Danny Pintauro is more than ready for the next chapter of his career. He rose to fame as a child star playing Jonathan Bower in the hit series Who’s The Boss? Now, Danny is stepping back into the spotlight with a major acting role after nearly 30 years. HollywoodLife spoke EXCLUSIVELY with the 46-year-old about playing the role of Eugene in the new Lifetime holiday movie A Country Christmas Harmony, which premieres on November 18.
“Because I’m coming back to the business for the first time in a very long time, my manager and I made the decision that I will audition for pretty much anything that comes up that’s interested in having me because I just need to build a new resume. I need to build up the credits,” Danny explained.
He continued, “The audition came first and I was like, yes, whatever it is, I’ll do it. And then I got the material and started reading it. My favorite part about it is you know how in Christmas movies there’s always some character that tells the lead character, ‘You’ve got this.’ Like, three-quarters of the way through the movie ‘go get them’ kind of moment. My character had that. I started reading it and he’s just so smart and caring about Chrissy, Brooke Elliot’s character, that I was instantly way more excited about it. I had about three hours to put together the audition. As soon as I discovered that this was exactly the kind of role that I was looking for I really just jumped in and made it as good as I could in three hours.”
He eventually nabbed the role of Eugene, the first part he auditioned for after time away from Hollywood. Danny admitted the role really helped his confidence.
“You have no idea. I keep saying I’m a huge believer in the universe and energy and signs. For the universe to sort of literally be like, oh, you’re ready to come back. Okay, here, have this, you are on the right path, was so great and so gratifying,” Danny said.
In A Country Christmas Harmony, Danny plays a gay man who is happily married. Lifetime has been dedicated to representation across the board, and Danny is “proud” of how the network is showcasing inclusivity in its holiday lineup.
“The Christmas movie genre was by far the biggest holdout when it came to starting to do representation, especially for the LGBTQ+ community. I’m so proud of the strides they are making,” Danny told HollywoodLife. “That was the other thing. This is a real gay character. My character’s married. The whole second sort of subplot of the movie is about my marriage and how hard it is for me to be away from my husband. I was just sort of flabbergasted that that was the case. I’m so proud of them.”
Danny added that television has made “bigger leaps and bounds than I could have ever imagined. When I first came out, the concept of a Christmas movie with a gay storyline… I would have laughed so hard at you. Like, you must be nuts. That is never going to happen. And now we’re here,” the actor admitted.
Now that A Country Christmas Harmony has arrived, Danny is “100 percent convinced that it is the start of the next chapter. I can’t help but sort of believe that, just how supportive people have been with the release of this project, how interesting stuff that’s come my way has been so far, and how right I feel for all the things that have come my way. For many years as an actor, I was like, I’m not that guy, you know? And now it’s like everything I audition for is yes, this is exactly what I want to play. Yes, this is who I am and who I can play. It’s out there. I know it is.”
Danny starred in the hit comedy series Who’s The Boss? during the show’s 8-season run from 1984 to 1992. A sequel series is currently in the works, so will Danny reprise the role of Jonathan?
“I know it’s still in the works, and I have talked to Alyssa [Milano] and Tony [Danza] about it. Their concept for it is really interesting. Their concept is to focus entirely on the relationship between Tony and Samantha and kind of where are they now and what that relationship means with her character I think being pretty liberal and his maybe being not so liberal. I’m really excited to see that, so I hope it succeeds. I look forward to seeing what that looks like. There’s no way Jonathan won’t be involved. I mean, at some point Jonathan will make an appearance for sure. There’s no way. At first, I was like, I really should be there from the beginning. But I’ve kind of rethought it, and I’m hoping that I’m going to be able to produce a couple of really great roles where I get to show off my skill as an actor before that comes around, so that I don’t just jump right back in as Jonathan Bower because that’s kind of the last thing I want. I spent all these years trying to get away from the stereotype of Jonathan Bower, and then the first thing I do is bounce right back into it is not a good career move in a way.”