Michael Nardelli [Interview]

Photo by Ryan West

 

Hello Folks! And Happy Friday to you all! Today we have an incredible interview to share with you all. Today we have some wonderful words from the brilliant writer, producer, actor, and so much more, Michael Nardelli. Michael has been in the game for a while working in the world of film and television, but most recently he has been the mastermind behind one of the finest television series I have seen in such a long time. Nardelli is the executive producer, writer, producer, and star of the Amazon Prime Original series Dark/Web, which is absolutely fantastic. If you need a comparison, it’s Black Mirror with some narrative. And more importantly, it’s so fucking good. It may very well be one of the best shows to hit the streaming waves over the last decade. I seriously cannot recommend it enough. It’s brilliantly written, and beautifully shot, and Michael was the man who made it all possible.

So Folks, please enjoy some wonderful words from the absolutely amazing jack of all trades in the world of film and television, the absolutely incredible Michael Nardelli. And be sure to check out Dark/Web. I promise you are going to love this series!

 

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What inspired you to get into the world of acting? Was it an aspiration you have had since your youth, or did you happen to find yourself in this world one day?

Thank you for having me! I wanted to act since I was born, basically. I grew up watching old classics with my mom like The Wizard of Oz and Rear Window. TV shows like Dick Van Dyke, The Twilight Zone, etc. She showed me all the Doris Day and Marilyn Monroe movies. My uncle also introduced me to old serials like Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon and westerns like Shane. All of that influenced me and I just love storytelling and the idea of experiencing different worlds and point of views by playing a character. I moved a lot growing up as well, so I was always observing new people and interactions and new environments trying to figure out how to fit in.

 

What was your very first paid gig in the world of performance? And where there any sort of lessons learned from this particular project?

My very first job was a McDonald’s commercial. I was thrilled to have booked it as it gave me my SAG card. I think the only big lesson was just realizing how complicated the process of booking any kind of job in the entertainment industry is. I say that because I had no dialogue in the commercial – I literally just had to turn and react surprised as a happy meal flew by my face – and yet I had to go through an audition AND a callback to secure that. It made me realize, especially for commercials, they’re looking for something specific in each actor to complete their whole picture. It also set the tone for my future in acting, just in realizing that any job, small or large, usually won’t come so easy or quickly in film and television and you have to fight for it a bit.

 

Can you tell us a bit about your new Amazon Prime series Dark/Web? What drew you to this project? What made you decide this was a story that needed to be told?

I grew up loving all things sci fi. So, anthology shows like The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits. X-Files was a huge inspiration for me. My favorite sci fi is the kind that’s used to really dive into topical and relevant events in a unique way. You can really mirror the human experience and talk about hot button issues without being too alienating or on the nose, as can sometimes be the case with traditional drama stories. Me, Mario Miscione and my brother Tim Nardelli all wanted to collaborate again after we had a successful experience on our film Circle, which was acquired by Netflix. I had this loose idea of an anthology show that would be connected by a larger storyline. Where, the more you watched, the more you saw that everything is in fact connected in some way. It’s an unconventional format or structure, but we like the idea of doing something new since so much of film and television nowadays is about remakes, or reboots, or exploiting nostalgia.

We landed on the dark web being the focal point for the series because it fascinated us and had so much story in it. And it’s a real thing, as scary as that is. But we also wanted to explore the web itself generally as a “dark” place. And we felt our contribution to this story was unique because we’re the last generation that will remember an analogue world, and we’re the first generation that started dipping their toes into what is now a massively digital and tech-crazed landscape. We’re at an important point in history where we’ve accepted technology into our lives – literally into our bedrooms and kitchens – out of convenience, but should be asking questions about how it changes things like privacy and even our own day to day interaction as humans.

 

 

And now that the show has been out in the world for a while, how have viewers been reacting to it?

I think people seem pretty excited and happy with the show for the most part! I’ve loved getting messages on social media from new fans who’ve found the show and already binged it, sometimes twice. We had a great launch at Comic Con – an official panel and then a two-night premiere where a ton of people came out. It’s still quite surreal for me and all the filmmakers on the show that it’s now this live thing that exists out in the world and people can watch with one click. We got so used to reviewing it on private screener links or drives that now, when I’m clicking through my Amazon Prime Video app and I see our key art, I’m like “Oh my god! Is this real life!? How did we do this!?” And then, the internet also keeps you humble, which is good. Anytime you do something sci/fi horror, people will go into it with their own expectations of what it should look or feel like, so you can’t please everyone, and I’ve seen a little bit of that. That’s ok though – I’m frankly just grateful for anyone who gives it a chance in this crowded marketplace with new content popping up every other day.

 

If you were handed the opportunity to create and star in the biopic of any legendary figure in American history, who would it be?

What an interesting question. I feel a kinship with Kurt Cobain. I was just sort of getting into music when Nirvana broke out in the 90’s. They kind of defined my generation. I appreciate his stance on art and would love to go down the rabbit hole and really live in his skin and his mind. Explore his anger and his hurt. A biopic about Kurt would be a dream. Selfishly, it would also give me a chance to be in a musical of sorts, which is also a fantasy of mine that maybe could be a reality if I stop singing like a lunatic in the shower and actually hone some vocal skills.

 

What does the future hold for you? Anything you would like to plug to our readers?

Right now, I’m just making sure we get the word out about Dark/Web to as many people as possible. It was a labor of love (sometimes more labor, than love) for almost four years so I want to make sure we give “our baby” the best chance in the world that we can. Some people don’t know that we made the entire season ourselves, independently, before it made its way to Amazon. We’d love to do a second season and have ideas for it, if there is a demand from viewers. I just finished a play in LA, which was nice. And I’m writing a new feature, auditioning again, and we’ve talked about a sequel to our Netflix film Circle.

 

What was the last thing that made you smile?

I just had an amazing trip to Portugal. I’d always wanted to go. And once we launched Dark/Web, I escaped for a week and it was the first time I’d felt really relaxed in quite a while because I’ve been so responsible to this show from its conception right up to the sale and the marketing. So, I had a nice big sigh of relief and a big smile as I walked through all these beautiful, ancient European streets and listened to my music. It feels great to get reinspired and fill up your creative well again!

 

Dark/Web is available now on Amazon Prime.

 

About rontrembathiii
write. write. write.

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