By Cara Grassi (@CaraMichelles)
Congratulations on the upcoming series Dark/Web! Can you fill us in on what the show happens to be about and a little about your character?
“Dark/Web" is a very relevant, very modern thriller/cautionary tale. It talks about this new world we’re dealing with where social media, hackers, cyber-terror, fake news and freedom of information are all coming into play in a big way. It’s an anthology show though, so it’s talking about all these issues in what is hopefully a fun and entertaining way. Some of the stories lean into horror, some into sci-fi. I’m hoping it feels like this fresh, provocative, scary ride!
In “Dark/Web" I play James. He’s working as a grade school teacher back at the same school he graduated from. He had all these dreams of accomplishment and adventure but, due to family circumstances, he’s kind of land locked back home. When we meet him, he basically feels like all his friends and life itself have kind of passed him by and forgotten about him. He’s not the most tech savvy, in fact he lectures his students that they need to wake up and not rely on their phones to save the day.
What was the inspiration behind Dark/Web?
My brother Tim, myself and Mario Miscione had all worked together on a film called “Circle" that was released by Netflix last year. We had a lot of fun making “Circle" and I pitched them the idea of an anthology show that could explore a lot of different ideas with new and emerging filmmakers. We spent a while just hatching the arc of what the whole show should be and then got to writing. I’d say our biggest inspiration was the world around us. They say our generation is the last one that will remember an “analogue” world. We’re the first ones to really dive into this transition from analogue to digital. They say you should “write what you know,” so we’re definitely writing this show based off our experiences moving into this new tech crazed world.
What would you say is the most exciting and challenging part about working on an anthology series?
“Dark/Web" is unique in that it’s comprised of anthology segments, but there is also a through line narrative too that sort of ties it all together. That in and of itself was exciting, because it feels like a fresh way to structure a show. I haven’t seen many people do it, and I just pray it all works the way we wanted it to. But the really great thing about the anthology format was getting to work with all these young filmmakers who all came in excited with ideas that fit the show’s mandate, yet were still so clearly personal to each of the writers/directors that we had. I really had so much fun watching the tone change from episode to episode (and obviously, the cast as well) and yet still, somehow, all these artists were still making stories about how technology has affected them, and how it exists on a daily basis in their lives.
Can you think of examples of other shows/movies whose fans will really be into Dark/Web once they have decided to give it a watch? Why those?
Well, I think fans of our movie “Circle" – hopefully that’s a given! But I think people who love “The Twilight Zone" in particular will get into "Dark/Web." They’re both shows that use genre elements to nudge audiences into thinking about what’s going on in the world, what dangers are lurking and what things aren’t we talking about that we should be. People who watch “Black Mirror", “Mr. Robot” — there’s some thematic similarities in “Dark/Web" that all these shows are exploring in an entertaining way. They’re all kind of thrillers in their own right, but there’s substance to them. Hopefully the same will be said of “Dark/Web.”
2016 is quickly coming to a close. Are there any projects that you’re working on that we should be on the lookout for?
A film I’m very proud to be in, "The Tribe", is coming out next spring. It’s won a bunch of awards on the festival circuit this year, and I’m glad it’s finally coming out for people to see. It stars myself, Jessica Rothe and Anne Winters. It’s a post-apocalyptic drama similar to a movie like “The Road.” “The Tribe” was directed by Roxy Shih, who I adored working with and brought on to direct a bunch of "Dark/Web" episodes. I’ve also written a feature film called “The Transgression" that I hope to make next year. And am currently in a Hallmark Christmas movie called “Christmas In Homestead" that’s airing a bunch of times leading up to the big day!
Are there other projects and/or genres you’re hoping to become more involved with in the future?
It’d be a dream come true to work with Disney, Amblin, Marvel or Lucas Film. All the stories that came from those brands were my “gateway drugs” into cinema and storytelling. I adore them and I would love to do more action. I’ve only been able to do a few stunts in my career so far, and I’d love to do more and do a really complex fight scene. I’d love to do more comedy too. Most of my work the last few years has been pretty dark. I’m happy to continue that streak, but am more than open to lighter, goofier things. I love a good stoner comedy!
And lastly, is there anything else you would like to say to the readers/viewers?
Hey readers and viewers! Thanks for reading this! And thanks for watchin’ my stuff, or considering watching my stuff now that you’ve read this article! I’m grateful to anyone who takes time out of their day to watch something I’ve been in or helped make.