Danny Roberts Talks ‘Real World’, ‘DTLA’: Exclusive Interview

Danny boy!

Danny boy!

Danny Roberts: Before he was DTLA, he was rising to fame in a house with six other strangers taped for everyone’s viewing pleasure on Real World: New Orleans. His relationship with his boyfriend exposed the awfulness of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell to the masses, and eventually led to his career as a speaker on gay rights in America. And despite his lack of knowledge of Benedict Cumberbatch (a failing among most mortals), he’s still got a place in our hearts.

What are we waiting for? Let’s stop being polite and start getting real — with Danny himself.

Oh, and be sure to catch the premiere of the new season of Real World on MTV tonight at 10/9 c. We’re heading to Portland this time, y’all.

Do you plan on publishing a memoir of your life pre/post-Real World?

No but I would love to write a script loosely based on the events of my life that occured when I moved to NYC in 2007 and had my identity stolen by a stalker who proceeded to make my life a scary and confusing hell for the next year or so. Word to the wise, when the police suggest to you that a stalker is probably a close friend or associate, believe them and don’t believe that everyone in your life is who they say they are.

Have you kept in touch with any of your old Real World castmates?

Yep, Kelley is and will forever be like a sister to me…one I never had in real life. I love her dearly and still keep in close contact with her. The rest of my cast, not so much but I hope they’re well and wish I knew what is happening in their lives. I hope that Julie hasn’t returned to her backwards mormon ways.

What’s the difference between being on a reality television show in 2000 and (your perception of) being on one in 2013?

There’s no such thing as “reality” any more in reality tv. Everyone has grown up watching it and we’ve all seen how these shows are edited and what garners attention, etc. People who are cast on these shows today are merely behaving as they feel the audience wants them to behave. It’s self-scripted reality tv now. Plus everyone is hyper aware of how they’ll be portrayed/viewed so everyone is very gaurded in what they reveal.

Is there anything you wish you did differently during your time in New Orleans? Have you been back?

I wish I had been more engaged with the city and had explored more. I sort of shut down and holed up from shell shock. I’ve been back many times and in fact, New Orleans for Halloween is one of my favorite trips to make each year.

What’s the most important thing you try to relay when speaking about sexuality and politics?

I think that sexuality is far more fluid than most are able to grasp. Everyone wants to define themselves in one camp or the other and both sides of the coin are guilty of failing to realize that sexuality is more than just a physical attraction. The truth is that most people reside in some grey area between the two worlds.

Did you know you shared a birthday with Benedict Cumberbatch? Are you a Sherlock fan?

I did not and no I am not.

Are you watching any reality programming these days? If so, which shows?

I rarely watch television at all but I don’t mind Amazing Race when i catch it. In fact, I recently sent in an audition tape for it but never heard back. :(

What’s next for you acting wise?

Hopefully season two of DTLA.

Danny gets steamy in 'DTLA.'

Danny gets steamy in ’DTLA.’

Can you talk about your experience filming DTLA?

It all started a few years back when the Larry, the producer, came across this article while looking for cast members for a scripted show he was working on. Somehow he managed to track me down through some mutual contacts and we started talking about his ideas. At first, I wrote him off as another shady asshole and believe me, i’ve come across my share of them through the years. Over time as we continued talking, something clicked and i decided to give him a chance. I had just returned to living in Seattle so I flew down to LA here and there and on weekends to shoot the show. Throughout the entire filming process I still didn’t believe he was really legitimate but the minute I saw the first clips of edited show, my mind changed. I absolutely love the style in which the show is filmed and Larry pulled in some amazingly talented people. The finished product is extremely relevant, gritty and portrays a side of gay life that goes beyond your typical white, midwestern vanilla. The best part of the whole experience was working with Daryl Stephens with whom I have some real life chemistry. I had a lot of fun working with him and honestly, when I knew that he was going to be an integral part of the show, this was the moment that I knew I had to give it a chance.

Check Out Danny In ’DTLA’

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