Daniel De Santo lookin' purdy. Daniel De Santo lookin' purdy.
As you watch Boondock Saints 2: All Saints Day, you might recognize a familiar Canadian face. Behind the jacked-up hair and Sicilian accent is the boy you grew up watching around the Midnight Society campfire on Are You Afraid of the Dark?, and later as a douchebag boyfriend in Mean Girls, asking Lindsay Lohan if she'd like her "muffin buttered."

"Yes, that was me," laughs Daniel De Santo. Just arriving back in town from L.A., the actor made some time to chat with the newspaper.

De Santo is nothing like the shit-disturbing character he plays in Troy Duffy's sequel to 1999's cult action flick, and far from any kind of bad guy. In real life, the actor is funny, down-to-earth, and quite simply, a nice guy.

Acting opposite Peter Fonda and Billy Connolly, De Santo plays Crew Cut, opening up the film by killing a priest in the style of the Boondock Saints - pennies in the eyes and all - to try to drag the brothers out of hiding from Ireland. De Santo prepared for his violent new role with gun and weapon training. "I'm used to playing the bad boyfriend or the bad friend," he said, "but playing a real villain was great. I got to really go into this role, which was different for me, but also very rewarding."

De Santo will again play a different kind of role in his next work. In 2010, he will appear alongside Shawn Ashmore (X-Men) in Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures, a film based on the best-selling novel by Vincent Lam.

In the last few years, he has also been actively pursuing producing, directing, and writing. "That's the next step. At a certain point, you gotta take it to the next level." The Toronto native received his BFA with honours in Film from Ryerson University. "I wanted to round myself out as an actor, see the other side of the camera."

Maintaining solid friendships with comedian Russell Peters and actress Elisha Cuthbert (24, Girl Next Door), De Santo is part of a distinct circle of Canadian entertainers. At 29, he has an impressive body of work under his belt, and is a big up-and-comer in Hollywood. But talking with him, none of this shows. Although he has plenty of promising projects planned, De Santo steers clear of the Hollywood chaos and maintains that modest Canadian charm.

See De Santo in Boondock Saints 2: All Saints Day, currently playing in theatres across Canada.

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