Danny Griffin made waves playing Sky for two seasons in the famous Netflix series Fate: The Winx Saga. He starred alongside Abigail Cowen in the magical series where students master magical powers while navigating love, rivalries, and monsters that threaten their existence. The show hit Netflix’s top ten for five consecutive weeks. Griffin has also starred in films as Aslan in Matthew McConaughey’s The Gentleman (2019) and as Shane in the series, Get Even (2020).
A natural-born outdoorsman and avid horseback rider, Danny grew up with a love for the adventure genre. He later moved to London as a teen to pursue acting, where he did theatre at Kings Cross. We caught up with the rising actor to talk about the success of the Winx Saga, his love for fashion, and how Danny found himself in his first car chase for an upcoming independent film.
Tell us about growing up and your journey into film.
I grew up in Cornwell, U.K. I was an adventurous kid; I spent a lot of time outdoors. My family grew up on a farm, so we often went for walks by the beach or in the woods. We had four channels on TV, so we were outdoors in the green grass we called home. My two sisters and I grew up with Lord of the Rings as kids. We grew up in that genre. With some luck, I transitioned into that genre in my career.
Growing up, I went to eight schools and didn’t get along much with them. I was bullied relentlessly. My sisters attended the same schools as me at one point, so I was conscious of being a big protective brother.
I left school at 15 and decided I wanted to be an actor. I needed to learn what that meant, so I moved to London, where I got an agent. There were a few jobs here and there and ended up doing theater in The Railway Children, Kings Cross. I did that for two years and did sixty shows! I lived in the West End, which was an enjoyable and incredible memory.
You said you had difficulty growing up with all the school changes and bullying. Was acting a way to escape that?
That’s a great question. I used to love films because they did take you away from a not-very-happy environment into a completely new one. With acting, in general, I was very conscious that it was fun to play someone else and not me. It was a small amount of escapism playing myself, but a slightly detached version. I love building a character, playing it, and seeing where they go and how they grow over the film or series.
What kind of roles would you be considered for?
I would love to be cast to play a villain. Playing that role is fun because usually, you spend your day trying to be as lovely as possible to everyone. It can be fun when you can do the opposite since that’s what you’re meant to be.
That would be a big difference and a big change gear for me. Many actors would love the chance to play someone nasty or a psychopath. For example, Heath is a legend. Many people admire his ability to play [the Joker] despite what people may say. Think about how much depth he has available to get into that character. It’s exciting for an actor to get a role as heavy as that because there is room to fill. It’s a bottomless pit; you can keep going and going.
I read somewhere you also admire Christian Bale and Chris Waltz. These are actors that can completely transform into rather unusual characters.
There’s no bullshit with those guys. They do it. They don’t do it for any other reason to do it. They’re not doing it to make a statement about how they had to change their bodies to play a character. They get on with it. And they do an incredible job in every role they play, which is admirable. They’re considerable strengths. They’re a pleasure to watch for those reasons.
Fate: The Winx Saga
You mentioned your love for the Lord of the Rings series. How was it for you to be cast in the genre you loved?
It was exciting to step into that because I love Lord of the Rings. I love Star Wars and adventure shows that take you to other worlds, even films like Avatar. It is great to step into a fantasy world. It’s fascinating to work with a green screen, too. When I was on set with Abby for Fate: The Winx Saga, she had to do effects with the green screen.
I had to use my imagination to think about what could be in her hand. We know it’s fire, but you must imagine how big it is. Is it going to go off her arm or her shoulder? We’re sitting here quietly talking about having special powers on set. Meanwhile, I’m watching Abby play with nothing, trying to imagine a giant fireball in her hand. It’s pretty funny when you think about it.
Fate: The Wing Saga is a huge hit. Were you surprised by the reactions of your fans?
The fans are lovely. Everyone’s been supportive of the show. It was one of those shows that people adore. I also went to my first convention this year and met many fans. They said adorable things.
A series has a much longer life, right?
It is beautiful to work on a film set for six months to disappear for six months. It’s an absolute pleasure, and not many actors get to do that. For example, it’s nice to come to Ireland and get seated in these roots of a character and be like, ‘Okay, we’re here for six months.’ I’m fortunate to be able to do that.
Fashion and Tom Ford
Are you into fashion?
I’ve always loved fashion. I love dressing up. I love wearing stuff that accentuates me and wearing something I wouldn’t normally wear, especially on photoshoots. There’s a lot I would never wear, but when it’s photographed, I’m like, ‘Oh, nice, it works. It’s one of those things when you’re like, ‘Oh no, I can never wear that.’ And then you do.
That’s why I like fashion; there are so many avenues. There is no right or wrong way. I grew up looking at designers and thinking, ‘Oh wow, I’d love to wear one of their shirts or jackets one day.’ Tom Ford is someone I’ve admired for years, watching his journey from Gucci to forming his own company.
If I’m going to an event in LA and no one’s dressing me, I’m instantly putting on one of two Tom Ford jackets in my wardrobe, which I adore. They look good on any occasion. One is dark for winter, and one’s light for spring. You can wear it for a cocktail party, or you can wear it casually. He’s an incredible designer; I’d love to work with him one day.
A talented filmmaker, too, right?
Yeah, a pretty darn good filmmaker as well.
Fashion is like film. They’re both about storytelling. Tom uses clothes to tell stories in his movies and on the runway.
I agree with that. That’s probably why I like to wear his designs. I fit into his 46 like an absolute glove, with no alterations. It accentuates me, which is essential in fashion.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m filming an independent film right now. I hope it goes to the festivals. It’s a comedy and a nice thing to explore because I love comedies.
I’m looking forward to everyone seeing it.
It was also fun because we had a car chase. There was a lot of preparation and planning. We had a police escort shut off the entire street. We had to sprint after a car, and we all did our lines, panicking since we were just a part of a getaway.
My friend Nick and I looked at each other and said this is crazy. When we get to do this, usually, there are stunt doubles, or we’d be on a green screen pretending. Instead, we’re driving 50 or 60 miles an hour down an actual road, screaming our lines at each other. It was incredible, extraordinary.
All clothing by Louis Vuitton Men’s
Interview by Mark Benjamin
Photography by Meg Young
Styling by Heather Rest with Walter Schupfer
Grooming by Phoebe Seligman with Art Department