“It took a little while for me to gain the confidence, not only in my ability to go out there and put that together, but also in not being afraid of what other people would think,” Benson said. “I think that was the biggest obstacle, because this is something I’ve wanted to do for a while.”
However, the Springfield, Mo., native had admittedly been “out of the spotlight for a long time.” He booked a few more roles after Wizards of Waverly Place ended in 2012, including some voice work on Rick and Morty, but, Benson said, he left “being a struggling actor” behind some years ago and moved on.
He went back to school, getting his BA in graphic design from Denver’s Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design in 2018, and pursued a career in marketing. So he was “actually just working a normal job,” he said, when those old photos surfaced.
And by the time he was considering posing naked on purpose, for money, he thought of the business relationships he’d formed. “I was aware,” Benson said, “that they’re all going to be like, ‘Whoa! What is going on with Dan?!'”