PHOTOS BY BRODY WHEELER
“We are all half our mom and half our dad.”
This is what actor, director, producer, single father and well as you may know, one of the famous “Baldwin Brothers”, Daniel Baldwin said when I asked him why he agreed to being on the cover of Central NY Woman Online magazine’s latest edition as the first ever man on the cover. He also said he was excited. He likes things that are not stereotypical and not the standard.
As we were up in the suite getting ready, he called his brother Billy on facetime and we were all chuckling as he asked, “Why did they pick you for the cover of a woman’s magazine?” His reply was. “Well someone has gotto do it.” as he laughs. Daniel also said, “Why not have a woman on the cover of a men’s magazine?” He’s done a lot of work, along with his brothers and sisters for breast cancer in his mother’s name with the Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund.
At 91 years young, his mom is still a very strong precense and role model, (frankly a saint) especially raising the Baldwin brothers. He said, “Yup mom is a tigress.” In the late 80’s she developed breast cancer, had a double mastectomy and announced 2 years later that she was starting a breast cancer research organization and she was going to use her son’s celebrity status to help her find a cure. Daniel says, “She was a maverick. Right up there with Susan Koman.”
As we got to spend the day together during his photoshoot at the Craftsman Inn & Suites in Fayetteville, I got to talk to Daniel more in depth about so many different things. We discussed what it was like growing up with such an amazing and strong mother and how he is raising his two young daughters with the values he was raised with. His daughters joined us for the shoot and watching them interact, and the love and respect they have for their father was truly heartwarming. Especially in this day and age. But, one of the greatest things I took away from our interview was how much he is all about family. Some condier him the bad boy of the Baldwin bunch. Getting to know him now, I think he is just a big teddy bear at heart.
He hit a big milestone this year turning 60, and decided that it was time for some changes. Eating better, excersizing and losing 60lbs in 6 months is helping him to live his best life.
There is so much more to tell about Daniel Baldwin. Where do we start? Well, how about a little question and answer with Central NY Woman Online.
What was it like growing up with such a big family in CNY?
Growing up on Long Island and then in Syracuse was really the best of both worlds. The island was so close to NYC that I was influenced by its global media forces. At the same time I would be in Syracuse seeing family under the protective cover of high family values and morals that nurtured and shaped us as children.
Some fun facts…Daniel’s parents met while attending Syracuse University. Carol Baldwins father was a football coach at SU back in the day and played for the original 1923 Buffalo Bills.. Daniel was telling us how the Baldwin’s have the longest legacy at SU with the most graduates in the history of the school. He said it is over 70 family members. But none, of the kids went there. Daniel was a graduate of Ball State University with a degree in Psychology. He says being an actor and majoring in [psychology has helped him create the different personas he has to portray in his films.
What do you think your biggest strength is and why?
I think my biggest strength is my passion. When I’m passionate about something or someone I am an all or nothing , “All in” type of person. I am loyal to them, I live it and breath it.
What has been the the best and worst thing about growing up as a “Baldwin Brother”?
Wow, where do I begin? Can I lay down to answer this one? Did you say the “Whole magazine was about me”? LOL
Ok, seriously, being one of four who have had some success in the acting world has been fun. Please remember that our father was a school teacher. We had no uncles or GOD parents who were in the business. So 4 knuckleheads making a living at this was quite rare.
I think the hardest part is that we are always lumped into the same bin. When one of us got in trouble we all were judged, and trust me I was many times the source of the attention.
The good thing has been how much of a positive influence we have been able to be for charity. Particularly, the Carol M Baldwin breast cancer research fund The four of us brothers, as well as my two sisters have raised a lot of money and helped many people. I’m proud of that.
What is the best and worst thing about being considered a celebrity, and how has that affected your children?
I think the hardest things about the fame game is managing expectations. So many people need help, want you, your time, or name, appearances, money, etc. You want to help as many as possible. All of these causes are just and worthy, but I have children and a life of my own so choosing who and when has been quite hard at times. That’s what’s nice about having 4 of us though.
As Daniel was doing his photoshoot, I decided to ask him some questions about his documentary, “My Promise To PJ”. Who exactly was PJ? What was his promise? He began by telling us about how PJ’s dad was the first guy to kiss his sister when living in Massapequa, Long Island. Everyone started joking about how the PJ’s got around and we were all laughing before getting to see clips from the documentary, which by the way were not at all what I expected. You can watch it at __________
Tell us about “your Promise To PJ” and how it got started. What did it mean to you to be able to fullfil this promise?
My documentary “My Promise to PJ” was exactly that. It started as a promise that I made to a young man who’s parents I knew since I was 5 years old. I was helping him get sober off of a terrible heroin addiction and I promised PJ that if he got clean for 2 years I would take him to run with the bulls in Pamplona Spain. He got his two and in fact he got 3. Sadly PJ relapsed and overdosed before I could take him to run. Two years after his death I was still suffering from his loss, so I decided to keep my promise and go run with the bulls for him. I dieted and trained for 5 months. I lost 57 pounds and I took my tired old butt and flew to Spain with PJ’s ashes and ran with the bulls. The documentary chronicles the journey I took. It gives a voice to his family. It is the first film or television project that has all four of us Baldwin brothers in it.
It allowed me to fullfil my promise in an attempt to move on from this loss.
Along the way I learned some valuable lessons, which you can watch the documentary to find out more. You won’t be disappointed.
We then talked about being a single Dad. Raising two young girls, one of which turned 13 just a few days after the shoot and he joked saying, “Is there a book I can read. One about being both a mom and a dad.” I asked him what the most important thing he could instill in these young ladies was. His answer was just one word, “Love.” “Love is the most important thing to teach them. It doesn’t matter what they do, the fact that they know that I unequivocally love them and that there is nothing that they can’t say to me.”
They have a very healthy fear of there dad . “They know they have consequences to their actions if they have done something wrong. But they feel safe to to tell daddy if they have a dark secret,” he says. They trust him enough to come to him for anything.
The pandemic has definitely raised some issues for any parent. Daniel say’s , “It has been very challenging for me in many respects being a single parent during this time. Trying to juggle family, career, my girls needs and virtual schooling.” But, judging from what I saw spending the day with all of them, he is doing a pretty amazing job!
What would the girls say is their most favorite thing about growing up with you as their dad?
I think my daughters would have to say that there favorite thing about me as a dad is how safe they feel. They know that daddy is their friend, but more importantly that daddy protects them. I am a single father without very much help. My girls see how hard I work for them. Now that was my answer for BJB!!!!
You know how we look at time as BC and AD. Well, in my family we have an additional reference, it’s BJB.
That’s Before Justin Bieber. Now if you asked my girls what’s their favorite thing about their daddy? Ask after I get them backstage for JB’s concert. 🙂
How have you changed in the past 20 years?
I have lots of goals and desires. I’d like to keep making films that make a social statement. I would like to finish raising my girls, get them to college, and then maybe focus on some of the things I have had to sacrifice in order to raise them. It would be nice to meet someone to share all of this with. Someone who knows The LORD and wants to hold my hand, and lastly I would not rule out politics at some level. I have had a checkered past, but I’ve also come out the other side pretty well. Let’s see what happens next.
Why do you decide to stay in Central NY all these years?
I raise my kids here because of the values here and because of the community here. I have a lot of family here and when I first came here I thought I would see them so much. I have learned that they have their own lives that they live. My mom and sisters are here so I get to see them much more than I did when I lived on the West Coast. Not so much my cousi’s and nieces, but my family has expanded beyond my blood living in CNY.
Do you plan on acting again in the near future? What about producing or directing?
I am scheduled to work on multiple films in 2021. Now, if we could just figure out this whole COVID-19 thing and get back to work already!!!!
I have a secret project I’m trying to shoot in February and March right here in Syracuse but I’m not sure we can pull it off. Stay tuned.
I can honestly say that I think we made a bold choice for a man on the cover of Central NY Woman Online, but wasn’t he the perfect one?
Hope we were able to show you that Daniel Baldwin is an not just an American actor, director and producer.and the second oldest of the four notiorious Baldwin brothers. He is a single father, a son of a strong woman, and doing his part to help his community and beyond be a better place. Whether it is fundraising for the Carol M Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund, or talking and helping others on their recovery journey, he is always more then accomodating to lend a hand and his ear.
“This is just the beginning. I have a lot more to come.” Tune in as we go live on February 3rd from the Craftsman Inn and Suites and talk more with Daniel about some of his future plans and more about his weightloss journey and beyond.