By Joanie Cox-Henry
Actor Michael Nathanson has landed roles in everything from “The Wolf of Wall Street” to Steven Soderbergh’s “The Knick” and the Golden Globe-winning show “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” He also achieved a cult following after appearing as Sam Stein in Netflix’s newest Marvel show, “The Punisher.” Nathanson will be appearing at Paradise City Comic Con in Miami, Jan. 12-14 at Miami Airport Convention Center 711 N.W. 72nd Ave., Miami, Fla.
This will be his first appearance at a comic con, but it will be the first of many more appearances scheduled throughout 2018 to meet up with fans.
Nathanson called Motherloading.com after dropping his twin four year old daughters off at school on Jan. 10. The native New Yorker has been working non-stop developing a hush-hush project with Marvel and working as one of the directors of BBQ Films, an immersive cinematic experience that brings iconic scenes to life for the ultimate nostalgia experience. So far, they’ve recreated “Ghostbusters” headquarters in Brooklyn, staged a Toretto Family Cookout for epic fans of “The Fast & The Furious” and resurrected the wedding scene in “Beetlejuice.” And yes, an actual couple got married during the event.
“It’s really an incredible experience,” Nathanson said. “We take iconic movies, mostly from the ‘80s and ‘90s, and we have actors to interact with you and recreated set pieces. We also screen the original movie in some creative way. It’s honestly like walking into your favorite movie. People love it.”
Landing a role on Marvel’s “The Punisher” was also a dream come true for Nathanson, who is a lifelong Marvel fan and self-described geek. “When you get a Marvel wiki page, it’s basically like winning an Oscar,” Nathanson described.
Nathanson has also had some epic acting moments on the set with legendary producer and director Soderbergh. “Steven is an incredible director who really gets involved with every aspect of making the film,” Nathanson said. “And he’s super generous with actors, welcoming them into his collaborations.”
Working Martin Scorsese on “The Wolf of Wall Street” was another memorable moment. “We were filming a scene and to the left of me was DiCaprio and to my right was Scorsese and it was one of those moments where I had to take a mental picture of what was happening,” Nathanson said. “I had a great experience working with them.”
When he’s not writing, acting or directing, Nathanson spends much of his time with his wife, who works as a special education teacher, and doting on his daughters, who already love Disney as much as he does.
“I love showing them a Disney movie, ‘The Muppets’ or ‘Star Wars,’” Nathanson said. “Watching them enjoy something I loved as a kid is the best feeling.”
Nathanson also doesn’t take lightly the fact that he’s raising tomorrow’s leaders. “I’m trying to raise fierce, creative, independent, spirited women,” Nathanson said. “I give a lot of credit to my wife. Shaping their lives is my number one priority.”
Nathanson draws a lot of inspiration on parenting from the example his own parents set while raising him. “My parents were always very supportive of me being an actor and I want to give my kids that same support.
Spending half his childhood visiting his grandparents, who lived in Boca Raton, Fla., Nathanson grew up with fond memories of going to Disney World. He’s now reliving those memories with his children, parents and in-laws.
“I absolutely love Disney,” Nathanson said. “Last year, we brought the girls to Disney World for the first time. We stayed at the Grand Floridian with my parents and my wife’s parents and had the best time. We basically lived on the concierge floor because they had tons of great snacks for the kids.”
During his stay at Disney World, Nathanson also took pride in developing wickedly sharp fast-pass scoring skills. “I got us on every ride,” Nathanson said. “I would check the fast passes constantly on the app and see what was happening next.”
Growing up, his favorite rides were Pirates of The Caribbean and The Haunted Mansion. “I still love those rides,” Nathanson said. “The ‘Frozen’ ride and Soarin’ are also amazing. And Star Tours will always have a special place in my heart. Meeting Chewbacca outside the ride was a highlight.”
In addition to his Marvel project, Nathanson also has another project in development—a dark comedy pilot about dads maneuvering parenthood in Brooklyn. “The dads I know are very strong and involved. Many of them are also artistic,” Nathanson said. “On TV and in films, dads are often portrayed as goofballs who can’t really get it together. Our show will give a realistic look at dads. I think one of the biggest challenges of parenting is keeping your own identity.”
For more on Michael Nathanson, check out Michaelnathanson.net.