Interview with the Cast of MTV Skins: Danny Flaherty AKA Stanley / by Hey Armen

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You’ve probably seen the billboards, the commercials, and the bus benches. The UK’s hit teen soap opera Skins is on Monday nights at 10 on MTV, with an American cast, a few new characters, and the good old gritty teen drama we know and love from the original series. Much like it did overseas, the series will tackle those darker topics, like dysfunctional families, mental illness, sexual identity, sex, substance abuse, and death.

And while the sex and language have been toned down quite a bit for 10pm basic cable, this isn’t Gossip Girl, kids. These are regular kids: kids from working class families, kids you can relate to more than the Blairs Waldorfs and Chuck Basses of the world - kids with real teen problems. Sure, the storylines can be tough to stomach at times, but so can being a teenager.

ARMEN ATOYAN for BUZZNET: Are you anything like your character Stanley?

DANIEL FLAHERTY: I was late for school this morning and I signed in, and Mrs. Crowley who is the attendance lady said “So I finally caught your episode” and she’s like “It's really coming into your reality now isn't it. You’re late for school every day.” But yes, I’m kind of like Stanley in a way. I'm definitely more confident than he is. He’s not really too smooth with the ladies at all and he kind of gets pushed around by Tony for that a lot. I definitely am late for school a lot and I definitely don't like school as much as Stanley does and I’m not as messy as he is.

BN: What is the character on Skins that you can least relate to?

DF: Definitely Tony. Tony is probably one of the most mean spirited people I’ve ever read about in scripts and seen on television. I'm definitely not that mean to people and I definitely don't manipulate people like he does. I'm definitely the furthest from Tony. I’m pretty easy going and don't like harassing people.

BN: I know you have a band, MF Killer Starfish. Has anyone on the cast heard you play?

DF: No, actually the cast hasn’t heard us play. I think the only person that has heard us play is the guitarist's mom and she’s always yelling at us to stop.

BN: How would you describe your band and the type of music you play?

DF: We are still trying to find our sound, but we take a lot of inspiration from bands such as Sublime and Led Zeppelin, and so I'd say our style right now is more along the lines of punk rock, ska, with a little bit of Alternative flavor in there too.

BN: Is that the type of music you listen to personally?

DF: Yeah, I listen to Sublime all the time, they're definitely one of my favorite bands. Blink 182, Green Day. I listen to Bob Marley frequently. It’s impossible because I also listen to other stuff such as more folk rock like Bright Eyes, and anything off Saddle Creek Records. But it’s weird because then I listen to a lot of punk records, like NOFX and a lot of stuff like Rage Against the Machine.

BN: So you have been working on MF Killer Starfish recently. Are you going to pursue music and acting at the same time or are you going to flip-flop them?

DF: I’m probably going to flip-flop them. I’m going to try to get some music done on the internet so people can hear it. I’m really focused on acting right now trying to see what roles come and see if Skins will get picked up for a second season, and just seeing what happens. But I love music and we just jam all the time for fun so I’m definitely going to keep rocking that and see where everything takes me.

BN: What where that last concerts or shows you went to?

DF: I’ve actually only been to a couple concerts my whole life. I don't really know why that is. I love concerts but usually I just go to shows around my town, like local punk shows and stuff like that. The last big concert I went to was Weezer and Blink 182 in Jersey.

BN: What were some of those little local shows you went to?

DF: Well we have this thing in my town called the AC Club and people can rent it out and we just rent it out and have shows there. There's also a lot of punk shows in the town over in New Jersey with just local bands.

BN: You have quite a bit more acting experience than most of the other cast members. What’s it like working with such new actors?

DF: It’s basically the same, all of them are actors so they are all trying to get into that character and they all seem to work just like every other actor I’ve worked with. They are all working their asses off trying to get into the character for that scene, and they are really giving it all they got. I was really surprised when I saw Jesse Carere for the first time because he’s never acted a day in his life and he just has this natural talent. It’s awesome to see that and experience that, to work with people who haven't acted and they're just as good as you are and they are putting in just as much effort as you. it’s just a really awesome feeling to work with people like that.

BN: Who are the actors that you look up to as a role model and get inspiration from?

DF: Definitely Leonardo Dicaprio. He is definitely one of my favorite actors, I just think he is amazing in everything he does. One of my favorite movies is "What's Eating Gilbert Grape" and his performance in that is just phenomenal. I also really love Natalie Portman. I think she's an phenomenal actress.

BN: How has the MTV show Skins changed your life?

DF: Well before Skins I was going to school and every one was calling me Danny and after Skins I walked through the halls and people would call me Stanley. Thats probably the biggest change, and just the fact that my face is everywhere now.

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