Dan Amboyer on Lifetime movie 'A Very Merry Toy Store' and marital bliss [EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW]

dan Amboyer

Last spring, we got the chance to get to know Dan Amboyer a little better.  We learned that he was a good guy who was not at all like the jerks he often played on TV.  Well, finally he got the chance to play a good guy again.  He is starring in in a new Lifetime movie co-starring Melissa Joan Hart and Mario Lopez called A Very Merry Toy Store that runs on Sunday, Nov. 26.

Well, in just a few months, he has finished up more projects, but even more importantly, he married long-time boyfriend Eric P. Berger in October in New York City.

Dan Amboyer reconnected with Michelle Tompkins for TheCelebrityCafe.com to talk about his new Christmas movie, what it was like to work with Vince Vaughn, his favorite thing about being in Younger, how he met his husband, their chilly proposal, if he was trying to keep his love life secret and more.

sweater & a secret ?: @annieshak

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Michelle Tompkins:  Okay, great. I'm so glad we get to reconnect.

Dan Amboyer:  Yeah, I know. It's been a while, right [laughter]?

MT:  Yeah. We spoke last winter, in March. So a lot's happened to you since then.

DA:  Yeah, yeah. Things have been clicking, happening. Yeah.

MT:  Well, what's new with you? Let's just start with that in general.

DA:  What's new. Well, I have a little Lifetime movie coming out on the 20— oh my gosh, the 26th of November. And I did the film with Melissa Joan Hart, who you may remember as America's sweetheart, as Sabrina the Teenage Witch [laughter]. And I play her brother. So I have that coming out soon.

MT:  What's it called?

DA:  Oh, it's called A Very Merry Toy Store. So it's a little holiday film.

MT:  Oh, okay. Nice.

DA:  Yeah. But, you know, then a couple other films in the hopper for next year. And then I just got married. So that's kind of been my recent life.

MT:  I was going to ask you if you want to go personal or professional first because you sure have done a lot lately. [laughter]—

DA:  Oh my gosh, right? I guess professional first. Let's do that first. Yeah.

Dan on Vince Vaughn

MT:  Okay. So tell me about your other film projects.

DA:  I did a film with Vince Vaughn called Brawl in Cell Block 99, which was a prison film, and we kind of did the film festival circuit with it. And I had a cool supporting part in the film, and was a little bit of an adversary to Vince Vaughn's character, and was a man who worked at the prison, kind of like a prison guard type. It just left the theaters, it's on video on demand too.

MT:  How'd you like working with Vince Vaughn?

DA:  Oh, he was fun. I had no idea what to expect because I love his comedies and the film that we did was so opposite of what I knew of him as an actor. So it was a cool turn to watch him transform into a whole different genre and person, frankly. So it was fun.

MT:  So what's your favorite thing about being on Younger?

DA:  Younger? Well, honestly it's the people of the show that I've always loved the most. So over the years, working there became kind of like a family. And I feel like the writers are not people that you would recognize or know all their names, but they're really hysterical people and performers in their own right. They're the true voices of the character, and they're the people who give shape to those personalities on screen and give them all the funny lines and all that stuff. I love the writers and Darren Star is such a great man, and he's become a friend, and I'm glad to keep that as I move on to other stuff.

MT:  So are you auditioning now for new projects, actually, how does work come to you these days?

DA:  It's been interesting because it's kind of a mixture of auditioning/getting some offers [laughter], which is great. It's nice to have some offers coming in now.  The Christmas movie was an offer. And there's another film coming out. It's an indie thriller that I did called Imposter. It'll be out next year. So it's been fun having some people think of me for roles, but then I'm definitely still auditioning, too. It's reaffirming I should say that when I meet older actors or people who have done—even won Tonys or been nominated for Golden Globes, that kind of thing and they're still auditioning. The auditioning never ends [laughter]. Never ends.

Dan opens up about his awesome husband

MT:  So I typically don't go too personal in interviews but you've been verbal about it lately, so I'm not sure how to go about this, but I’ll give it a go. 

DA:  Sure.

MT:  You came out with your wedding. Were you ever really in or do you just not talk about your personal life?

DA:  It's interesting because, no, I never really made it a thing to shut it out as a point of conversation. It's just I guess I've never played a gay character before so people never really brought it up as a point of conversation or topic and there weren't really questions about it. So that was the only kind of strange thing about it was my life, my business is acting and I'm known for playing—Younger, it's a very womanizing guy, and I played several of those types of roles. So it's a funny thing to just put it out there but I felt like it was important because being married and when you do carpets and press lines and nobody knows who your partner is, and I felt like it was important to step forward. And also just for where we're at now in society. I think when I first started my career that it was a very different environment and I had a lot of people coaching around me kind of instilling some fear into what I needed to be and present myself as in order to work. So it was nice to kind of shrug off some of those coils that eventually feel uncomfortable.

MT:  And how did you and Eric meet?

DA:  Match.com.

MT:  Really?

DA:  Yeah, back in the day. I mean we've been together for just about 10 years now, so it was a long time ago. But yeah, the first and only person I met off a dating website so it worked out.

MT:  I'm glad it wasn't something like Tinder.

DA:  Yeah, no. I know. It's funny because I had a friend over last night and she's newly divorced, she just got divorced but she was off the market for so long and she's trying to figure out all these applications now. And I'm with her being like, "How do you Tinder? I don't even know. How does that work?"

exploring ancient ruins w. my birthday beau. ??

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MT:  It's rough out there. I agree. Well, what makes Eric so special?

DA:  I think where we really complement each other as far as personality and kinds of interests, everything, but at the same time, we have a lot of overlap in our priorities of family and friends. And so I don't know, we're great opposites and he's a really intelligent person who's very driven as well, and we kind of parallel each other in that way in our careers. I mean just when you're getting to know somebody and there's little things that just give you little clues into who they are. Just watching them with kids or watching with animals and you can just immediately see how warm and kind and warmhearted of a person he is.

MT:  Now please tell me about the proposal.

DA:  Oh, my gosh. He is the one who surprised me, but he was trying to make it into this bigger thing, going on a trip and all that stuff. And I kept having to work so I couldn't leave town, and eventually, he was like, "Okay. Well, let's just go to Woodstock." And it was in February and we went for Valentine's weekend, and it was freezing. I mean freezing [laughter]. It was honestly the coldest day of the year, and we do kind of camping trips and national park hikes and backpacking where we'll stay in the national park for seven days and live off the wild like survivalists thing. But he really wanted to go on a hike in this freezing subzero weather in February in upstate New York, and I was like, "I don't know. Why are we going today? That sounds crazy." But we hiked two miles up the biggest, I guess you'd call a mountain, in Woodstock. We got up to the top and he just was kind of speechless and totally surprised me standing there with a ring.

MT:  But you picked out rings later? Did you do a matching set?

DA:  Yeah. Then later, we decided to do more customized matching rings for us both. So, that was fun.

MT:  Now you're married in New York City?

DA:  Yeah, yeah. In New York.

MT:  Oh. Well, congratulations. I saw some of the photos. They look amazing.

DA:  Oh, thank you. Yeah. I'm really happy. We haven't got all the real wedding photos so I'm curious to see those one day [laughter].

MT:  Now, what are you watching these days in TV or movies?

DA:  I'm infinitely one of the Stranger Things 2 people. Loving that. So I'm almost at the end of season two. I've been kind of busy the past few weeks so I haven't had a chance to delve. But it's hard because I love House of Cards. That's such a hard topic.

MT:  But the show still is good so.

DA:  I know. We'll say I love the show. I love the show and I'm catching up on that, too. It's kind of hard when you're in wedding mode and you're in these crazy modes, you have so little time to catch all these shows. I'm getting on my game. So those are my two projects right now.

MT:  Now have you done any alumni events recently with the Carnegie Mellon folks?

DA:  They're always around. They're my best friends so I see them all the time. They were the ladies of the party [laughter]...The Grooms' Maids.

MT:  That's great.

DA:  I know. It's so funny because people kept calling. They're just women so people were like, "Bridesmaids? But there's no bride." No. They're all my classmates so it's kind of a constant reunion at our house with my classmates. I stay in very close touch with them.

MT: Now is there any philanthropic work or charities that you're involved in that you'd like to mention?

DA:  I just started to get involved with the Worldwide Orphans Program which is fantastic in bringing arts and some culture and some much-needed support to a lot of different—many, many, orphans across several countries including Vietnam, Serbia, Bulgaria, Eithiopia, Haiti and the U.S. So I'm very new at them but WWO are great people.

MT:  Any new travels lately?

DA:  We just got back from Bangkok. We went to Thailand and Cambodia and Vietnam. That was amazing. We were there for 15 days. I've never been to Asia before so it was a great adventure there. And I think we went to a place, it's called the Golden Triangle, which there's a beautiful reserve for elephants up there and we had a great time visiting elephants and feeding elephants in Northern Thailand. That was my favorite part.

MT:  And how are the home renovations going?

DA: Oh, Lord. It's over. Thank the Lord. Yeah. No, it was funny because I was leaving town to go shoot a film I think in August, at the very end of August and the home renovations finished, of course, the week after I left [laughter]. So I was like, 'Oh my God. We've been working on this five months and then as soon as the week I leave it all wrapped up finally and no more crews coming over every day.' But we're so happy it's done and it's exciting the first place we've ever bought. So first-time homeowners and it's starting to really feel like home now.

MT: How are the kitties doing?

DA:  Oh, good. Good. They're great. They're funny because of Lucile's two now, the redhead cat. And she's such a personality, she is so social and loves just laying on people whoever comes over to visit and she's a great cat. So it's been great watching her grow into a young adult and really become more and more social and flourish [laughter]. Yeah, but she’s still getting in trouble too.

Dan Amboyer and his cats

MT:  Now, what are your social media handles?

DA:  Just my name. Dan Amboyer on Twitter and on Instagram. Yeah, I use Instagram a lot for stories and stuff but I'm on Twitter as well. And also have a Facebook verified account thing, too.

MT:  What are your plans for the holidays?

DA:  I am going to host. We're hosting our first Thanksgiving here at our house in Brooklyn and my sister and her kids are driving in from Michigan. So we're hosting them and some other friends around the city who couldn't go home for the holidays. And then for Christmas, we're visiting Eric's family in Florida. So we'll be there.

MT:  Is there anything you'd like to say to your fans?

DA:  I would just say thank you for your continued support and I'm really excited to have you all see the Christmas movie and spread some holiday cheer. And even if you don't celebrate Christmas it has a great message and it's a lot of fun with some great 90s icons. So watch it!

Dan Amboyer can be found here and see A Very Merry Toy Store on Nov. 26 on Lifetime

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Michelle Tompkins

Michelle Tompkins is an award-winning media, PR and crisis communications professional with more than ten years experience with coverage in virtually every traditional and new media outlet. She is currently a communications and media strategist and writer, as well as the author of College Prowler: Guidebook for Columbia University. She served as the Media Relations Manager for the Girl Scouts of the USA where she managed all media and talking points, created social media strategy, trained executives and donors and served as the organization’s primary spokesperson, participating in daily interviews with local, regional, and national media outlets. She managed the media for the Let Me Know internet safety and Cyberbullying prevention campaign with Microsoft, as well as Girl Scouts’ centennial Year of the Girl To Get Her There celebration in 2012, which yielded more than 800 million earned media impressions. In addition to her extensive media experience, Michelle worked as a talent agent in Los Angeles, California, as well contracting as a digital content developer and her writing has appeared in newspapers and online. She is passionate about television, theater, classic movies, all things food and in-home entertaining. While she has lived and worked in NYC for more than a decade, she is from suburban Sacramento and gets back there often to watch the San Francisco Giants on TV with her family.

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