BWW Exclusive: Dynamic Duo Van Hansis and Tyler Hanes Talk Love and Relationships in Entertainment
Four-time Emmy Award nominated actor Van Hansis and celebrated Broadway star Tyler Hanes first met as college students at Carnegie Mellon, but it took a chance meeting years later at a Broadway opening night to bring the two together romantically.
Hansis received his third Daytime Emmy Award nomination this year for the role of Thom on "Eastsiders," the hit LGBT web series that was recently acquired by Netflix. His first two nominations came from playing "As the World Turns'" Luke Snyder, one half of the first gay couple to be featured on a soap opera. Hanes recently wrapped up a successful run as everyone's favorite hip-thrusting cat, Rum Tum Tugger in the first-ever revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber's CATS. The veteran performer has wowed critics and audiences alike with performances in nearly ten Broadway musicals, including On the Town, Hairspray, A Chorus Line and The Boy From OZ.
The handsome duo took a break from their busy schedules to dish the entertainment industry, children, household chores, and keeping their 10-year relationship fresh.
Hansis and Hanes were shot in NYC by RRR Creative photographer Santiago Felipe, with wardrobe styling by RRR Creative Director Sam Ratelle, and grooming and make-up by Hair Master / RRR Image Director Elle Gomez.
What are your favorite things about each other?
Tyler Hanes: Details! Details!
Van Hansis: Details, details. My favorite things about you... I think your sense of humor. You're so funny and you're very cute, so that doesn't hurt. You surprise me all the time. I just don't know what I'm going to get with you and I'm always so excited to hear your point of view about things. What about you?
Tyler Hanes: Your humor, first and foremost, because you're just as weird, if not weirder, than I am. You bring out the best in me and you're very compassionate and understanding. You are objective too, which I like, because you bring me back down to Earth and talk me off the ledge.
But my favorite thing is you in the morning right after you wake up. It's the cutest thing because you are very fresh and dewy. You're funny, really funny, and you have such a child-like sensibility.
Van Hansis: Fresh?
Tyler Hanes: Fresh. You're like Christmas morning, that's what you are!
What household chores do you love and what do you hate?
Tyler Hanes: I wanna answer for you.
Van Hansis: Ah okay, and I'll answer for you.
Tyler Hanes: You hate doing laundry.
Van Hansis: I hate it. But I like cleaning the lint filter.
Tyler Hanes: You like vacuuming and you like cleaning the cat litter.
Van Hansis: You make me do it because you will never do that. I do not like to clean the cat litter, but I did it today.
Van Hansis: Alright. I'm going to tell you what you don't like to do. You don't like when we feed the cats wet food because you won't clean the cans and put them in recycling. You leave them in the sink constantly.
Tyler Hanes: I got better with that though.
Van Hansis: No, you haven't.
Tyler Hanes: Sweetie, c'mon yes I have! I know it drives you crazy. I have gotten better at it.
Van Hansis: And you don't like making the bed.
Tyler Hanes: That's not true. I just usually run out of time, but I love cleaning the apartment.
Van Hansis: You do like cleaning. You don't love cooking, but that's not really a chore.
Tyler Hanes: Well to me it is. You love cooking and I like cleaning. That's why we compliment each other wonderfully. I really do love cleaning. I love waking up when the apartment is spotless, especially on Christmas, or your birthday, or a holiday. It's so OCD, but I love it.
Van Hansis: I know. You're so excited talking about it.
Tyler Hanes: I know! I love cleaning! I'm like Danny Tanner from "Full House".
Do you want children? If so, what do you look forward to with children?
Tyler Hanes: We talked about children early on. We both want them and we are both are good with kids. That's another reason why I was initially attracted to you, because you also wanted kids. I look forward to seeing which traits of our personality they adopt. Our kid will have a broad and silly sense of humor. I really want our child to have your curiosity about things in the world. And I want our kids to have my feet. I've got claws as feet - cashew feet.
What is your favorite thing about acting and what do you dislike most about acting?
Van Hansis: When I'm in it, it's like nothing else matters. It's escaping myself and getting to tap into a part of myself that I don't get to in my real life.
Tyler Hanes: Yeah, it's fun. You learn a lot about yourself.
Van Hansis: You do learn about yourself and you learn that there is a part of you that isn't who you are in your day to day. You can connect to something deeper and something weirder and if you just let it go you can go on this weird journey. That's what I like about it. There's not much I don't like about it.
Tyler Hanes: I like working on certain characters and getting lost in that for a period of time and then being able to put it away and move on. I often think, "I would love to take this aspect from this character, and that trait from that character, and add them to my actual life." For instance, I really miss playing Rum Tum Tugger in CATS because I really enjoyed him and it was a part of me for a year and a half. It wasn't me, but it was fun being in his boots.
Did you have a specific mentor or someone who inspired you? Who was it and what did they do?
Van Hansis: Joe Cabral was the head of the Drama department at Walnut Hill School for the Arts in Natick, Massachusetts where I was lucky enough to go to high school. He's the best teacher I ever had. I learned discipline from him and I think that is so important. I also want to say Lesly Kahn. She is an acting teacher in LA and she is absolutely brilliant. I had been on a soap opera for five years, I had been on TV a bunch, and when we moved to LA I got into her class and she changed everything for me. Lesly Kahn. What about you?
Tyler Hanes: Dave Clemmons. I met him at Broadway Theater Project when he was still a performer and a voice teacher. He was the first person that ever was like, " Hey, you can sing" and that was the first time ever I had heard that in my life. I had always wanted to be a singer but I had zero self-confidence and he was the one teacher that really vocalized faith in me. It only takes one person to say, "I believe in you" to change your life and he changed my life. Andy Blankenbuehler was a mentor to me very early on too.