Daniel Luna plays Nick, one of Leslie's righthand men in The Leslie. A newcomer to Los Angeles, Luna swooped up the role of Nick and blew us all away as the guy you can't help but love to hate and hate to love. Read below for more!
netTVnow: How did you get involved with the series?
Daniel Luna: Kate found me digging through a dumpster in her backyard one day and offered me a job which has since changed my life.
Just kidding, I had recently moved into the Los Angeles area a few months ago and after a few trial and errors with other projects I was fortunate enough to come across this amazing show and I was instantly drawn into the synopsis of the story for many reasons. I was very lucky to be able to audition for the role of Nick and by some miracle Kate seemed to like me enough to take me under her wing!
netTVnow: What drew you to the role of Nick?
DL: I think the best way to describe Nick is that he is an individual that will be the first to volunteer to put out a fire only to throw a bucket of confetti on it. His thought process, or lack thereof, won’t make any sense and he sure as hell didn’t help but hey, at least he showed up and you can laugh about it while your world is in flames.
We all know a “Nick," we encounter that person many times in our life. Which is what drew me more to his character especially seeing him in a comedic way in a story like The Leslie. I feel like he represents that typical person many encounter when they are first coming out, who feel like they know how a gay person should be. But in reality they only know what is stereotypically shown to them and are confused when they realize that there is so much depth beyond the surface.
He is also someone you want to punch and hug at the same time. Which we can all name a person we would like to do that to.
netTVnow: Why do you think Nick and Luke wanted to get Leslie laid so much?
DL: Kind of going back to the previous statement, Nick doesn’t know any better! He and Luke act a certain way around each other and now since they think they have a similarity with Leslie she’s automatically one of the guys in their mind. They feel that by getting her laid they will automatically be able to relate to her and talk to her about the same stuff they would be able to with each other. Everyone wants to get laid, yes. But the experience and the end goal is always different which makes it funny seeing how Luke and Nick don’t get that Leslie’s problems won’t go away after achieving this, especially now.
netTVnow: Despite Nick and Luke, the cast is really female-driven, what was it like to be part of the cast and environment?
DL: It was so freaking incredible! Leslie’s story would not make as much as an impact without it being female driven for specific key reasons, clearly. Chris (Hallett), who plays Luke, is amazingly talented and will forever be my bagel bro, but it was the amount of energy and chemistry Ruby (Goldin), Kate (Johnson), Sam (Suttliff) and Diana (Spieller) brought that made me so obsessed with them when I watched it come together. It’s a remarkable experience when you see what a cast of diverse women building each other up rather than being compared to or pitted against one another can create when a story like this is told. Which is why we need more people like Kate to create opportunities like these to get more people talking and aware!
netTVnow: What was it like to be part of a web series that has such a strong queer focus and portrays such strong allies?
DL: I love it. I wouldn’t have it any other way, for obvious motives. Normally you have three choices when watching an LBGT centered show. You either prepare to watch a tragic story that will make you cry yourself to sleep, or you watch a story that is borderline porn with a whole lot of hard content and where the plot is sometimes suggestive or you watch RuPaul’s Drag Race, you’ll never go wrong there though. Not that I’m complaining or saying don’t watch the first two since they are very much relevant and true to LGBT culture, but there is not really much of a selection for an in-between option.
What I love most about The Leslie is that it shows a different side of LGBT culture that the public media and even queer media, which is still largely male dominated, has yet to show. You can relate to Kate’s character through her triumphs and misfortunes that many experience in today’s modern dating world but you also see that same world through a lens of a gay woman, which surprisingly is still not represented or talked about much. Even talking about our dating experiences with my best friend back home, you come to realize how the dating scene for a gay man has been and will always be different for a gay woman. Since the show came out it’s not surprising seeing how many women relate to Leslie’s adventures and her relationships with the people around her which goes to prove how stories like The Leslie is very real and very well needed.
netTVnow: If you could describe Nick in three words, what would they be?
DL: Dude. Bro. Realness.
netTVnow: What was it like working this web series? Is it your first one?
DL: I actually was able to get a first-hand experience in a web series when I was a freshman in college where I got to go through drafting, writing, re writing, pre-production and finally filming an entire season. But unfortunately it didn’t get sponsored well enough and only one episode premiered. Which was physically and emotionally exhausting for everyone involved but you have an understanding that this is how things go sometimes.
So for me, being able to join The Leslie with the storyline set and everyone on board was such a breath of fresh air, for me probably not so much for Kate. Filming and being on set with everyone, you could feel same energy you have as an actor that made it even better when you knew everyone shares the same passion. As the story unfolded it was amazing seeing how much traction it was getting online and how much people were getting into it on Twitter and on Tumbler from different parts of the world! What’s even better is that it opened up a whole new world of web series shows out there that I would have not realized before.
netTVnow: What was your favorite part from filming?
DL: My favorite part was seeing how we all interacted with one another and how in sync it felt especially during the couch scene when Leslie finally rips us apart. The first time I met the gang was 20 minutes before we shot our first scene and then we had to pretend like we were the best of friends!
netTVnow: Where do you hope Nick will be in season two?
DL: I would like to say that I want him to emotionally mature by next season but that may be a stretch for him. I’m curious though if he really has game when it comes to picking up girls like he brags about or if he is just all talk and no action. This season it was kind of funny seeing how he may have been placed in the friend zone by Jenn, I don’t know what will come of that now or if he will just get confused even more!
netTVnow: Any upcoming projects we can share?
DL: I’ve been incredibly blessed this year. I was able to work with Think Dreamer Productions in a music video for Blasterjaxx, which is hilariously appropriate for this election season. I also got to hang out with SoFlo in one of their singalong videos. I’m currently working on some visual photo shoots that will hopefully come out by then end of this year as well. And hopefully more of The Leslie in the next couple months!