This weekend Punky Brewster fans got to reunite with their favorite characters from the original series in the show's revival on Peacock, though there were also several new faces in the mix. That includes Punky's three children Hannah, Diego, and Daniel, who all bring their own unique energy to the show and all have their own journey as they adapt to life with the newest member of the family, Izzy. ComicBook.com had the chance to speak to Oliver De Los Santos all about the role of Daniel, what he enjoyed most about the experience, and even some Marvel superhero talk. First though we wanted to know what he thought of the Soleil Moon Frye starring original series.
"I actually had no idea what Punky Brewster was before I got the audition, and I would’ve loved to watch it, but it’s not available in Australia," De Los Santos said. "My mum knew the show though so she told me about it, and then when I went back to America to film the rest of season one, I binged it on Peacock. I really loved it."
Over the course of the season, we see many different sides to Daniel, and that's one of the things De Los Santos loved most about the character, though Daniel's stylish clothes did present their own challenges on the set.
"My favourite part of playing Daniel was that he didn’t change what he liked to suit other people. It can be really hard to stay true to yourself when other people are making fun of you, but he just owns his choices which is really cool," De Los Santos said. "I didn’t find it hard to play him, but he likes to wear nice clothes, and I like to play during our breaks, so it was sometimes tricky to keep my costume looking neat and tidy."
De Los Santos has nothing but positive things to say about his Punky Brewster experience, especially when it comes to working with Frye and Freddie Prinze Jr, which even included some lightsaber battles!
"Soleil is seriously one of the nicest people I’ve ever known," De Los Santos said. "She is so kind and generous and caring. They are both really awesome actors and I learned a lot from watching them and working with them. Freddie used to let us play with his kendo sticks during lunch. We used them as lightsabers! There were lots of really great times on set, but I think my favourite bit was just getting to hang out with everyone, Cherie, the other kids, even the guest cast, everyone is just so nice and I had the best time. I feel so lucky to be part of this show."
Like the original, the revival isn't scared to tackle more complex conversations, and De Los Santos loved being a part of pushing those types of discussions to the forefront. "Well I just think it talks about some things that you don’t see a lot on tv, like foster families and other important topics, which is great. And I think that it’s obvious our family isn’t perfect and I hope people can relate to that," De Los Santos said.
That includes an episode later in the season when Daniel decides to wear a sarong to school, which Diego makes fun of initially before coming to understand why it shouldn't matter what others think regarding who you are and who you want to be, and De Los Santos hopes that is what people take away from the episode.
"Yeah that was a cool episode! I did like that later in the episode sporty, tough Diego had to admit that Daniel was stronger than him," De Los Santos said. "That was a funny moment for me. And I did think it was great that even though Diego tried to get Daniel to change out of the sarong, Punky said he should just wear it if he likes it. I think Daniel was going to do that anyway, but the support was nice and I hope that people see Daniel’s character and feel confident to be themselves and do what feels right for them even if other people disagree."
Now, you know we had to get some superhero talk in, and with superheroes as big as ever, we wanted to know if there was a hero De Los Santos would love to play in live-action or even voice in a video game, and he's got awesome ideas.
"Oh gosh… that’s hard. Ummmm…. Probably Miles Morales or Wolverine because I think their powers are pretty cool, I mean, imagine having blades coming out of your hands or be able to go invisible and swing through streets with buildings and stuff," De Los Santos said. "Yep, that would be awesome!"
Yeah, having claws would actually be pretty rad, and so would having Daniel as part of The Mandalorian, which also came up when we asked what franchise he would love to see Daniel crossover with.
"Well for sure I would pick The Mandalorian, but I don’t know how Daniel would fit in there (laughs). He could be a force builder. He’d definitely be a Jedi," De Los Santos said. "I think he’d fit really well in The Big Bang Theory actually, he could be Sheldon’s friend, like a mini genius at the university, he is very smart, and they could work on physics together. Or maybe Friends or Seinfeld! Just because I love those shows."
Okay, now we really want to see Daniel as a Jedi in season 2 of The Mandalorian. He could work with Baby Yoda! See? It writes itself. Make it happen Disney!0comments
You can catch De Los Santos in action on Punky Brewster, which is available to stream on Peacock now.
What did you think of the Punky Brewster revival? Let us know in the comments and as always you can talk all things Punky Brewster with me on Twitter @MattAguilarCB!