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Dan Byrd Talks About "A Cinderella Story"

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Hilary Duff Dan Byrd Cinderella Story

Hilary Duff and Dan Byrd star in "A Cinderella Story"

Photo © Warner Bros. Pictures
Dan Byrd co-stars in the teen romantic comedy, “A Cinderella Story,” as Hilary Duff’s best friend. As the aspiring actor/high school student ‘Carter,’ Byrd had to dress in outlandish costumes, some of which he spoke about during this interview:

INTERVIEW WITH DAN BYRD:

What was your reaction to seeing you’d be playing a cowboy in this scene, a white rapper… Did you have any input?
They didn’t even tell me. When we started shooting, none of that was in the script. Then Clifford [Werber], the producer, was like, “They want to like do this thing where you’re a different character every day. You come in in these crazy outfits.” I’m just trying to be open to whatever. You know, some of the costumes they brought to me were a little too… I mean, leather chaps and I just thought, “You’ve got to draw the line somewhere.” I don’t even know, I guess you do catch on to what he’s doing in the movie but it just kind of fits his sort of outlandish, eccentric character.

Are you at all like this character?
Yeah. He’s like me in the fact that his interests are different from pretty much everyone else in his school and therefore he has a hard time relating to a lot of people. But as far as personality goes, I think I’m probably a little bit more laid back than he is. But you know, it’s fun to be able to play this character.

Whose Zorro did you base your performance on?
(Laughing) You know what? I can’t honestly say that I based it on any previously performed Zorro. This was a completely different kind of Zorro.

There’s no Banderas in there anywhere?
No, there’s nothing cool or sexy or mysterious about this Zorro.

Did you and Chad Michael Murray pal around on the set?
He’s a cool, fun guy. We all kind of hung out, which was so great about this. We were all young – we all are still pretty young – and you just felt like you were going to the set every day with a bunch of your peers and friends and people that were interesting and creative. So it was a lot of fun just to be able to be around the whole cast.

What surprised you the most about working with Hilary Duff?
She’s just incredibly down-to-earth and just a genuinely nice person. There’s really no dirt I can give you on her because there’s nothing there. The persona that she gives in interviews and on television is pretty accurate to how she is in normal life. I guess it just surprised me that even though all this activity and all this attention is focused on her, she’s still just a very easy person to talk to, easy to relate to, and fun to be around.

You’ve been acting since you were 8 but this is probably your biggest role in a feature film. Are you ready for the attention?
Well, yeah. I’m just kind of taking it one day at a time. I have no idea what all this is going to entail. I’m just excited about figuring it out as I go along. This is definitely the first big part I’ve had in a big studio movie. That’s all exciting and getting to do things like this [interview] is definitely nerve-wracking but kind of exciting, too.

What’s high school like for you?
I just graduated. For the past few years, since I’ve been pretty much working consistently, I have been doing it on the set for the most part. But when I went to school, I didn’t really have any particularly traumatic stories as far as getting beat up or picked on or being prom king. I had a group of friends who I felt comfortable with and who I’d known for a long time. I still have that group of friends. It was what it was. School’s no fun – nobody likes to go to school.

And you’ve got the TV series “Clubhouse” coming up. What’s the premise of that show?
Well, it’s about a kid who gets to be a bat boy for what’s basically the equivalent of the New York Yankees. They call them the Empires in this show. The pilot involves one of the players getting caught with steroids and the Yankees didn’t want to have the negative connotations that go along with that so… It’s basically about the clubhouse experience and what goes on off the field and on the field.

What’s your role?
Jeremy Sumpter plays the bat boy–the kid from “Peter Pan.” I play his best friend. There’s the clubhouse and the subplots with the best friend character and the single mother and sister at home. They think if the show does alright then Mike, the character I play, will eventually become a bat boy with him, as well. It’s a cool show that is kind of fresh and new and doesn’t feel recycled. It’s something new that people haven’t seen. I think it’s something that a lot of people maybe think they know something about but they don’t really. It’s a world that kind of intrigues a lot of people, especially sports fans.

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