Daniel DiMaggio discusses ‘Oliver Otto’ & ‘American Housewife’

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Daniel DiMaggio

Cementing his role on screens nationwide with his breakout performance on ABC’s “American Housewife,” Daniel DiMaggio is a teen star holding his own by delivering side-splitting comedy, scene after scene in the show. DiMaggio stars as the witty, self-assured, smart beyond his years and honestly speaking, a bit of a disciplined capitalist, ‘Oliver Otto’, in a suburban family that’s ended up in a pompous Connecticut neighborhood. With every move they make, the family proves that they don’t belong and have no intentions of fitting into the cookie-cutter perfect family scenario, and instead forge their own path. The show also stars Katy MixonDiedrich BaderAli Wong & Meg Donnelly.

At an early age, DiMaggio discovered a natural allure to acting and started his career in a Honda commercial at 8 years old. He would later go on to act in more commercials, guest star roles including playing a young Superman in CW’s “Supergirl”, and a young Michael Westen in USA’s “Burn Notice”. A career in acting came of no surprise to his parents, both Hollywood veterans themselves, who first exposed Daniel to the craft while he
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Daniel DiMaggio

was still in diapers accompanying them to sets. When the opportunity of a lifetime came to star as a series regular in ABC’s new half-hour comedy, the movie felt organic, a perfect fit for a young actor to show his acting prowess through a series of comedic highs and dramatic turns. Though his career is off to skyrocketing success, Daniel remains humble and hopes to continue acting for years to come.

Though he may be entering his fourth season of the powerhouse comedy, at home Daniel is a typical 15-year-old boy and keeps a high interest in his favorite sports teams while maintaining straight A’s. He also recently completed his first LA Marathon, and with the acting world at his feet, nothing can slow this young star down.

Welcome to TV Series Hub, being a rising star on television, what has been the label you have been given by friends or fans? 

Early on they compared my character to Michael J. Fox as Alex Keaton which is a great honor.  The guys on my baseball team call me “Hollywood.”

Joining the industry at a very young age, what have been the ups and downs of being in the spotlight at a young age?

The upside is you get to work with some really cool people and learn how to become a better actor.  You also get treated well and get to do special things.  The only downside is that you spend your time mostly around adults and are secluded from “regular life” which isn’t always a bad thing.

You have played a younger Superman on CW’s Supergirl, do you hope to play Superman someday?

Uhh, YES.  That would be a great story, wouldn’t it?  The kid who played Kal-El went on to play adult Superman.  Are you listening out there?  Spiderman or Ironman would be cool too.

As someone whose parents are also part of the industry, how helpful has it been for you?

Very helpful.  They’ve helped me succeed by knowing the business and keeping me away from things that wouldn’t work for me.  They’ve also helped me creatively because they know scripts and acting and comedy.

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Daniel DiMaggio stars as ‘Oliver Otto’ in ‘American Housewife’

You play Oliver Otto in the show “American Housewife,” reflecting back from the moment you auditioned, what has been the best moment so far?

I’ve gotten a chance to work with a lot of really good actors and directors.  I’ve also been given great material to work with.  One of my favorite episodes is coming up – when the Ottos go on vacation.  That was a lot of fun.

Taking ballet lessons with plans to study it at the tertiary level, how has the experience been?

That experience was really great. I gained a lot of respect for dancers.  You really have to be in great shape.  To be a really great dancer requires a lot of discipline and I couldn’t ever do it justice.  Luckily my character tore his ACL and they decided to let Oliver find another way to get into Harvard.

How similar and different are you from your character?

We’re both ambitious, but we’re into different things.  I’m not snobby like him although he’s changing and growing a lot, especially this season.  I like sports too.

What are the key lessons the show is portraying with humor?

Trying to fit in.  A middle class family in a very wealthy town and holding on to values.  I think Katy really wants the kids to be realistic about life and not take the easy way all the time.

“American Housewife” returns on March 18th. What are the Otto family up to for the rest of the season?

There will be more drama from teen help line.  The family will go on a vacation and there will be a surprise in the finale.

What has been the funniest experience so far with a fan?

I got recognized at the Uffizi museum in Florence Italy which I thought was funny because I was out of the country.

Who has supported you the most throughout your career?

My family and my manager Robert Rossi who gave me my start in the business.

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Daniel DiMaggio portrayed young Superman on ‘Supergirl”

Being a straight-A student while also having a career is an impressive achievement. How do you balance your time?

I’m very busy but I do schoolwork on set too which keeps me caught up.  It isn’t easy but I manage to fit in work, school and play.

What experience have you had that people don’t believe when you mention it?

I ran the Los Angeles Marathon when I was 12.

Thank you for joining us, what is the secret to being a rising young actor?

Be yourself, but be professional.  And also making sure that you live a real life too.

Visit Daniel DiMaggio’s Instagram: @danieldimaggio

“American Housewife” returns on a new night, Wednesday, March 18th at 9:30/8:30c on ABC!

Photo Credits: Annie Shak