By Scott Benson
Danny Mendelson didn’t need a doctor’s note when he missed a week of school last year. He was making his professional acting debut in a major film starring Adam Sandler and Andy Samberg.
Danny was cast as the gay friend of a young Adam Sandler. His character, School Buddy #2, appeared during a flashback sequence early in the movie. “I was flown out to Boston right after the middle school musical,” recalls Danny. “I missed the next week of school and didn’t tell anyone where I was for like a month. I didn’t want to be ‘that guy’ that bragged about doing what I did.”
Like many actors, Danny’s big break came from his connections. Before he was born, his mother was a casting director for Nickelodeon. When he was only in 6th grade, she brought him along to a casting session she was running for a Friendly’s commercial. The producers liked him and just like that Danny was in a Friendly’s commercial.
A photo shoot for stop motion animation, the commercial was a strange experience for Danny. He described it as “kind of weird because I just had to stand in odd positions while they took pictures of me.”
After that success, Danny went out on the occasional audition but didn’t book anything (acting lingo for a firm verbal commitment to the job offer) until his movie break. That’s My Boy is a comedy about the relationship between a father and the son he raised as a teenage single parent.
While on set as a minor, Danny was legally obligated to have schooling. Each day he had a certain time allotted with a tutor. Another strong memory: “Really amazing food at craft services.”
While Danny did have the opportunity to meet Adam Sandler, he didn’t really spend time with the famous comedian because Danny was in a flashback sequence that did not feature him. Danny has been to only one audition since That’s My Boy but did not get the part. “I don’t see or plan on my acting going anywhere,” he said. Danny is strikingly modest about his acting career. The way he sees it is “it’s not really a big deal.”