Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Interview — Michael Steger: Navid Explores His Dark Side

Michael Steger, photo by Benny Haddad
My favorite guilty pleasure is back: The fifth season of “90210” has started with a bang, and with shows like the first few episodes to go by, I think I can safely say that the gang is back on course (after an uneven and sometimes strange fourth season). Naomi and Max are married(!); Teddy and Silver are trying for a baby; Adrianna is in a love triangle; Liam is in Crazytown because of Vanessa; sparks are flying between Annie and a guy she met through Dixon’s rehab; and Navid, tired of being second choice and everyone’s punching bag, is showing his darker side. I spoke with Michael Steger — who’s played the once-nerdy, now-hunky Navid Shirazi since the show’s inception — and he gave me the scoop on the upcoming season. He also told me about the other projects he’s been working on.

Daytime Dial: First off, how was your summer vacation?

Michael Steger: Really good. At the beginning, I did a few small vacations. I went to Rosarito, Mexico, and Ensenada and then Chicago. And then I worked on two films in May and June, which was nice. It went by pretty quickly. And then I started back up on “90210” in July. So most of my summer I’ve been working.

DD: For those who might be living under a rock, I also want to point out that “90210” has switched to Monday nights at 8/7c on the CW. I know you are active on Twitter, so how has the fan reaction been for the new season?

MS: Very excited. I’ve been contacted by fans on Twitter: “When is the show starting? When is the show starting?” The energy is very contagious, and the fans have been really great about passing that info along.

DD: Looking back on the previous season, what have been some of your favorite moments?

MS: My favorite moments from season four is getting the chance to work with really cool character actors. I got to work with Anthony Azizi, who played my uncle Amal. And Shaun Duke, who plays my dad, and then of course all the cool recurring cast we have on the show, like Josh Zuckerman. There are so many really good actors coming on board the show. They represent the fresh energy that is so much a part of the show and is always my favorite part.

DD: How’s Navid doing this season?

MS: He starts the season in a bidding war with Liam for Silver, and now Silver has picked Teddy to have a baby with. It’s thrown Navid off-kilter a bit to where his character is tested, and he goes the route of a stranger, in a sense — he does something that’s really out of character.

He has an almost one-night stand, and he’s really not thinking. He’s trying to get back to Silver, so he’s doing as much as he can in that area. It’s completely out of character for him, but he is trying to get the attention with Silver at the end of the day.

DD: I saw some pictures of you and the rest of the guys online dressed as cheerleaders for a powder-puff football game. Was that fun to film?

MS: It’s funny, when you get a group of guys and you dress them up as cheerleaders, you have this feeling of, “OK, we’ve got to represent.” It ended up being a hilarious situation because we were all just making fun of ourselves the entire day. It was really funny. And of course, at the end of the day, we’re all like, “Oh did you guys see the paparazzi over yonder?” We were caught off-guard, but we still had a really good time.

DD: Tell me about Dixon’s recovery from the car accident.

MS: It’s going to take a while. His recovery process is a long one. The execs handled it in a very organic way and very believable. I thought they handled it very nicely.

DD: Can you give me any spoilers for down the road?

MS: I’m really not sure what will happen. Everything’s a surprise. I don’t like to know too much, you know? I just wait until I get the script to be surprised. We’ll find out!

DD: Tell me about the films you’ve been working on.

MS: They’re both in post-production. “Farah Goes Bang” is about three women who are coming into their own. They’re on a road trip to work on the John Kerry campaign during the 2004 Bush/Kerry election. It’s a very great story about these women coming into their womanhood. One is trying to lose her virginity, and they have all of the obstacles along the way. It’s a touching story of that time. I think people are going to enjoy it.

And the other one is “Blowing Vegas Off the Map,” which is a movie for the Syfy network. It has to do with an Egyptian curse, and Las Vegas is being decimated by a horrible storm. I think if you’re into sci-fi, you might enjoy it, but I haven’t seen any cuts, so I have no idea. But I’m sure it’ll be good, explosive fun.