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Michael Steger Interview: '90210' Star: 'Navid and Silver Definitely Belong Together'

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Image attributed to Benny Haddad

Michael Steger

Los Angeles native Michael Steger portrays Navid Shirazi on the teen drama 90210, the fourth series in the Beverly Hills, 90210 franchise. The series revolves around several students at the fictional West Beverly Hills High School, and during its first two seasons, 90210 featured cast members from the original series including Jennie Garth, Shannen Doherty and Tori Spelling.

The actor recently wrapped the thriller Blow Vegas Off the Map opposite Frankie Muniz, about a group of boozy pals at Spring Break in Vegas. He will next be seen in Farah Goes Bang about two girls who go on a road trip to campaign for John Kerry, with the mission of helping Farah finally lose her virginity – along the way they learn to help each other and through this, help the world.

“I feel like they definitely belong together, but Silver was dealing with the BRCA gene, and her circumstances had become so interesting that Navid has become very patient. He wants her to have whatever she wants.”

Steger is married to actress Brandee Tucker.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Michael, it’s a new season of 90210 and back to Mondays.

Michael Steger: Yes. Mondays at 8:00. It has been busy.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): What is going on with your character this season?

Michael Steger: Well, Navid has finally found out that Silver doesn’t want to have a kid with him. He and Silver are pretty much over at this point. The season progresses, and you see he and Liam going into business together. They take the Offshore, which burned down in the season premiere, and redo it to go into business and start these Pop Ups.

I think in the next episode, you’re going to see the first Pop Up, and the first time he and Liam create something together. Liam is the owner of the building, but they do go into business together, so you see the business side of Navid.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): I read that things don’t go so well for Navid, and he goes into a bit of a depression.

Michael Steger: Well, yeah. There is a bit of a downward spiral because he is trying to catch Silver’s eye, and he is passively aggressively trying to rectify the situation with Silver, but it’s not working out. He gets further and further into this new pattern that doesn’t really fit him well. He just gets in trouble.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Do you think that Navid and Silver belong together?

Michael Steger: I feel like they definitely belong together, but Silver was dealing with the BRCA gene, and her circumstances had become so interesting that Navid has become very patient. He wants her to have whatever she wants. No one else should be able to go through what she’s going through, so I think, if anything, Navid just wants to be there for her and just let her do her own thing. But at the end of the day, I think they are meant to be together.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): For people who have never seen the show, describe Navid’s best traits.

Michael Steger: I would say Navid’s best trait is that he’s an amazing friend and pretty much a storyteller at heart. He loved journalism in high school and loved working in his family’s business. Now, he’s in another social world where he’s opening Pop Up clubs. He’s a people person. He loves to be around people. Navid is just the ideal friend you’d ever want on your side.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): When will the 100th episode air?

Michael Steger: I think it will be airing this month in November … coming up very soon.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Will it be a special one?

Michael Steger: Oh, yeah. It’s going to be very unique. We go back to West Beverly for a reunion, and a lot goes down there. We’re having many surprise old recurring guest stars coming back, so it is a revisit of the past. I think the fans will really love it.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): You’ve been playing Navid since 2008 when 90210 began. What drew you to the show?

Michael Steger: I became interested in 90210 because it was an opportunity. That year, I probably had eighty auditions, and 90210 was one of them. At that point, an actor really isn’t picky, just open for work. So that was the first opportunity that came my way.

The icing on the cake was that Gabe Sachs and Jeff Judah from Freaks & Geeks were executive producing the show, so that was a very easy answer. I was already on board because I wanted a job more than anything (laughs).

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): That’s understandable (laughs). Did you run out and buy Beverly Hills, 90210 DVDs?

Michael Steger: The weekend after I booked the job, they had every single DVD in front of my door. I was like, “How do they know where I live? What’s going on?” They expected me to watch all those episodes. I was like, “Wow. I should check them out.” I watched a couple, and said, “Oh, okay. I got it. I got it.” But I was aware of the show and had seen it, but for some reason, they were adamant about us watching the old show. I never watched the whole thing. It was way too overwhelming.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): You guest starred on Criminal Minds. That’s a favorite of mine.

Michael Steger: Oh, cool.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Did you enjoy that experience?

Michael Steger: Definitely. I had such a great time working on Criminal Minds. I didn’t realize that they work graveyard and get to work at 6:00 PM and wrap at about 4:00 or 5:00 in the morning. I thought, “Wow! This is different.” It took some getting used to, but I loved it.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): What shows do you watch?

Michael Steger: I definitely watch Criminal Minds. The nature of that show and True Blood … they both shoot at night, and it’s very dark. They’re very character driven. It’s so much fun. That’s the great thing about acting. Every single job that we get is a new challenge and something completely different.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): I read that you were bullied as a child. Have you used that experience as an actor?

Michael Steger: I think all experiences add to a person’s character. I’m just more sensitive with how I treat people because of that experience. I’m even more protective of my friends. I’m very careful of how I treat other people. If anything, that’s what I’ve gotten from that experience.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): What advice would you give to kids being bullied either in school or on the Internet?

Michael Steger: If anybody is going through childhood bullying, I would say, “Don’t stay silent. You have to communicate your feelings. You have to open up.” Guys especially really love to deal with their own issues alone, and that’s not healthy. You should definitely talk to someone and open up because many times you’ll find that another person is going through exactly what you’re going through.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Good advice, Michael. You are married to your high school sweetheart.

Michael Steger: Yeah.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Was it love at first sight?

Michael Steger: No. We were friends in the 7th grade, friends in high school and best friends in college. After college, we started dating. We grew up with each other, but we didn’t date until after college.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Kids?

Michael Steger: No kids … not yet.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Your wife, Brandee Tucker, is an actress.

Michael Steger: I just worked on her one-woman show, Brandee Built on Crazee that we did for six weeks. We’re working on another side project just for fun.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): You directed her?

Michael Steger: Yes, and I directed a short film called The Wrights with Ted Danson. That’s something I’m editing right now.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Perhaps Brandee could guest star on 90210.

Michael Steger: Oh sure, yeah, I’d love that. I’ll work on that right now. I’m always working on it (laughs). I always have to look out for her.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): That’s a good husband. Tell me about Blow Vegas Off the Map.

Michael Steger: Blow Vegas Off the Map is a movie I just finished. It takes place in Vegas and involves this Egyptian curse that’s unleashed in a hotel. It unleashes a storm that pretty much wipes the city off the map. These college kids are dealing with this heavy storm, and it’s pretty intense. I think it comes out in March.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Any other projects coming up?

Michael Steger: Right now, I’m about to get started on Episode 12 of 90210. We’re working full blast ‘till March.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): What’s one of the craziest things a fan has ever asked you on Twitter?

Michael Steger: I’ve been proposed to a lot. For some reason, they love to ask me to marry them. I’m like, “Sorry. Can’t do that.” Because it’s online, they get very flirtatious.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Apparently they haven’t done their research on your marital status.

Michael Steger: No. They’re ready to get hitched right away (laughs). They want me to fly to anywhere they are including Lebanon and Paris (laughs).

© 2012 Smashing Interviews Magazine. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the express written consent of the publisher.

 

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