Young Canadian Actor Looks to Build on Hollywood Success

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Daniel Hayes is back in Toronto and excited about what lies next.

Some might call it a small part in a yet to be released feature film. Yet, for young Canadian actor Daniel Hayes, it marks the latest breakthrough in an acting career that is as dynamic, and full of promise, as his personal biography suggests. Hayes hopes that his latest Hollywood role will lead to even more success where it all started — back home in Toronto and Canada.

Much like Hayes in real life, Hayes’ character, Perry, in the film Going Down in La La Land, goes to Hollywood in search of fame and success. However, unlike the film, Hayes himself isn’t desperate to make an impression, get noticed, or do whatever it takes to get that symbolic foot in the door. In a sense, he’s already done it, with an understanding that there’s still a long road ahead.

“I’m proud of what small inroads I’ve been able to make with my acting career. But I know there’s still a lot of work to be done. It’s why I’m in Toronto now — looking to build on what I’ve been able to accomplish so far,” said Hayes. At age 25, what he’s been able to accomplish, both in film, and in life, is nothing to be ignored. Neither is the unique physical impression he makes on people when walking into a room.

Blessed with an athletic physique and background, as well as bold facial features characteristic of his Trinidadian and Venezuelan heritage, Hayes has made an impact on his surroundings throughout his life. From being recruited to play basketball at NCAA Division 1 schools coming out of high school, to appearing in a Nike commercial at age 21, Hayes’ background includes a mix of athletic prowess and marketing appeal.

However, it wasn’t until he took his first acting class at college that he stumbled upon what has become his passion in life. As he put it, “I realized my love for acting after just a single course. I switched my major from kinesiology to theatre, and the rest seems to have fallen into place.”

What first started out as gigs in sports apparel commercials grew into both short and longer film roles that utilized Hayes’ rugged athleticism. His first role in a short film was that of a marine in “Boot Camp.” More recently, Hayes wrote, produced, and starred in Modern Day Gladiator, a film entered into the Los Angeles Film Festival that explores the life of a mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter.

Yet Hayes is familiar enough with the business to know not to be confined to one genre of film or acting. For example, he points to the Toronto 48-Hour Film Challenge he entered in 2009 as a signature moment in his young career. Asked to write, produce, shoot, and act in a futuristic love story in just 48 hours, Hayes ended up being nominated best actor for his efforts.

About the experience, Hayes said, “I think it showed that I can be versatile — not only in front of the camera, but doing things like writing, producing, and so on. I believe that skills in one part of filmmaking can enhance all the other skills, too.”

Hayes is optimistic about what’s to come in his immediate future. He’s set for filming in two new movies: The Silver Chain and Finding Larry. He’s also looking forward to pilot season in Toronto this summer, where he hopes to build on the momentum he’s achieved in 2010. Hayes said, “I’m obviously not looking to become Sylvester Stallone overnight. But being able to build on my strengths in film, and further develop a balanced skill set, is why I’m in Toronto right now and relishing the opportunity.”

If his very young track-record serves as a predictor of things to come, chances are that Daniel Hayes will translate that opportunity into a career in which Canadian and international film fans get to see his name a lot more often.

  • Daniel Hayes is a 25-year-old Toronto-born actor and writer who spends most of his time travelling between the East and West coasts. In 2009, Daniel successfully completed his studies at the Second City Toronto, and has performed, written, and produced in both short and feature films, including a supporting role in the 2010 feature film titled Going Down in La La Land. When not acting, Mr. Hayes spends his time pursuing mixed martial arts and, as a certified personal trainer, helps people achieve their personal fitness goals.

For more information about the topic of this press release, or to schedule an interview, please contact Daniel Hayes’ manager, Ron Valdez, at 310.266.7617 or ronvaldez(at)live(dot)com, or contact Mr. Hayes directly at 416.358.6803 or daniel(at)daniel-hayes(dot)com. Daniel Hayes’ Web site is


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