Dan Payne is an extremely gifted actor, who’s been in an array of roles on the small and large screen. From playing Obsidian on the CW’s Legends of Tomorrow to playing King Beast on Disney’s The Descendants, and everything in between, Dan keeps himself very busy. (In totally epic roles!)
His list of roles are remarkable, incredibly remarkable. Stargate, Watchmen, Cabin in the Woods, Underworld: Awakening, and you guessed it…an episode of Supernatural (yea buddy). And those are naming but a few! He even landed a role on the summer hit, Star Trek Beyond as Wadjet, which psssttt…it’s now out on Blu-ray and DVD (finally!)
I got the lovely opportunity to ask Mr. Payne about Star Trek and a few other roles. Here’s what he had to say:
What was it like to play a character of a different species on Star Trek Beyond?
Hot! The sun was shining most days and it felt like it was 110 degrees in all the prosthetics and costume on top of that. It was also straight up awesome! I’ve been fortunate to play a few aliens and creatures in my career so far but to be a part of this legendary franchise was a huge honor. And that sure helped getting through the 5 hours of make up application some mornings! I also really enjoy creating the species. You pretty much have carte blanche. Once the make up has been applied you get to ‘play’. I like to go back to my trailer and make faces in the mirror to see what it all looks like and get a feel for the character. Wadjet seemed like a bulldog doorman type with a bit of a chip on his shoulder! Then we got to play with how he walks and moves. It’s like being a kid again and letting your imagination run wild.
Was it difficult getting into character since you weren’t playing a human?
It isn’t difficult so much as unique. I think it draws on a slightly different skill set to bring a creature to life but it’s still acting and you still have to do your ‘homework’. Joel Harlow created some amazing aliens for this installment and the whole team was very supportive and collaborative when it came to shaping each alien – the walk, the demeanor, the attitude! I must admit that a lot of the ‘getting into character’ happens as the make up and prosthetics get applied. When you look in the mirror through your eyes and see a totally inhuman alien looking back, it’s just a matter of indulging! I really enjoy trying to find the pieces of the alien that stand up and almost demand attention because those really help shape the creatures uniqueness. It’s a playground for the imagination on a grand scale. Every part of me wants to say you get to ‘explore new worlds and boldly go…’ you know the rest! 🙂
Any favorite moments or memories from the Star Trek set?
Just being on that set will be a long-lasting memory. Realizing I get to be part of a legendary franchise that I watched with my dad and brother as a kid is surreal. Just seeing the sets for the first time was mind-blowing enough as they were, well, out of this world! But I think a favorite memory will be having the opportunity to watch and learn from some of the best talent in the business up close and personal. It was a great chance to sponge all I could from such a great cast!
If StarFleet existed and you were Captain, who would you pick as your crew?
That’s easy! My friends and family!! Come on, it’s a 5 year mission! You have to!!!
You played in Cabin in the Woods. What was it like playing a monster in a Joss Whedon production?
I am going to go back to the same word to describe being in Star Trek Beyond – an honor. Joss Whedon is a genius, a mad quirky genius with a brilliant sense of humor. We got movement workshops with a dance instructor for this film! We (the Buckner family) spent a lot of time finding our own unique ‘zombie walk’ and physicality under dance instructor tutelage. There were some long days but as I always like to say – any day on set is a great day. I also got to do all my own stunts for that film and enjoyed every bump and bruise earned along the way.
On Dead of Summer you had an on camera death scene. What was that like filming?
***don’t think I did?! I got to meet my son in the lake after he died and I was already dead. It was as if I passed the torch to him as protector of the lake. The lake was actually the ocean just of Brittania Beach area. It was a great scene and I think it turned out well.
You’ve been in a ton of different types of movies. Is there a genre you haven’t done that you’d like to do?
I’m not sure! I have been very fortunate and had a lot of gigs in various genre. I don’t think there’s any genre I wouldn’t want to explore to challenge myself if there are some I’ve missed. I love my job! Any and every opportunity in this industry is a gift and a chance to indulge my creative soul so to speak. I will say I would definitely like to do more comedy.
Do you have any upcoming projects you can share with our readers?
I do! I recently completed and co-starred with Robin Dunne in a feature film called ‘Devil in the Dark’ written by Carey Dickson. It was one of the best experiences I’ve had making a movie. It was a fantastic character with depth and flaws in a movie that relied heavily on relationship under heightened circumstances. It was such a phenomenal time shooting and I can’t wait for its release so people can see it. I’ve also just started filming as the new villain on Disney’s Mech X-4. It seems like its going to be a great time as the kids are superb and the scripts have been very entertaining! ….I love my job!
We love watching you on-screen!
I am truly sincerely grateful that Mr. Payne took the time for this interview. It is an honor to get to know him better! I look forward to keeping up with him on his all of his projects.
You can follow Dan Payne on Twitter @actorDanPayne, dan-payne.com, m.imdb.com/name/nm1026161/
Drop some comments below or find me on Twitter @erinwise82 or @thenerdygirlexp
Don’t forget to get your copy of Star Trek Beyond available NOW!