Two years ago, I had the pleasure of sitting down with some of the cast of Teen Wolf at San Diego Comic Con. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to chat with the adorable Keahu Kahuanui, who plays Danny Mahealani. That has now been rectified, as the talented and humble actor took some time to discuss his character, the show, and some interesting details about himself. I enjoyed every minute of our chat and honestly want to be his best friend in a different life!
Keahu’s character, Danny, has played a supporting role in the show from the beginning—the teammate and resident tech guy. He’s also one of the openly gay teenage boy characters that TV has to offer right now, which Keahu takes great care and pride in. He feels his role is important “not just because Danny’s gay, but because it’s important to portray a diversity, and real life imitates art. There are times that TV is the only examples people in some communities can relate to, and we’re helping the world learn that there is a large spectrum of homosexual people in the world. Whether it’s the extreme of Chris Colfer [Kurt on Glee] or the extreme of Danny, it’s important.”
Danny is always being the strong one with the advice for everyone, and while there are few characters he can rely on besides himself, Keahu says that “right now, it’s probably Scott.”
I mentioned that’s a little strange, seeing as Danny is still in the dark about all the supernatural stuff going on, and I wondered when Danny would figure out that something just isn’t right about his town. While Keahu agrees, he figures that maybe “he just hasn’t figured it out because it serves to keep him in the story, or perhaps growing up in the town with unfortunate events just seems normal to him now.” Although the self-admitted geek admits if he was a supernatural character, “it’d be interesting to see how Danny would deal with the prospect of having werewolf powers at the same time, considering the situations he’s put in a witching power would be useful.”
On the topic of supernatural powers, he quoted the great Stan Lee in saying that “with great power comes great responsibility.” He went on to say that “supernatural shows in the past have shown there are advantages to being an objective outsider, non-supernatural party. There are always two edges of the sword. For example: werewolves not being able to control their powers, or vampires with no sun, etc.”
Right now, Danny’s biggest struggle tends to lean towards his love life, and currently, he’s in and out of a thing with Ethan. He’s admitted that “the relationships he’s had to go through over the three seasons have been painful; they’ve added interest to the story.” I was curious if there was another character he felt might suit him better or help him be more stable in the love department. I was amused by his witty answer of Melissa (Scott’s mom). He explained that “almost every character on the show has a flaw that makes them interesting on the show, so you’d be trading one set of problems for another. Honestly, of all the characters on the show who I see having the most potential for stability, I’d have to go with Melissa.” Now wouldn’t that be an interesting story line in itself?
While on the topic of stability, we discussed how he had gone to university and gotten a degree before he even started acting. I’m not sure how most families would react to their child changing professions for one as unpredictable as acting, but his stood by him. Keahu said “[my] family has been more or less supportive of my choices, probably because of the aggressive nature of my pursuits. They’ve let me do my own thing. I didn’t go straight from university to acting. I held onto a couple of jobs, and all the experiences from then until now are things that add to what I can pull into acting.”
While asking a few quick end questions, I found out that acting isn’t the only thing that this sexy, intelligent young man approaches with dedication. I was amused to discover that his guilty pleasure is trying to make something before he buys it. I giggled and completely understood while he explained that “[I] hate buying something I think I can make. I will sit down and try making something first. I’ll try to make almost anything, including furniture, desk, and the list goes on.” As a mom who tries to make a lot of stuff from scratch, I had a moment of wanting to sit down with Keahu and figure out what kind of crazy things we could create. He would be the ultimate best friend, and I’m sure we’d end up with some great contraptions, but even better, some amazingly awesome stories to tell.
A couple of quick wrap-up questions:
Favorite TV show (past or present): Game of Thrones, Suits
TV crush: He has a man crush on Robert Downey Jr. for what he’s gone through and resurfaced even better. [Megan’s note: Who doesn't have a crush on RDJ? Yum.]
What’s on his play list? Graffiti 6, Bloody Beetroots, The Black Keys, David Guetta, Oldies
What a great chat with a down-to-earth guy who admits he’s “a pretty open book. Everything is out there.” He also wanted to just “say thank you for being fans, fans of me and fans of my work. I can’t be thankful enough, because that’s what keeps us being able to do what we love.” I love when an actor acknowledges that without an audience, they wouldn’t exist.
Check out Teen Wolf, airing Mondays on MTV at 10/9c, and let’s hope the creators hear our pleas for #MoreDanny.