Frequently Asked Questions
Regarding Autographs: Currently, the only way to get a personalized autograph from Danica is to either purchase one of her exclusive, autographed yoga DVD'
s, or participate in her Library donation autograph offer.
Here are some FAQs, answered by Danica - from your emails!
Q: Why Math?
Danica Answers: I've answered this one in a blog entry, actually!
Q: What do you like more, acting or writing math books for girls?
Danica Answers: Whichever one I'm doing at the time. Really.
Q: Do you still keep in touch with the cast from "The Wonder Years?"
Danica Answers: Yes, in fact, I do! Fred & Josh and I follow each other on Twitter, and I have recently done a few voiceover jobs with Fred. Dan Lauria has always been like a second dad to me. It can be hard since our lives take us in so many different directions, but we do our best. That cast was like a family, and although you may not see all of them often, when you do see each other, it's like no time has passed.
(For more "Wonder Years" FAQ's, click here!)
Q: Dear Danica, What is your nationality? I've heard that you are part Asian, either Korean or Japanese, or both. Is that true? I've always wondered what your ethnic background is. What about your name? Where does it come from? Thanks!
Danica Answers: Hi! You're not the first one to ask me this: I've been asked if I were Asian, Hawaiian, Greek, etc. The truth is, I'm a big mix of Western Europe. I'm mostly Portuguese (this is my mom's side), via the Azores and Madeira Islands. These are both groups of islands in the Atlantic ocean settled by the Portuguese in 1418. This means that my mom's side is probably a fair mix of Portuguese and native Islander! On my dad's side, I'm part Scottish (hence "McKellar"), and a little each of: German, Spanish, French, and Dutch. No Asian, I'm afraid. Although you should see baby pictures, I really do look Asian!
The name "Danica" (pronounced with the same inflection as "Monica" or "Erica") comes from a book called "Name Your Baby" that my parents bought before I was born. The name seems to be natively found in Denmark and also in most Slavic countries (although in Slavic nations, it's pronounced "Don'-eetz-sa") and it means, "Morning Star." That's why I named my production company "Morning Starlight Productions, " since I guess a morning star would "produce" morning starlight. :)
Q: What is the Chayes-McKellar-Winn theorem?
Danica Answers: As an undergraduate at UCLA, I co-authored a math proof of a theorem in the area of Statistical Mechanics (mathematical physics). We proved a characterization theorem for a mathematical model of magnetic material, whereby a probability space is considered on a 2-D discrete lattice. (The paper can be read here). I co-authored this paper with a professor (Lincoln Chayes) and another student (Brandy Winn). The full title of the paper is Percolation and Gibbs States Multiplicity for Ferromagnetic Ashkin-Teller Models on Z2, but it became more commonly known as the Chayes-McKellar-Winn theorem. It was a lot work, and an awesome experience.
Q: What was it like to go to school and work at the same time as a child? Do you feel like you missed out on your childhood? How was it transitioning from child actor to adult actor?
Danica Answers: I guess I'll never know what my childhood would have been like if I hadn't been working-and of course I had to miss many high school activities because of working. But it was a filmed show, which means that if I wasn't in any scenes on a particular day, I could attend my regular school. So I got to be present on many, many days. So I got to have some "normal" interaction with a school environment. My parents were great-very supportive of my success, and yet at the same time, they made sure I stayed grounded. I still had chores to do! So in a lot of ways I got to be a kid.
Transitioning from "child actor" to adult actor was a little bumpy. I did take a break from the business to go to college, and I thought when I came back everyone would be like "oh, she grew up, she's not Winnie Cooper anymore". But that took time. It wasn't until I began working on "The West Wing" that people started to admit to themselves that I had grown up after all, and I've had a great time on a number of shows since then - in between book writing, of course!
Q: What would your dream role be?
Danica Answers: This may sound silly, but I've always wanted to play a mermaid:) Ever since I was a little girl, I've been a fan of mermaids, and "Splash" is one of my all time favorite movies. I always love smart, interesting women, but I get to play those all the time. Playing a mermaid would be something I've always thought about, but haven't yet had the opportunity to do. But there aren't too many mermaid scripts out there, and they are probably difficult to do well. ;)
Q: How do you manage to stay in shape, juggling an acting and writing career and motherhood? And how did you lose the baby weight?