Michael Steger has always dreamt of being an actor (although he almost became a dentist!), and his dreams have come true with a starring role in the revival of 90210. Michael is living a very busy life between finishing up the fourth season of the CW’s 90210 and working on developing his own theater project. He was charming.
The third out of four sons, Michael grew up in a very eclectic house where half of his family spoke Spanish and half German. He graduated with honors from Cal Poly Pomona, achieving a BA degree in Theater and a minor in Spanish and now he’s fully immersed in his acting career. Michael has already made quite a splash in Hollywood, having appeared in shows like Criminal Minds, NCIS, The Winner, Hannah Montana and he was also cast as the lead role by Tim Burton In the Killers’ music video Bones.
You have a very interesting DNA mix with Ecuadorian, Austrian and Norwegian roots so how do these various bloodlines contribute to your personality?
My mom is from Ecuador, so I learned Spanish from her and she made me aware of my culture since I was a little boy. I grew up in a very eclectic family where half speak German and half Spanish so I never had a boring day at my house!
How did you get into acting?
My parents were into art, especially my mom so I grew up surrounded by creative people. Before college I got an opportunity to get an agent so I obtained my first part, but then my mom said “Enough back to school!” I went to Cal Poly Pomona and I was persuaded by my Dad to major in Dentist Biology but this idea didn’t last too long as my passion was acting so I switched majors. At Cal Poly there was not a lot of competition and definitely a lot of room for growth on stage. My dad wasn’t very supportive at the beginning so I had to drive myself to my first audition! After 90210 he is happy and excited to see me on national TV every Tuesday night.
You are now into the fourth season of the CW’s 90210 playing the role of Navid Shirazi. How do you like the evolution of the Navid character, especially in the current season?
I really like it! We are all getting to know the darker side of his family. In the first season we got to know the very rich side. Navid was driving a Ferrari but was a mask of what was going on in the real life. Now the dark side of that lifestyle is finally showing up and I am having a good time exploring it! There is a lot of room to play and some danger in the mix added a lot of fun.
How are yourself and your character Navid alike in real life?
I do connect with Navid, we are both similar, of course under different circumstances. He works at the high school journal and wishes to become a journalist. I am an actor so we both share passion of telling stories.
Are you still enjoying acting in 90210 and do you plan to stay in TV or do you prefer theater or movies?
90210 changed my life and I am very grateful. I also had the opportunity of putting together my own project. It is like a second home for me and I feel surrounded by a master class of actors. I like both television and film but for different reasons; every actor dreams about filming because you get more time to deeply explore the character and it is less corporate. I also love the television for it’s faster paced; it is like “actor’s boot camp”, I love it all! I love film and directing and of course I love theater for the natural energy of live audience…for me the best feeling.
Tell us about One Woman Show that you are directing.
It is coming out the beginning of March and I have been working with my wife for one year. I am so excited about it! It is a comedy…a lot of fun. Tucker (my wife) plays over fifteen characters where she walks the audience through her experiences starting from age six. The audience will go through a journey meeting childhood bullies, a beauty shop guru, relatives with mental illness, an inspiring grandmother and many more characters. For me it is like bringing reality on stage. People will recognize themselves because One Woman Show brings life to the show, it represents everyone’s experience. We did it in November and it was a huge response so now we’ll do a full month at the Stella Adler Theater. It is such a fun show.
You have a very busy schedule so what do you do in your free time?
I am a huge Capoeira fan. I love it! It is the most fun workout/martial art I have ever done. It is like constantly working on achieving a specific task, focusing on developing strength using your own body weight.
Where do you escape when you leave L.A. for few days?
Yosemite! That is my go-to place. I love hiking. Sometimes I just go to the Curry Village and hangout there.
Which ones are some of your favorite restaurant and
nightclubs in L.A?
Shintaro sushi, and downtown restaurants, I love exploring different neighborhoods and downtown is my favorite part of town. My wife and I also love to cook at home.
How was your experience with Tim Burton in the Killer video?
Oh yeah (laugh)…it was too good to be true. It was 11pm the night before when I got the call that I have been picked so I literally started jumping around. I canceled a television show I was working on and I told everybody “I have to do this!” Getting to work with Tim Burton was a dream come true for me. I admired him for so long. It was an incredible learning experience with a very professional and meticulous crew. Very cool.
What kind of music do you put on when home?
Music is part of the fabric of my life. I adore Adele, The Killers, Gipsy King and Soundtrack…lots of Soundtrack, but I am pretty much open to everything.