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.

 

Myk Watford [Interview]

 

Hello Folks! We have some amazing words from an incredible actor. It’s Myk Watford Everyone! Myk has managed to appear in what seems like the biggest hit TV series of the last 20 years. Seriously, from The Sopranos, to Breaking Bad, to a reoccurring role on the third season of True Detective. Often times you will see him as a cop of some variety, but not all the time. But it is certainly understandable as to why he would land several roles as some sort of law enforcement. He has the dashing sort of look and dare I say, an “unfuckwithable” sort of grace about him.

Recently, Watford can be seen in the very interesting film The Kitchen that I have not had the pleasure of checking out, but most definitely will be doing so soon! He stars alongside the likes of Melissa McCarthy, Tiffany Haddish, and Elisabeth Moss, and it is sure to be an absolute delight. We get into it a bit in our words below, and so much more. So let’s get right into it, shall we? Folks, please enjoy some wonderful words from the brilliant Myk Watford!

 

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What inspired you to get into the world of entertainment? Was it something you aspired to do since you were young, or did you happen to find yourself in this world one day?

A little of both. I had always been an athlete, and figured sports was my future in one way or another. One day, I was probably about 15, my sister showed up with a huge trophy for winning the state High School Dramatic Interpretation competition. I had no idea there was such a thing, or that my sister participated in it… And I definitely didn’t know that they gave out huge trophies for it… I was intrigued. A few weeks later, her drama class did the musical “Fame”. I sat in the auditorium, and it was like the sky opened up and light shined down… I thought “I can do that!” I just knew. After that, I had a series of very good luck… Scholarship to study with the late great Kenneth Washington at the University of Utah. Another to study Shakespeare in DC with Micheal Kahn. Then, probably my first big break, I got an agent in NYC. Next thing you know, I was a (sometimes) working actor in NYC. At some point you kinna look back and say… “How the heck did I get here? I was gonna be a football coach…” But I’m happy with the way it worked out.

What was your first paid gig on the world of entertainment? And where there any sort of lessons learned from this experience that still affect your work today?

First time I ever got paid to act was playing the role of Connie Rivers in The Grapes of Wrath at Pioneer Memorial Theatre in Salt Lake City, Utah. I was certain my next role would be on Broadway… but that took a little longer than I anticipated.

I learned many lessons in that production, but probably the best one was when the Director, Charles Morey, stopped a rehearsal to call me out for upstaging the actress playing Rose of Sharon. I had no idea I had been inching upstage in the scene, making her turn her back to the audience. He really let me have it, and made an example of me. I never forgot that. I am still very aware of where the other actors are in relation to me and the camera or the audience. It was a great lesson. Albeit a little embarrassing.

 

 

I am very intrigued by a recently released film in which you appear in entitled The Kitchen. It looks fascinating. Can you tell us a bit about your role in the film? And how was your experience working on a such a unique story such as this?

Sure. The Kitchen is a film Directed by Andrea Berloff, based on the DC/Vertigo graphic novel of the same name. It centers around the wives of three small time Irish mob bosses in 1970’s Hell’s Kitchen, and their struggle to keep the business going after their husbands have been thrown in prison. I play Little Jackie, who is given control of the business. Little Jackie is a guy who has always struggled for respect… always struggled to be taken seriously. Once he assumes power, he is determined to keep it at all costs. This puts him at odds with the women, as they don’t feel they are being taken care of.

The Kitchen was an incredible film to work on. Andrea is a truly gifted artist, and her vision for the film was quite inspiring. The cast was unbelievable as well. Melissa McCarthy, Tiffany Haddish,  and Elisabeth Moss… what more could you ask for? And getting to step back in time to 1970’s New York City was incredible. The clothes, the cars… And they did an amazing job recreating that setting. New York is a real character in the film, and it just doesn’t get any cooler than New York in the 70’s.

We are huge fans of the world of horror here at TWS, and you happen to appear in a damn fine horror flick, directed by the very much missed horror genius Steven Goldmann, entitled Trailer Park of Terror. I am curious to know how your experience was working on this bloody film, as well as the horror genre in general? What do you believe sets the world of horror apart from other genres that you have worked in?

First of all, let me say that the world lost a lot of great art when Steven passed. Steven was a visionary. And he was just getting started. To think of the amazing art he would have created had he not been taken so soon… its tragic.

Playing the role of Roach was one of the great experiences of my career. I know it may sound odd coming from a guy who has been in some really huge movies, but it’s true. I mean, a guitar slinging, redneck, rockabilly demon zombie? Hell yes. Alan Brewer and Matt King created some amazing music as well, and I loved being able to sort of narrate the movie as Roach with the music. It was dark and hard and very explicit. Everything you want in a horror soundtrack. I had a lot of fun playing that role.

 

 

The makeup was pretty amazing as well. We had the best in the business working on it -the multiple Oscar winning artists from Drac Studios, who, sadly, are now split up. It was four hours into makeup and 2 hours out every day. Some people hate that kinda thing… I loved it. It was fascinating for me to see the character being created. We would listen to Rob Zombie and a lot of hard, dark music getting into makeup. It really helped the process, and got us pumped up. By the time we were on set were ready to raise hell…

If you were handed the opportunity to portray any historical figure in American history, who would you want to portray?

Johnny Cash. Without question. I’ve been a hardcore fan most of my life. Read all his biographies, even wrote a musical about his life -which I hope you get to see sometime. I also have a Johnny Cash tribute band called Big Cash and The Folsom 3. His music changes the landscape of country and rock and roll. His life was an epic story that is almost beyond belief. Johnny was an icon, and a maverick. But he was also a deeply flawed man who made many mistakes over the course of his life. Like Kristofferson said, “He was a walking contradiction. The living embodiment of antithesis. Not to mention the only man I know of who punched an ostrich in the face and lived to tell about it.”

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

My band, Stumpwaller will be doing some shows in the near future, starting September 7th in LA at The Federal. I also have a cool horror flick called Portal coming out in October. Otherwise, catch The Kitchen in theaters everywhere while you can!

What was the last thing that made you smile?

Watching my 5-year-old daughter singing to herself in the mirror when she thought no one was looking. Priceless.

 

The Kitchen is theaters across the glove now.

 

Also get more information about Myk from his WEBSITE, as well as Stumpwaller’s WEBSITE. And if you live in the LA area, catch them at The Federal in North Hollywood, CA, September 7th, 2019.

 

 

Sunday Matinee: The Power of Grayskull: The Definitive History of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe [Film]

 

“From Randall Lobb and Robert McCallum, THE POWER OF GRAYSKULL : The Definitive History of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe chronicles the beginnings and blockbuster-success of ‘80s toy sensation He-Man in an exhaustive, captivating 95 minute documentary that melts back the plastic on Eternia’s best-kept secrets!’

In the early 1980s He-Man arrived on the scene and hit the world with a punch as powerful as the character himself. Designed in the wake of Conan the barbarian and under the shadow of Star Wars, He-Man‘s surprising popularity spawned a multi billion dollar empire that included toys, comic books, cartoons, live-action movies and a literal sister spinoff show – She-Ra – and continues to appeal to a ravenous fan-base today. Watch as artists, creators and collaborators dig deep, tell tales and share the surprising developments of an unlikely, unparalleled pop culture success in this Definitive History of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. Do you have the power?” – October Coast PR

 

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So this is a film that hits seriously close to home. As a 90’s kid who grew up on 80’s syndicated television, I was well-versed on many thing related to He-Man and the Masters of the Universe series. But, I have to be honest, and I had NO idea how the whole concept came to life. I had no idea that this was one of those strange instances where it was the toy that inspired the TV show, rather than vice versa as per usual. But I certainly know a lot now after exploring the beautifully crafted documentary The Power of Grayskull. This is an absolutely brilliant doc with so much more heart and warmth than you would probably believe at first glance. As entertaining as it is informative, The Power of Grayskull is perhaps one of the best documentaries of the year.

 

 

Seriously Folks, filmmakers Randall Lobb & Robert McCallum really get into it all with this film. I was especially keen on the back story of the making of the live action film, with some wonderful antidotes from Dolph Lundgren and Frank Langella themselves. It was a fascinating peak into something that has been a part of my life before I can even remember. I can actually say that for the entire Masters of the Universe world. Is it all a bit corny? Sure. But it damn well should be! It brought millions of kids joy and hours upon hours of play time. We used to do such a thing! In those dark pre-internet days, we played. And if you ask any old hack in their late 30’s or early 40’s, there is a damn good chance that they had a He-Man or She-Ra figure. Probably both. And again, the film is so well made that it will leave you wanting more. I cannot recommend this film strongly enough. Go get on it, Folks!

The Power of Grayskull will be available on DVD and Digital on September 3rd, 2019.

 

 

 

Saturday Special: 3 Lives [Film]

 

“Emma wakes up to find herself trapped in an abandoned bunker. She soon realizes that there are two other victims trapped with her, Ben and Jamie, who she knows from her days in high school. Now Ben and Jamie are Emma’s only means of escape from their savage captors, three ex-soldiers. Faced with the choice to stay in the bunker or to escape her kidnappers with the help of her former rapist and his old friend, Emma chooses the latter. Ruthlessly the ex-soldiers chase the group through the wilderness. While Emma tries to find out why Ben, Jamie, and herself have been kidnapped in the first place. Slowly matters start to spin out of control, facades start to crack and Emma has to learn who her real enemy is.” – High Octane Pictures

 

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I am truly a sucker for a good thriller. As much as I appreciate the world of horror for horror’s sake, there is just something so wonderful about experiencing a film and not knowing who to trust and what to truly believe. A well done thriller with a smattering of plot twists and developments can be one of the best film-watching experiences you can have. And 3 Lives is especially that. It is a well-rounded thrill-ride that will keep you guessing right to the very end. Like literally, the last few minutes. It is quite an adventure to watch three people who are, for reasons I won’t mention, not exactly fond of each other, being chased through the woods for unknown reasons. Thus creating a plot twist at what feels like every damn 10 minutes. It’s simply great writing, Folks. I truly could gush over what the amazing artist Juliane Block has given the world.

 

 

Actress Mhairi Calvey is at her absolute best in 3 Lives, that I can say with zero hesitation. She has a lead role worthy set of skills that are put to the test in this mind-bending thriller, and she absolutely killed it! The aforementioned Juliane Block and co-writer Wolf-Peter Arand crafted something very special with this film, and I would honestly love to see more like it! And with that, this is actually the type of film that will easily drive you to want to know more of the filmmaker’s work, and if you are an uninformed viewer, you simply cannot go wrong with Juliane Block. 3 Lives may be her best film yet, but in the long run of things, it is just another prime example of what Block is capable of and what she will continue to do. Watch 3 Lives, Folks! Tell a Friend!

 

3 Lives is available now VOD.

 

Becca Lish [Interview]

 

Hello Folks! And a happy Friday to you all! Today we are sharing some words from the absolutely incredible actress, both on screen and in the world of voice over arts. On screen, Becca Lish has wonderful roles in hit shows such as Orange is the New Black, the recently returned to life hit series Murphy Brown, and will be appearing on the acclaimed series The Deuce. And so much more. But, if I am being completely honest here, the project that she intrigued me the most is, as a 90’s kid, one of the greatest animated series (geared to children, that is) Doug! That’s right Folks! The voice over actress behind the original hipster herself, Judy Funnie, is gracing our digital pages today! Aren’t you just the luckiest readers on the internet right now?

While I absolutely loved her work on Doug, I felt a strong need to learn a bit more about Becca Lish, and reached out. And boy am I glad I did! Becca is a delightful human being, and has some wonderful responses for you all below. We discuss her work on other projects like Celebrity Death Match & more. And we are so excited to have her here today. So Folks, please enjoy some wonderful words from the great Becca Lish!

 

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What inspired you to get into the world of performance? Was it a passion that you had since your youth? Or did you happen to find yourself in this world one day?

My mother took me and my siblings to see a great deal of theater when we were growing up. The regional repertory company near us in San Francisco did great work and I decided very young that I wanted to make my living working at a theater like that one. I didn’t waiver from that career goal. I acted in plays at the local recreation center starting at age 7 and continued straight through college.

 

While you do a bit of on-screen work, you have done some pretty incredible work in the world of voice-over work. We have spoken with several VO artist over the years, and I am always curious to know how you enjoy this line of work in comparison to on screen work? Do you have a preference for either one? 

In many ways, acting is acting no matter what the medium. I sometimes say that my job is pretending to be other people. Working in voice over just broadens the range of people I can pretend to be. All the elements of me that might distract from the character (age, gender, species, nationality) are erased when you can only hear my voice. I’ve voiced all sorts of people and animals through the years. Working on camera, I’ve been limited to characters that are plausible given my appearance. Voice over work can be much more fanciful.

 

What was your very first paid gig as a performer that you can remember getting? And were there any sort of lessons learned from this experience that still affects your work today?

About a year after graduating from college, I started work as a member of a resident regional theater company called Trinity Rep in Providence, Rhode Island. It was my great good fortune to work in an average of five plays a year over the ensuing decade, with a wide variety of excellent actors and directors. Resident acting companies are rare but having grown up as an audience to a great one in San Francisco, I was thrilled to become part of one as my first job. One of the most important lessons I learned was that the community of actors benefited from collective action onstage and off. It was a union job and from that day to this, I have remained engaged in union service, working toward the shared goals of our community.

 

I have to tell you that I grew up in the 90’s, from being a toddler to a teenager. That being said, I absolutely LOVED two specific shows that you worked on, for two very specific reasons. The first is, of course, Doug, in which you brilliant voiced Judy Funnie and many others. With that in mind, when you were working on Doug, where you ever under any impression that the you were a part of something that would have such a cult following so many years later?

I am not very plugged into a cult following but, certainly, working on Doug was a very special experience. It was my first animation job and a wonderful opportunity to stretch creatively. The writing and direction felt very true to the experiences of kids growing through those challenging middle school years so I was not surprised that it was successful at the time (though in a different way than the other shows in that block, Ren & Stimpy and Rugrats). I also think that the episodes Doug himself lived through are universal and timeless so the staying power of the show makes sense. Does the cult have a secret handshake I could learn or is it one of those creepy things with chanting and blood sacrifice?

 

 

The other project I loved came towards the end of the 90’s, in my teenage years, and that was Celebrity Death Match. It was such a gem of a show. I am curious to know how you enjoyed working on such a wild program. Was it as fun to work on as it was for young Ron watching in his room hoping mom doesn’t walk in?  

I did just a little bit of work on Celebrity Death Match so I wasn’t really a part of that family. I think they brought me in to replace someone else who was gone. I remember I played a zombie but I don’t recall that it was any different from most voice-over jobs. I hate to burst any bubbles but with rare exceptions you are hearing an actor standing relatively motionless in front of a microphone, alone in a recording booth. Nickelodeon’s Doug, in the early days, was a rare exception. Often Billy West, Doug Pries, and I would record the family’s scenes together as a group rather than wild (solo without context). Similarly, groups of kids like Doug, Patti, Skeeter, Beebe, Connie might have a group scene so several of us would be in the booth together at Pomann Sound on West 46th Street, where we recorded the show. I learned so much from Fred Newman and Billy West in those sessions.  They were very generous colleagues.

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

Lately I have been doing quite a bit of television work, playing small parts in some of the many shows that shoot in New York. This winter I did little bits on episodes of Orange is the New Black, The Blacklist, Younger, New Amsterdam, Sweetbitter, the Murphy Brown reboot and a handful of other series. These roll out slowly over time so some of the others won’t air until later in 2019.

What was the last thing that made you smile?

African dance class – a very sweaty smile!

Michael C. Maronna [Interview]

 

Hello Folks! We have an absolutely wonderful interview to share with you all today. Today’s interview subject began his acting career at a very young age and in some pretty recognizable roles. But, he then would shift gears to take a bit of a different approach whilst still remaining very much at large in the world of film and television production. It’s the great Michael C. Maronna! Michael may be best known for his work as a kid as older Pete, in the brilliant and now legendary Nickelodeon series The Adventures of Pete & Pete. Now, Trainwreck’d Society historians (is that happening? Write in if it is!) would be able to tell you that Michael is actually not the first of Petes to appear on these digital pages. In fact, it was the month of August when the other Pete was on the site. And again, it was August…..7 YEARS AGO! I promise you I nearly shit when I realized this. Younger Pete, Danny Tamberelli, was actually one of our first guests. Actually, our 15th interview subject of the closing in on 500 that we have done. I know this because it was early on, and then the records get a bit hazy after a while. Anyway, 7 years have gone by and after 7 years of periodically making attempts to get Marona on the site, we have finally done it!

And I will be god damned if it wasn’t well worth the wait. We dig into The Adventures of Pete & Pete, Michael being a part of the legendary Home Alone McCalister family, His reunions with Danny which involves a wonderful podcast, and just so much more. Oh and because I feel like I forgot to state it earlier, Michael became involved in the world of electrical work in the entertainment world. And as a former electrician in a fairly recent past life, I am very impressed and feel like this man has/had my dream job. He has worked on projects like Kevin Smith’s Cop Out, Sidney Lumet’s Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead, and the wonderful Woody Allen as a pimp masterpiece by John Turturro, Fading Gigolo.

It is absolutely wonderful to have Michael grace our digital pages today, as it is a long time coming and I can not believe we finally made it happen. Thank you so much to Michael, and I hope you all enjoy his amazing answers as much as I did. Enjoy!

 

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You began your career in the world of acting at a very young age. What inspired you to want to get into the world of performance so very early?

I was the first grandchild in a big family and I quickly grew to need attention! I liked to read and talk, and my parents weren’t crazy about paying for college, so these interests quickly coalesced…

What was your very first paid gig as an actor that you can remember getting? And were there any kind of lessons learned from this project that continued to affect your work as an actor?

My first commercial was for Scott Toilet Tissue and it was a very simple set in a studio, a camera pointed at the back of a station wagon. I had to carry a bag of groceries. I clearly remember the director Sol had a big King Kong built out of Legos in the studio. He pulled off Lego King Kong’s head to reveal a can of Hawaiian Punch stored inside. Sol told me he came from the planet Lunch and proceeded to pull scarves from his mouth. As a five-year-old, I was enchanted. I’m recalling that initial wonder – and remembering how it felt in that moment like being the most important person on the set.

 

 

In 2008 you appeared in a music video by one of my favorite bands of all time, Nada Surf. The video was for the catchy and brilliant track “Whose Authority”. How did you find yourself working with Nada Surf? Where you previously a fan of the band?

Chris the locations manager for the video was roommates with my friend Mike and recommended me to the director Jonathan as a bicycle riding guy. Simple as that! I met the wardrobe supervisor, decided on lots of layers for the weather and a coupla days later we shot on the lower east side with bicycles. Nada Surf had a cool debut song with “Popular” which I knew from radio play in high school but I didn’t get that album. It turns out they shot the video for “Popular” at Bayonne HS in New Jersey where we also shot Pete and Pete episodes including “Valentine’s Day Massacre” so I was psyched to be involved in a video with the band.

It was a brief bit I did with some of the actual Nada Surf members riding around in Manhattan. I like ”Whose Authority” a lot and I really appreciate the triumphant feeling. I can also remember getting sick after riding around for two days!

In more recent years, you have worked in the electrical department on some of pretty amazing film and television projects. How did you manage to find yourself in this line of work? Would you say it was your true calling in the entertainment industry?

After the first season of Pete and Pete, the grips gave me a belt and some essential tools as a wrap gift. That was great! I was in high school and I didn’t use them much. The gaffer from the third season of Pete and Pete gave me a shot after the show ended. My first full job with him was a feature that I auditioned for the lead of and ended up driving the electric truck for $50 a day. Six Ways To Sunday starred Norman Reedus, Isaac Hayes, and Debbie Harry. I was 19. It’s tough to say what my true calling is – I’ve spent a lot of my life on set, I’m not done yet, and being a member of local 52 for the last 11 years has been a great time so far!

You are a member of the now legendary fictional family that once flew away without one member of the family being left behind. That family is the McCallisters. And the film was Home Alone. The film has since become one of the most acclaimed holiday films of all time. I am curious to know how it feels to be a part of something so historic? And what was the set life like on this project? Where you aware at the time that you were a part of something very historic?

Chicago life was a lot of fun. My dad was there part of the time and my grandparents as well. That was when I went to a big cathedral for Mass for a few weeks – my grandparents. I remember lots of pizza and video games besides that. The cast parents seemed to have fun in Chicago and since we were all in school the production was often dispatching us to tutoring five or six times a day between setups. The assistant directors were great at wrangling us in the group scenes. As I said, I’m from a big Irish family so I felt at home in a crowd, vying with Devin Ratray to entertain us between takes. He was really funny and I saw him in my local comic book shop earlier this year while working on The Good Fight. It’s nice to hear randomly from someone watching the movie that they’re seeing me run with determination in the airport or that they love watching it with their family. That’s sweet. I didn’t have an inkling at the time that it was historic, but I didn’t know too many John Hughes movies – not that I would have been allowed to watch too many!

 

 

You’re former on-screen brother and friend Danny Tamberelli was actually one of our first interviews here at TWS. Over 6 years ago! Since that time you guys have seemed to reunite a lot more. Including the creation of a podcast entitled The Adventures of Danny and Mike. How did this project come about? What influenced you guys to collab regularly once again?

We had been doing Pete and Pete reunions in various locales around the country and after a really fun one in Portland we decided to recap it in a podcast. I’m guessing it all started up again in Brooklyn when I stepped out of McCarren Park after a soccer game in my cleats and found Danny by the pool, puking between two cars. It’s been pretty consistent with us since then, even though we’ve both been married since the podcast started! We’ve been able to get some great guests and record good studio episodes and fun live shows along with our producer, Jeremy.

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

The Danny and Mike machine will return to the road in 2019. Look for us in the southeast, the northwest, and one other direction.

@michaelcmaronna on Twitter @dannyandmike

What was the last thing that made you smile?

Watching my son looking at the NYC skyline out the window of an Amtrak train I got stuck on trying to find seats for him and his mom.

 

New Music Tuesday: Honey Gentry – Dreamlover [EP]

 

 

Have you all ever had that experience where you hear something that is so intriguing, you can’t stop hearing it even when it’s not playing? A sound so sweet and captivating that it seems to seep deep into your subconscious and just sort of live there for a while? I’m sure you all have. Even if you don’t know that you have, it’s likely that it has happened, but you just hadn’t really thought about it before. I know that is how I feel sometimes. And I know that is how I felt after just one complete listen to Honey Gentry’s incredible EP entitled Dreamlover. But, to be fair, when an album this great comes around, there is no way that a sound like this can just come into your life and then be gone the next day. It’s just not possible with something this damn intriguing.

Honey Gentry is the type of artist I have personally been dying to hear for quite some time. I have always had an affinity for the power that a female singer/songwriter can bring to the world of music. And there have been so many wonderful artists to create such magic over the years. But, every few years, I am fortunate enough to become privy to some absolutely incredible artists that transcend the idea of “amazing”, and seem to move into a whole new dimension of fantastic and become an artist that I simply cannot imagine having never entered my life. Their sound so serene and perfect that it’s almost as though they are put on this earth just to bring me to tears based on their talents alone. Only a handful of artists of this nature have ever existed in this realm. Of course there is our beloved friend Lotte Kestner. Then there is Maddy Wyatt, Sara Schneiderman, Laura Gibson, etc. And now, Folks, please know that Honey Gentry is amongst the list of truly inspiring and absolutely brilliant singer/songwriters that have completely rocked my world with some truly brilliant talent that is undeniable and deserves to be the center of attention for decades to come.

Dreamlover is a beautiful depiction of incredible talent in Honey Gentry’s ability to write the shit out of a song based around a feeling of despair that still seems hopeful about the possibility of happiness. I love the EP as a whole, but I do have to say that there is without a doubt possibility that “Now I Wait” makes into our top ten singles list this year. Holy shit, it’s just so damn good. And don’t get me started on her Gentry’s dreamy “Heart of Gold”. It’s seriously a haunting and beautiful interpretation of a classic song.

So dive in, Folks. Dreamlover is an absolutely incredible EP that is sure to leave you wanting more. It is an incredible taste to what Honey Gentry has to offer, and let me tell you all, it’s ALOT. If Honey Gentry is not a household name in the upcoming decade, something is absolutely wrong with the world. I will forever stand by this statement.

 

Dreamlover will be available on August 22nd wherever you listen to music.