Pop-Culturalist Chats with Michael Nardelli
Michael Nardelli is a man of countless talents. From actor to writer to producer, his artistry knows no bounds. You’ll recognize him for his role in The Collection, Circle, Grassroots, American Crime Story: The People Vs. OJ Simpson, Revenge, and Nashville. And next, he’ll put on his many hats, writing, producing, and starring in his own digital web series, Dark/Web. Pop-Culturalist was lucky enough to chat with Michael about the show, what fans can expect, and why it was the biggest challenge of his life.
P-C: What is it like producing, writing and starring in your own digital series?
Michael: Doing all those things on Dark/Web has been the most amazing challenge of my life. There were days where it was like the most joyful experience I’ve had on set, and there were days where it was like, ‘Oh, my gosh. I’m in over my head. I don’t know what I’m doing!’ It was the best of both worlds and I learned so much from doing it.
P-C: How did this project come to fruition?
Michael: Dark/Web came to fruition because I grew up on shows like The Twilight Zone that dealt with current issues that everyone was talking about or dealing with on a personal or global level, but in an entertaining way—in a way that really makes you think. I knew I definitely wanted to do a show like that. My brother and I own a production company and we worked with Mario Miscione last year called Circle, which was sold to Netflix, so Dark/Web kind of leaped from that. We did a feature and wanted to do a series that we could create together. We’ve been talking for about a year as to what it would be and how it would work. We’ve both had a fascination with what’s going on in the actual, literal ‘Dark Web.’ It’s a dark place and a lot of crazy stuff is happening. That’s kind of what started it—creating a show that I would want to watch, a show that I would want to act in that I hadn’t been able to yet, write a show I hadn’t been able to write. I guess it is a selfish endeavor in that way—just really wanting to work on something that I want to watch,experience, and be on.
P-C: When will the series be available and when can fans watch it?
Michael: Good question! Originally, the plan was to debut it online since it is a show about the web. It’s just kind of grown in scope and we’re still kind of assembling and editing it together. Our hopes are that it will debut in May and to be able to release it through Netflix. We’ll see. Now that we’re done with the show, it’s a little bit of a question mark that we have to answer. Our goal is to put it all together, the entire show, independently—all eight episodes—and be able to release it like that.
Pop-Culturalist Speed Round
P-C: Guilty pleasure TV show?
Michael: I don’t know if I have one. I normally would say some kind of reality show but I’ve been so busy with Dark/Web, I haven’t been able to watch anything. I always turn back to Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It’s not a guilty pleasure because it’s one of the best shows ever, but in terms of like a comfort-food show, I’m always going back to that and watching re-runs.
P-C: Guilty pleasure movie?
Michael: The Boy Next Door. It came out last year and I thought it was the best, craziest, most ridiculous thriller I’ve seen in years. That and The Fast and the Furious franchise which I absolutely love. It’s like ice cream for me.
P-C: Favorite book?
Michael: : I grew up on Ender’s Game. I love that book. I’m reading a book right now called The Simple Life that I’m really loving, besides the fact that it’s really depressing.
P-C: A band or artist that fans will be surprised to learn is on your playlist?
Michael: I was thinking about this earlier this year because I got my 2016 playlist from Spotify and I was mortified because it was so insane. It was everything from like Foo Fighters to Disney Show Tunes to Black Sabbath to film scores to Taylor Swift. My playlist is a dark, consuming place that I don’t understand.
P-C: Favorite social media platform?
Michael: I like Twitter and Instagram. I don’t use Facebook that much except for family. Twitter is a platform to share your opinions and Instagram is for documenting the places you’re at, and the people you’re with. Hopefully, when we’re around 80, we can all look back and be like, ‘Oh, wasn’t it nice in 2017 when I was at Disneyland or something like that.’
P-C: Hidden talent?
Michael: I’m pretty good at whistling. Really good, I would say.
Photo Credit: Patrick Maus