Daniel Kennedy was born on October 24, 1983 in Tucson, Arizona, and is best known for his portrayal of the bungling, but lovable nerd Pete Cortlandt on the daytime drama All My Children.
Other than acting, Kennedy loves opera and he became the first student in Juilliard’s history to major in both drama and vocal arts.
Since Juilliard, Kennedy played Alfred and Horatio in Baltimore’s Center Stage Production of Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, directed by Irene Lewis.
Kennedy took a few minutes to speak with Our Prattville on Monday about his role on All My Children.
Melissa Parker (Our Prattville): I think you are hilarious on All My Children. Have you always known you wanted to be an actor?
Daniel Kennedy: Thank you. My parents say that I did. I don’t have any recollection of this but I used to watch Live from Lincoln Center on PBS and whether it was opera or ballet or a play, I was always really excited about it.
I’d watch that and make my mother speak in an English accent all of the time. I think I used to watch Masterpiece Theatre, too. She stopped using an English accent, so the story goes, and she tells me that I would throw tantrums. So, yeah, I always had a flair for the dramatic.
Melissa Parker (Our Prattville): So, you never really wanted to be anything else?
Daniel Kennedy: Not until recently. I guess I always thought I would have to be an actor, but I’ve become more present to the possibility that I really could be anything. And it’s just that I told myself when I was little that I had to be an actor … well, that reinforced my reality. But now, I feel like I could be an astronaut if I wanted to.
Melissa Parker (Our Prattville): I read that you got your real estate license.
Daniel Kennedy: Yeah, I did. When I started getting fewer episodes on All My Children and we were getting budget cuts, I thought it would be smart to supplement my income. But, I think getting into real estate is just about as dumb as being on a soap opera right now in these economic times.
Melissa Parker (Our Prattville): Are you on regular contract status now or on recurring?
Daniel Kennedy: I’m on recurring. And, in fact, my last episode that aired was the Halloween episode.
Melissa Parker (Our Prattville): Do you know yet about any upcoming episodes?
Daniel Kennedy: No, I don’t. Chuck Pratt wrote me leaving Pine Valley … or something to that effect … without any goodbye episode, without anything like that. I’m sure that’s standard with characters on soap operas.
Melissa Parker (Our Prattville): Well Pratt is gone, so do you think that might change?
Daniel Kennedy: Perhaps. And I really don’t know who is responsible for having Pete gone … I’m assuming Chuck Pratt … leaving Pete without any official goodbye. I had requested, once I found out about Pete leaving town … I requested that there be at least a few episodes leading up to his goodbye.
As you know, Pete’s character is basically defined by his love for Colby, so I thought it was completely out of character for him (after pining after Colby this last year and a half) just to skip town. So, I said, “Mr. Pratt doesn’t normally care about character integrity (laughs) … he’s more into storylines, but I think we owe it to the fans to at least have a goodbye episode if Pete does indeed leave.” But, that wasn’t granted.
Melissa Parker (Our Prattville): So, were you asked to go to Los Angeles when the show moves in December?
Daniel Kennedy: No, I was not. As far as I know, I will be in New York City.
Melissa Parker (Our Prattville): Would you be interested in a role on another soap?
Daniel Kennedy: I’m open to it as long as it has me staying in New York City because I’m going to school next semester to finish my degree. So, it works out that I’m staying in New York.
Melissa Parker (Our Prattville): What will be the degree?
Daniel Kennedy: It’s going to be in Media.
Melissa Parker (Our Prattville): How did you get the role on All My Children?
Daniel Kennedy: I auditioned for it. After years of trying to get representation, I got a manager and All My Children was my first audition. After the initial audition there were about three weeks that passed until I got a callback.
It was down to me and a few other guys. I auditioned with (who was then playing Colby) Brianne Moncrief and apparently I was her choice. They asked her whom she liked best and she said, “Daniel.” So I have her to thank for that.
Melissa Parker (Our Prattville): Have you had any scenes with the actress who has replaced Brianne?
Daniel Kennedy: No, I haven’t, but she seems like a lovely girl and I wish her the best. I do think that the circumstances surrounding Brianne Moncrief being let go is really unfortunate.
Melissa Parker (Our Prattville): What happened?
Daniel Kennedy: She was initially told that she was going to Los Angeles. She is from California so she was really looking forward to going back home and being with her family. And she’d made plans with her fiancée to move there.
And then, a couple of weeks later they took back the offer and the same week recast her. I guess I would call this one of the most disenchanting things about soap operas that you can be written off so quickly or replaced so quickly.
Melissa Parker (Our Prattville): You joined the cast in July of 2008. Was there an actor (or actors) who took you under their wing to show you the ropes?
Daniel Kennedy: David Canary definitely did. I had so many scenes with him initially – there are some great scenes between him and I. He is a very generous, very lovely man.
Melissa Parker (Our Prattville): How did it feel to work with legendary actor James Mitchell?
Daniel Kennedy: I worked on two episodes with him and I wish there were more. But, he is very nice. I have to say that there isn’t a single person at All My Children I haven’t gotten along with or who hasn’t been encouraging.
Melissa Parker (Our Prattville): I would think also that Michael E. Knight would be very encouraging just because he seems like such a nice guy.
Daniel Kennedy: Yes he is, very much so. He has a great sense of humor and it shows in his work. We get along because we have a similar sense of humor.
Melissa Parker (Our Prattville): They probably let him ad lib some.
Daniel Kennedy: Oh, I think so, he can definitely take his liberties and it works.
Melissa Parker (Our Prattville): Do you know if James Mitchell is still acting?
Daniel Kennedy: I believe he’s in Los Angeles so I wouldn’t be surprised if All My Children uses him more often if he’s feeling up to it.
Melissa Parker (Our Prattville): Well, you’ve certainly already answered my question as to what is next for Pete!
Daniel Kennedy: (laughs) Well, not much under the old regime, but who knows what this new head writer will do. I’m actually going to correspond with the new head writer (whoever that is) and request that he or she pick up where Chuck Pratt left off even if it’s just a goodbye episode or a story leading up to the goodbye.
I think it’s so out of character for Pete just to leave town after being dedicated to Colby this past year. That just doesn’t make sense, but apparently that didn’t stop Chuck Pratt. But, that’s probably the reason he got fired (laughs)!
Melissa Parker (Our Prattville): Perhaps so. Were you around when Kelly Ripa was taping scenes for the show’s 40th anniversary to air in January?
Daniel Kennedy: No, but I got to meet her husband, Mark Consuelos. I came by to borrow a suit from my wardrobe and I ran into him in the hall and just said a quick hello. I’ve been watching since I’ve been in kindergarten and that was around the time that he and Kelly was a hot couple on the show.
My mom watched … every day when I came home from school, it was on. So, I just told Mark that I’d been watching him for quite some time and, “So, it’s nice to meet you.” He was very gracious.
Melissa Parker (Our Prattville): Do you remember your mom’s first words when you told her you were going to be on All My Children?
Daniel Kennedy: I can’t remember, there might have been screaming. I know it was a shock.
Melissa Parker (Our Prattville): You grew up in Tucson, Arizona. Any siblings?
Daniel Kennedy: I have one sister named Marissa and she’s graduating from the University of Arizona this year with a degree in Education.
Melissa Parker (Our Prattville): Do you currently have someone special in your life … are you seeing anyone?
Daniel Kennedy: Oh, I’m a bachelor right now.
Melissa Parker (Our Prattville): Is that a confirmed bachelor?
Daniel Kennedy: Um, I’m willing to be surprised, but right now I’m focusing on my next job and school – I’m trying to make those a priority.
Melissa Parker (Our Prattville): I know you were interested in opera at Juilliard. Can you see yourself as a singer or being on Broadway?
Daniel Kennedy: Yes … today in fact, I have an audition, a callback for a Broadway play which requires quite a bit of singing. It’s at 2:00 and I haven’t warmed up yet … I was thinking I probably should warm up (laughs).
Melissa Parker (Our Prattville): Is it a well-known play?
Daniel Kennedy: Yes, but I probably shouldn’t say which one it is because I don’t want to jinx it for myself, but it is.
Melissa Parker (Our Prattville): What are your plans for Thanksgiving, to be with family?
Daniel Kennedy: No, I went home about a month ago and saw my family and I was going to go again, but I thought All My Children might be using me for those episodes I had requested, so I set aside time for the next few weeks. But, again, it never happened.
So, I’ll be joining a classmate of mine and having Thanksgiving dinner with her family in D.C.
Melissa Parker (Our Prattville): Well, I appreciate the time today Daniel and wish you luck … or break a leg … at the audition.
Daniel Kennedy: (laughs) Thank you, that’s very nice.
Interview by Melissa Parker
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