Entertainment

Danny Mac ‘terrified’ after having first baby with Carley Stenson

Danny and Carley Stenson welcomed baby daughter Skye Bella last month (Picture: Rex/ Metro.co.uk)

Actor and ex-Strictly star Danny Mac, 33, on whether Pretty Woman is dated, becoming a dad and finding some sanity in golf.

You’re starring in the musical of Pretty Woman, a story about a sex worker falling for her client. How do you portray that tastefully on stage?

The movie has such a fan base and everyone loves it, so you can’t strip the essence away.

We’re not trying to make a modern-day version of it but it’s done as tastefully as we can and it’s giving as much respect and power to Vivian, the sex worker, as possible.

She’s the hero in the story – it’s Edward, her client, who is saved by her and not the other way round.

Has the story stood the test of time or are its attitudes to women a bit dated?

Times have changed but this isn’t a story about prostitution, it’s the story of a woman who is searching for her place in the world.

She isn’t happy with her life and she comes across a man who seems like he has everything. He’s a handsome, suave billionaire.

It’s a tale of discovery and these two people learning from each other, finding a better version of themselves and falling in love.

The original Pretty Woman, starring Richard Gere and Julia Roberts (Picture: Everett/REX Shutterstock)

Was it daunting to step into the shoes of Richard Gere, who played Edward in the film?

I was a bit apprehensive. It wasn’t a movie I obsessed over – it was a little bit before my time – but it’s a great film with two incredible actors. Without them, it never would have been what it is.

Richard is brilliant and stamps his mark on this character. I can’t really go, ‘Well, I’m going to forget what he did and make it my own.’

I have to give the audience a bit of what they’ve come for. The main difference is that I’ve got songs and dancing too.

Had Pretty Woman opened before the theatres were closed in lockdown?

We’d been open for two weeks and on the Monday of the third week we turned up and were unfortunately told to go home. I don’t think any of us imagined the extent of the lockdown.

I thought we’d be closed down for three weeks and then go straight back. I was gutted because the theatre was packed.

We hear you’ve become a dad for the first time. Your daughter, Skye Bella was born in June…

Becoming a dad is more terrifying than opening night, without a shadow of a doubt. But although I’m nervous, I’m definitely more excited.

I feel like a whole different chapter of my life is opening up and my perspective on life is going to change massively.

How did you spend lockdown?

We started renovating a house at the beginning of last year and it dragged on through lockdown.

It’s my old family house on the south coast between Bognor Regis and Chichester, it’s the house I grew up in.

We’re literally a five-minute walk from the sea. My mum lives next door so we’re really lucky.

Did you do the house renovation yourself?

We spent the first lockdown planning it. I got an app on the iPad and literally built it on the app. We were able to move rooms around and switch walls.

My wife, Carley [Stenson], and I have rented together loads before but this is the first time we’ve bought together and hopefully the last. I’ve never in my life done anything more stressful.

Danny and wife Carley Stenson recently welcomed a baby girl (Picture: Dan Wooller/Shutterstock)

How did you stay in shape during lockdown?

I went running on the beach. I probably drank and ate more than I should but
I actually felt healthier because Carley and I were really grateful for the guilt-
free time out.

We’re normally always working away and rushing around and we had time together.

So you didn’t pick up any bad lockdown habits?

Yes I did, I took up golf! We moved to Wigan for a bit while the house was being renovated and we lived in Carley’s old house and I played golf every single day.

It got me out of the house and walking up and down hills, I was doing 25,000 steps a day.

It was good for my head and good for Carley. It was lovely spending time together but having our own space was great too.

You play smooth characters. Are you like that in real life?

Obviously there are traits from yourself that you draw on and sometimes there are dreams of people you wish you could be but I don’t think I am in the slightest.

Carley will tell you I’m such a goof. I’m not an Edward at all.

Danny wowed on Strictly in 2016 with dance partner Oti (Picture: BBC/Guy Levy)

How did Strictly Come Dancing impact on your career?

It was a life-changing time. Being in Hollyoaks was great but Strictly introduced me to a hugely varied audience of different ages and genders and that was really vital.

What’s left on your bucket list?

I’d like to travel. We want to be the kind of parents that don’t let having children stop them – let the kid enjoy everything you want to enjoy.

I worked as a volunteer in Africa a few years ago and I’d love to go back. Work-wise, I’d love to venture back to TV and do drama.

Pretty Woman: The Musical is at the Savoy Theatre, London from July 8.


MORE : Hollyoaks’ Carley Stenson and Danny Mac confirm birth of baby girl with sweet Father’s Day post


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