Quinton wrestler who lifted weights during lockdown is wanted for new ITV2 sitcom
A wrestler who spent Covid lockdowns training at a makeshift home gym in Quinton has been sought out for a new ITV2 sitcom, despite having no acting experience outside of the ring. Dan Moloney, 25, who represents Birmingham when battling for promotions across the UK, was discovered by TV executives who were planning a new show – Deep Heat – which aired earlier this week.
The Four Dwellings Academy alum now stars as Si in the ITV2 comedy, learning acting on the job from stars including award-winning comedy actress Pippa Hayward and Sex Education actor Alistair Petrie. The show also benefits from a guest appearance from Matt Lucas.
Deep Heat follows a troupe of wrestlers in a small Northern promotion as they work to save their business. Dan’s character, Si, has some things in common with the wrestler who plays him – both work to stay physically fit – but while the character is a “bit of a jerk”, preoccupied with his image and his women, Dan is a humble and intelligent man. guy, who had no idea he was about to act until the day he showed up on set.
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He explains: “I received an email in my spam box one day, with the casting call for the series. I didn’t think it was real, so I replied asking where they had obtained my contact details. They had been in contact with the promoter of Rev Pro [a wrestling company based in London] after seeing a picture of me online, and they asked to be put in touch.
“I came in thinking they wanted a double or something, but then I came in and got listed as an actor on the sheet. I thought ‘I’m not going to tell them I’m not going to I’m not one, maybe I just got the wrong stick”. But right away they gave me some clothes to wear and I shot my first scene!”
Dan talks about how he had to learn on the job, finding ways to adapt to the new career path he found himself on. “I’m dyslexic and I found the scripts a bit crazy, I couldn’t make sense of them at all,” he explains. “But the whole team was amazing, I could stop and ask anyone, even the catering staff, for help figuring out where I needed to be or what to say.
“Everyone was just awesome. I spent a lot of time with Alistair Petrie and I kept telling him he looked like the head teacher in sex ed and I hoped he didn’t wouldn’t insult you for that.”
Dan’s character, Si, is a “little bitch who loves women,” the wrestler tells us, describing him as “venom numb, preoccupied with his tan and oiling his muscles.” The real Dan, however, is more focused on building a prosperous future for himself and his family.
He tells us he was raised by his mother Bev, who took her son to watch wrestling as a young child, fostering his passion for the sport and instilling in him the belief that anything was possible. When Dan was 11, he started training to be a wrestler, making his debut in front of a live crowd in May 2009.
Now he plays the role of “Drilla” Dan Moloney in promotions all over the UK. He is the current champion of Liverpool-based TNT Extreme Wrestling, he is a mainstay of Rev Pro shows in London and he holds the tag team titles of Progress, also based in the capital, with his wrestling partner Man Like Dereiss. The duo perform as ‘The 0121’, proudly representing Birmingham on each promotion’s national and international platforms.
He tells us more about his love of the city: “We always lived within the same five mile radius. Growing up it was just me and my mom and my brother and we lived in towers and all the way of the way. Although Quinton doesn’t seem like the nicest place to live, the people are great. I’m proud to be from here and I’m still here now, this place gives me a different perspective and it inspires me to work harder, to dig a little deeper than others could.”
Dan tells us how he felt when he first saw himself on TV. He said: “We taped the show late last year so watching it on screen now feels surreal because there’s time that separated the experience of being there and the experience of being there. ‘ve now as a spectator. When we went to the premiere in London, I almost cried… but I couldn’t because I had an appointment with me!”
He says he has a positive outlook for his future: “I was in the first scene of the trailer and the first scene of the show – they gave me a big responsibility by giving me this role. I hope that will open more doors for me along the way.
“It would be cool if there was a second series of Deep Heat. I’d love to explore If as a character more, but we’ll have to see what happens with that. For now, I’m just going to keep doing this what I was doing when they found me.”
The superstar idea, however, is still on his radar. “I always told my mother that I would like to replicate the career of The Rock or Batista, but I had no idea how you would become an actor,” he explains. “I know there are drama schools and all that but I never had the money to go.
“Still, I would say it was going to happen! My mom always told me I could be anything I wanted to be, and I know that’s true.
The first series of Deep Heat is now available on the ITV hub. It airs on ITV2 on Mondays at 10 p.m.
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