest you miss any of his updates!
Twitter – @actorDanPayne
Instagram – actorDanPayne
Website – www.dan-payne.comInterested in subscribing to all my site's updates? Subscribe below!