Daniel Ganea, an American actor, born in Europe, Transylvania, the home town region of the famous Dracula (Vlad Țepeș), city of Cluj-Napoca. After graduating from his schools in Europe, he came to America to pursue his dream. He studied at prestigious colleges in the US: UCLA, University of Los Angeles California, Utah Valley University. A few of Daniel’s greatest roles were played alongside Dolly Parton, Miley Cyrus, Emily Osment, Billy Ray Cyrus, Brook Shields, Selena Gomez, and more Hollywood stars.
Natalia Ghilascu: Dear Daniel Ganea, where did you get the passion for acting and filmmaking and who brought you to this industry?
Daniel Ganea: I think I have it from my father. He was a comedian and a character actor almost all the time! You will never know when he’s serious or joking. He was a comedy actor long ago at the National Theatre in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, and he decided to praise the Gospel after all! Since I was a child, I have started to embrace the movie world more than anything in my life! I remember running from school very often just to go and watch movies, follow my heroes like: Jean Claude Van Damme, Steven Seagal, Arnold, Sylvester Stallone, Danny DeVito, Jack Nicholson, Florin Piersic, Dem Radulescu, and many more!
N.G: As an actor known for SIS, Special Investigation Squad, Hannah Montana, Love a la Carte (2014), King’s Man ( 2010), The Trail (2010), which characters were the most inspiring to you?
D.G: I always thought that action and drama will be my main work in the movies. I never thought to get into comedic roles, be it in the movies or on stage. I don’t try to make anybody laugh, and I never try to be funny, I am just being myself, doing things without knowing why I do them, just making sure that everyone is comfortable and happy around me. I can say now with an open heart that: Love a la carte, Middle man, The Trail, Hannah Montana and other comedies I was in, gave me the most inspiration, excitement, and fun than anything else in the world…
N.G: How did you come along to the Hollywood circle of actors and which of the awards received until today make you most happy?
D.G: Hollywood is the hardest place in the world to be! If you make it in Hollywood, you will make it anywhere in the world…) Talent, a good school/training, they can only get your foot in the door. The magical power, that actually gets you inside the room, is luck, and that comes from the Man upstairs (God). People make mistakes in life and I have made a lot of mistakes myself too. But the secret is to not lose your luck! People make me the happiest person in the world! There are no awards without people! When I receive an award or a compliment, I happily share it with my audience.
N.G: You were cast by the Disney Channel to be in the series ,,Hannah Montana Forever’’, created and directed by Rich Correll, Barry O Brien, Michael Poryes. How was that experience for you? Any stories from behind the scenes that you might be ready to reveal?
D.G: Well, one of the biggest reasons I love American culture is the smile. You never know where a beautiful smile may take you! A major requirement for that role was the honest smile, which the Disney Channel required! I always tell people to smile. You can make somebody’s day beautiful with a beautiful smile! We were filming this episode at KTLA Studio5 in Los Angeles at the time.
I was very excited to work alongside some of the biggest producers and directors in Hollywood, and meet the entire cast, especially Miley Cyrus (Hannah Montana), Dolly Parton, Billy Ray Cyrus, and many more, laughing together behind the scenes, talking about the famous Transylvania, Dracula’s castle… (The mystery of the scariest place in the world, the interesting history of it.)
N.G: Congratulations on your 28th anniversary! How did you meet Anita Ganea and what keeps you together, your marriage, throughout all these years?
D.G: 28 years ago on Easter day, one of my friends asked me for a favor – to give him and his siblings a ride to the nearest town by Cluj-Napoca, where they would celebrate their mother’s birthday. I definitely said NO! I had my own plans for Easter. Well, the insisted and insisted, and I finally said: “OK, I will take you there, drop you guys off and I will be on my way, and you will have to find another way to come back to Cluj!” We got there, I dropped them off at their mother’s house, and then they insisted that I come into the house and eat, or at least have a glass of water or something I liked. It was Easter! I thought maybe just a glass of water and then I would move one with my own plans. Well, I entered the house and met everyone.
The last person I met was this beautiful, shy girl. I haven’t seen anybody like her in my entire life! (I was a tough guy, a Steven Seagal type.) I talked to and had met lots of girls before, but this one – the girl named Anita – was special. Well, I said to myself, wow… now what? I didn’t want to go anywhere else anymore! I parked the car right then, and it remained parked at Anita’s house forever! Destiny will take you exactly where you belong! God’s plans are different than ours, and much higher! Let God be your captain in your career, family, relationship, and you will succeed. God is the only one who likes to keep family, relationships, together.
N.G: What do you value most in your family and what are the secrets to keep your love alive?
D.G: Everything starts with communication, honesty and love. I have talked to a lot of people, especially throughout my career. I travel a lot and I learned that most people would simply say: “It’s love, and that’s it”. Wrong! To make a long story short – love will not survive without good communication and honesty. That is the secret: love, communication and honesty. That is how one keeps a good relationship, a marriage for a very long time, and even forever!
N.G: What were the biggest challenges when you first came to the USA?
D.G: Adjusting to American culture and language, the roads, traffic, finding jobs, being emotional about leaving everything behind, being far away from my native country and family. Everything was difficult. But at the same time, I loved it with all my heart, because it was my big dream in life! I have risked everything for it and now I am really proud of everything I have done.
N.G: In 28 years of American life, how do you keep up with the Romanian heritage?
D.G: We keep our Romanian families and friends together, going to Romanian churches, events, making Romanian food and speaking the language sometimes. I am involved in Artistic programs both in US and in Romania (The Foundation of Mihai Eminescu, I am the Executive Director of Professional celebrity, founded in 2006, and also a member of UARF (The Union of Actors and Film Producers of Romania, founded by Sergiu Nicolaescu and the Head Director, Ioan Carmazan).