Written By: Jayme Face
The popular show The Blacklist has a spinoff called The Blacklist: Redemption and we caught up with actor, Dan Amboyer who plays Trevor on the show! You can catch The Blacklist: Redemption on NBC on Thursdays at 10/9 c.
upfrontNY: Can you tell us about The Blacklist: Redemption and your character Trevor?
Dan Amboyer: Yeah! So, it is the spinoff of the wildly popular Blacklist, which is very cool to be a part of. My character, you’ll meet for the first time in the third episode. The first time you meet him, he is an escort so you might think that is all you are going to see is a little skin and that’s the end of it, but one of the cool things about the show is that there is a lot of surprises and relationships and characters take turns that you wouldn’t expect. So there will be more coming!
upfrontNY: What are The Blacklist fans going to like and connect to in this spinoff?
Dan Amboyer: I think, it’s really great to see Tom, Ryan’s character, from a different perspective. It focuses more on him. I think it is really a cool concept to zoom in and magnify that story a bit. It is really exciting to me to just see the scripts, when I get into my email I open it and it’s almost like a thriller just to read it through. It’s hard to put down because it’s so exciting. It’s just fun to imagine how it is going to come to life on the screen because the production quality is so high on the show. It’s just fun to imagine how they are actually going to accomplish these crazy things. People will love the thriller aspect of it too.
upfrontNY: You have played such a variety of characters from a show like Younger to The Blacklist: Redemption, to the hit play Squash playing a 1970s professor, what advice do you give actors who feel restricted to a specific type or genre?
Dan Amboyer: Once people begin to see you as one thing, it’s kind of a blessing and a curse because people start thinking of you for parts “He does that guy really well. Let’s talk to him about this role we have.” So, it’s kind of a blessing at first, but then if you take too many in a row that are so similar you can really start to get pigeonholed. So, for me, I love to play all different kinds of roles. As you said, I just did a play and for me doing theatre has really stretched me so much to be able to tackle whatever comes my way because I also played Prince William in a film about Prince William. The reason I was able to do that was because I’ve done a lot of plays that require me to do great British accents before that. So, I kind of already had that under my belt. So maybe explore the theatre in your off time a little bit and keep your skills fresh. Keep challenging yourself.
upfrontNY: You played Prince William in Hallmark’s Channel’s hugely popular William & Catherine: A Royal Romance, what was it like playing an actual person and how do you prepare for that and stay true to that person?
Dan Amboyer: That was really tricky because you want to do the person justice, but you also don’t want it to feel like an imitation. It’s hard on camera because as soon as you try to do something that is inauthentic or feels put on I think the camera can see that a lot of the times. So, I try to be specific with just a couple things that I want to integrate that I thought could be similar in his movement or the way he stood; it was very subtle. I didn’t want to be sort of overwhelming with it. I did so much research before I went to go shoot the film in Europe. I read a lot of biographies of the family and at that time the wedding was happening so there was so much on TV that I could see, so that’s really what I did. I had a great director who we sat down and had a conversation about it. She really felt the same way strongly. It should really be a blend of who I am and who he is because the words and the situations were all from instances in his life. So, it was just kind of like letting that be him and then bringing a part of me to it too, and form the story because it wasn’t nonfiction; it was a movie.
upfrontNY: You have not only been on the stage, but worked behind the scenes as well. Why is it important for an actor to be familiar with that side of it and do you think we will see more of you doing behind the scenes in the future?
Dan Amboyer: Oh Yeah! Research! Yeah That’s interesting. I’ve always just loved the process of acting in general. It’s like a little family; it’s a community. I’ve always just loved being a part of it in a variety of different ways, but for me I grew up in Michigan and there wasn’t a lot of film or TV stuff so I never really pictured that I would be making a living from TV and film. I thought I would, hopefully, be an actor who could piece together enough work to make a living. So, that was always kind of my goal and so I just worked in the theatre whenever I could. I did a lot of stuff backstage and learned the ropes and now I have a really great understanding for how that process works. A lot of actors think they can just show up to set and maybe not appreciate everything that it takes to make the world come alive around you. I find that exciting and those challenges are cool. And I would love to do some of that too. I’ve been looking at actually producing a play in New York and I would love to direct someday too. We’ll see, baby steps. It’s kind of like you have to throw yourself into the acting thing, fully to make the movement, but I like to have a little something on the back burner all the time too.
upfrontNY: You started performing at a young age, going to an arts high school what got you interested in acting and the arts?
Dan Amboyer: Well, my parents just appreciate the arts in general, so we went to a lot of museums growing up, the symphony and they took me to a couple plays and for whatever reason I was just really excited by the make-believe and the magic of the plays coming to life in front of me. So, I saw some cool plays and for some reason that really clicked for me. I had some great teachers growing up too, who kind of made that theatre world accessible to me. So, I am really thankful to those teachers. And that is something I am very interested in now, is that we have arts funding so that students and kids can have the opportunity to grow and experience the arts and find a way to express themselves growing up because its visual arts, its music or theatre. I think all of that is a very important outlet for kids.
upfrontNY: What do you like to do outside of acting?
Dan Amboyer: Oh, gosh, well, I’m an animal guy so if I weren’t an actor I would have animals. They take up a lot of my time. I inherited a parrot about eight years ago, she’ll live to be seventy something, so we’re buddies for life. I have some cats, some Maine coon, if you are familiar with the breed, they’re kind of like 25 pounds, like bobcats. They’re like cat dogs. Living in the city of New York, for me who has crazy hours, it’s kind of the best option. They are kind of my buddies too. Currently my huge project is that I just bought my first place in Brooklyn, so I’m renovating and that’s taking up a lot of my time. Otherwise it’s the gym and that sort of thing. Yeah exploring the city, it’s endless here. There’s always cool things to do and I love to go in and see my friends work in theatre or art galleries and friends doing cool things around town.
upfrontNY: Being based in New York what makes living here special to you?
Dan Amboyer: We’re just overwhelmed by talented people. There’s always an artist waiting to be discovered at the little coffee shop down the street, playing their own great songs on guitar, open mic nights. That’s what I find so exciting about the city and watching those people blossom and grow into their skin and become serious artists. That’s what I think is really cool about New York. It’s just a constant flow of great talent and new experiences.
upfrontNY: What would you like to share with our readers?
Dan Amboyer: I’d love for them to watch The Blacklist: Redemption. I also just finished shooting a web series out of L.A. It’s called Vicious Mannies. It is with another actor, if you’ve seen Entourage or Young and Hungry, his name is Rex Lee. He’s really hysterical. We’re kind of these mannies who are unemployed and trying to find their way in Los Angeles. So it is a really funny little web series and it will be coming out. I also did a film with Mr. Vince Vaughn which is different for me. It’s a gritty prison film and I get to torture him a little bit so that will be coming out too.