Michael Nardelli is a very talented actor. He can currently be seen in the indie thriller ‘The Tribe’. He has also been producing, writing and starring in a new digital series called ‘Dark/Web’. Check out our recent interview with Michael!
upfrontNY: Can you tell us about ‘The Tribe’ and your role as Ryan?
Michael Nardelli: ‘The Tribe’ is a post apocalyptic drama thriller. It opens on 3 girls after this huge event that happens that wipes out a lot of the population. We don’t know what happened. You understand that their dad sets them up in a compound where they can survive on their own with a garden and water supply. It has one rule, never let anybody in.
One day a stranger shows up and they have the conflict, letting my character Ryan in. He seems harmless and like he could be a help, but there is a conflict with the sisters of do we trust this guy or not. They ultimately decide to let him in for better or worse. Ryan at first glanced seems to be a nice innocent guy who has somehow survived a post apocalyptic world which is not an easy task to have done, but he seems to have survived all of that with some kind of trace of humanity and hope left for the future. I think that’s why they decide to let him in because he does have this optimistic view of the world and how things can take a turn for the better.
upfrontNY: Has this genre been on your radar and something you’ve been interested in?
Michael Nardelli: Yeah, definitely ! I was excited to take it on. The tone of the movie is a little bit like the movie ‘The Road’ that was based on the Cormac McCarthy book. It reminds me a lot of ‘The Walking Dead’ but without zombies, just the sense of how it deals with interpersonal relationships and how the roles of society change when there is no more structure or government, no more laws and how people resort to their primal humanistic survival tendencies which I think is a really interesting thing to explore.
upfrontNY: If the roles were reversed and you were set up in your space and someone came knocking on your door do you think you would be the type to let that person in?
Michael Nardelli: Going back to the idea of why I like this genre is you can explore an idea like that without being overly political or offensive. I think that is sort of an issue that we are all dealing with in the world right now like immigration and half of the country being for this and half of the country being for that. Is there danger of letting people in without vetting or is that something we should be doing and that is something that the girls face. As far as what I would do, I tend to see the best in people usually and I tend to believe face value what people are telling me and I would probably let the person in. It is not a black or white issue. It is a grey area because there are certain dangers the girls face after letting Ryan in and there are certain ways that he helps out and good things come from it.
upfrontNY: What is it like to go from the audition process, to filming, to seeing it altogether?
Michael Nardelli: ‘The Tribe’ I am proud of the film and what the filmmakers were able to do. I really liked the role of Ryan a lot. When I auditioned, I felt connected to him and really wanted to book it. It was a fun challenge to work on and film it. I feel like it is one of the characters that are the most different from me that I’ve played. I like ‘The Tribe’ and everything about it.
upfrontNY: You were in ‘The Tribe’ and ‘Christmas in Homestead’ which are 2 very different films. Do you have a favorite genre to work in and what is your dream role?
Michael Nardelli: I am drawn to the darker stuff. I enjoy stuff like ‘The Tribe’ a lot because it was a really complex character who had a history and a lot of conflicting things inside of him. I thought he was interesting and challenging to play because he has this hopeful innocence side and he’s been through an apocalypse and has gone through dark things to survive.
I would love to play more of an outright villain someday because I haven’t really don’t that yet. I would also like to play an Indiana Jones character someday because I grew up on those and I love Star Wars and Marvel films. To do more of an action oriented thing with a lot of stunts and a lot of adventure would be a dream come true.
It was great doing ‘Christmas In Homestead’ too, because it was light and fun and holiday related. That’s what I love about acting. One month you’re playing this dark, tortured guy and the next month you’re under a Christmas tree with the beautiful falling snow having a romance kind of thing. That’s why I do it, you get to walk in many different shoes and explore different parts of yourself in other people.
upfrontNY: You are working on your own digital series, ‘Dark/Web’ as a writer, producer, and starring in it. What is it like to wear all different hats and put your whole self in it from every angle?
Michael Nardelli: In ‘Dark/Web’ I did kind of just do every single angle of it literally. It is incredibly rewarding, exciting, stressful, and exhausting depending on the minute of the day. It was great to put everything I have in me out there, whether I directed an episode, I co-wrote most of it with Mario Miscione who we worked with on ‘Circle’. I produced it and I acted in it. I really wanted to go for it. It was incredibly fulfilling and challenging.
upfrontNY: What is it like to see your work come to life?
Michael Nardelli: It is a completely magical thing. Especially to go from writing to the first day of production. It is so crazy to have spent months or even years writing something on a page and one day you are on the location and saying the words and others saying the words you have written. It is crazy because I grew up loving film and cinema. It is super rewarding.
upfrontNY: Growing up as a big movie buff, when did you know that this is what you wanted to do?
Michael Nardelli: I think I was 2 and the first movie I ever saw was ‘The Wizard Of Oz’. I look back on that and literally was totally enchanted from watching that movie, the colors and the songs and performances. We moved a lot growing up so movies and stories sort of was the only constant that I had. I always lived in smaller suburb towns, so the idea of an escape and adventure was always kind of a big thing for me. I always admired Harrison Ford and wanted a career like him and what he has done movies big and small, funny and sad and everything in between. All the Alfred Hitchcock movies. I grew up on those . I’ve always been a huge James Dean fan since I was young too. There were a lot of different influences, but the Hitchcock, Spielberg era of film and Harrison Ford are all huge inspirations to me.
upfrontNY: You moved around a lot and saw many different places. Is there a place that you would really like to film in?
Michael Nardelli: I have been to Thailand once and would love to go back there and film something. That would be awesome. I would love to film something in London. I have never filmed anything in New York City and I think that would be really fun. I went to Iceland recently and think that would be a great place to film something. There are a lot I haven’t gone to yet that would be cool like Egypt and Greece and China.
upfrontNY: Aside from acting, is there anything that you’ve always really waned to try?
Michael Nardelli: I would love to learn how to surf. I’ve only taken one class, but I think it is something I would be interested in.