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Nicholas Podany: A Multifaceted Talent on the Rise


Jacket by Jack Victor , Turtleneck by Jack Victor , Pants by Fradi / Provided by TRILUXE


NEW YORK — IRK Magazine is excited to feature cover-star Nicholas Podany, a New York City-based rising star in the entertainment industry. With a passion for acting and a background in music and dance, he has quickly become known for his talent, versatility, and engaging presence. Apart from his vast experience, he is best known for his warmth, humor, and down-to-earth demeanor, which have endeared him to fans and colleagues alike.


Podany's breakout role came in 2019, when he was cast as Albus Potter in the Broadway production of "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child." The play, which is set years after the events of the original series, follows Harry's son Albus as he struggles to find his place in the wizarding world. Podany brought depth and nuance to the role, earning critical acclaim for his portrayal of the conflicted young wizard.


Beyond his work in "Harry Potter," Podany has also made a name for himself on television. He has appeared in a number of popular shows, including CW’s "Hart of Dixie," Disney Channel’s "I Didn’t Do It” and Netflix’s “Archive 81”. In each of these, he has demonstrated a remarkable ability to inhabit different characters and bring them to life on screen. In addition to his acting experience, Podany has also demonstrated his versatility by showcasing his musical talents as well. His music is available on Spotify, along with his most recent release, CRYWOLF, a 4-song EP.


Currently, Podany is starring in AppleTV+’s Hello Tomorrow! alongside Billy Crudup, a series that has been garnering attention for its unique premise and stunning visuals. The show is set in a retro-future world where traveling salesmen are selling lunar timeshares. Podany’s performance as Joey Shorter has been praised for its humor and charm, making him a standout among the talented cast.


Nicholas Podany was photographed by James Thornton for an exclusive interview with IRK Magazine. We took an interest on his natural talent and dedication to his craft. We discussed his

passion for storytelling, the power of film and television, his creative practice and what's next for him.


Turtleneck by Fradi / Provided by TRILUXE , Pants by Fradi / Provided by TRILUXE


Talent: Nicholas Podany @nicholaspodany at Imprint PR @imprintpr

Photographer: Jayme Thornton @jaymethornton

Stylist: Brendan Cannon @thecannonmediagroup at The Only Agency @theonly.agency

Hair: Mary Irwin @marymakeup at Judy Casey Inc @judycaseyinc

Makeup: Mary Irwin @marymakeup using Intelligent Nutrients Skincare @intelligentnutrients

Fashion Assistants: Kelly Cody @kellyxann0210 , Marielle Berrian @teethgrinding ,

Lexi Rosenstein @lexirosenstein , Izzy Herbert @hotblondeizzy

Editor: Maria Diaz Guasp @misabeldiaz


Interview by: Maria Diaz Guasp @misabeldiaz

Photos by: Jayme Thornton @jaymethornton


IRK: What inspired you to become an actor?


Podany: When I was a tiny child, maybe 5 or so, I saw my sister’s middle school production of “Damn Yankees,” and fell completely in love with the girl playing The Devil. So, I learned her song and dance, and after the last performance, I showed it to her. I found out I could do plays of my own and signed up to do Twelfth Night at 6 years old. So, what inspired me? Musical Theatre Satan. Yikes.


IRK: Did you always know you wanted to pursue acting as a career?


Podany: No! I knew I liked it, like it was fun, when I first started. But I was about 15 when I started trying to make this a career. I was in a play in LA called Hermetically Sealed, it had everything to do with a mother and her son. We ran for about 4 months. I was going to the show every night after school, I couldn’t have been happier. Then, one night after one of the shows, a guy came up to me and said “I haven’t spoken to my son in 5 years. But I’m going to call him tonight after seeing this show.” That pretty much sealed the deal for me. If that’s something storytelling can do, then I would love to be a part of it.


IRK: Do you use any techniques to develop your characters?


Podany: Depends a lot on the character, I guess. I’d say for the most part, I read the script, and try and imagine what this character looks like to me. How do they walk, how do they talk, smell, feel, etc. Then I try and go inside that image of a person; ok how do they see from inside their eyes, how do they taste from inside their tongue, touch from within their fingers. I get an outline, a silhouette of the character, and then I try to put myself into that shape. Sometimes it’s a great fit, sometimes it’s a square peg and a round hole... but most of the time, the character starts to exist somewhere between me and the silhouette. I don't know, ask me again next year, I’ll probably laugh at this answer.


IRK: You've mentioned your love for film, do you have a dream role?


Podany: Hahaha no idea. I used to always want to be a wizard and now I’ve been one. I’d love to originate a character in a fictional world. Like something sci-fi or fantasy, I’d love to breathe life into something novel in that kind of world. That, and Bat Boy in the musical Bat Boy.


Sweater by Arovescio / Provided by TRILUXE , Pants by Hugo Boss / @kennethcole


IRK: Harry Potter and Hello Tomorrow take place in another world, (neo-futuristic or magical), while on set, what is your method of transporting to these new places?


Podany: I think what is so lovely about the stories of Cursed Child and Hello Tomorrow is that the alien worlds serve as a medium to communicate a deeply human story. So, I have to learn how to use a wand or how to negotiate acting with a floating robot, yes. But most of my job is honestly just bringing heart to a story that is extremely near and dear to most of us. Whether that be the story of Father and Son, Friends become Enemies, whatever it may be.


IRK: How is it working with an incredible actor like Billy Crudup? How has he inspired you while working on Hello Tomorrow!?


Podany: What an asshole. He made me fall in love with acting more than I already was when I entered the project. He was a class example of even when you’ve “made it,” i.e., you get offers for roles, you get awards, etc., the work doesn’t stop. You always want to work on what you’re making. There’s a joy and satisfaction in that drive and ethic. I loved it. I loved watching him run lines and rehearse and talk scenes over and over, cause... I dunno, this dude could

easily put his feet up and say, “I’m successful, whatever.” And he didn’t, he still works so hard to bring heart to the characters he plays. Pretty damn inspiring.


IRK: Do you have a favorite scene in Hello Tomorrow!? Why?


Podany: I have a few. But one of my absolute favorites is a scene at the beginning of 8 between Jack and Shirley. Talk about a masterclass on acting with those two, Billy and Haneefah Wood. My favorite scene that I’m in has to be the last scene of episode 9. I won’t give anything away but... man, what a wild ride that was to film. But I’ve decided to not give Billy anymore compliments in this interview, otherwise his head is gonna get way too big.


IRK: As a film and TV lover yourself, how has it been collaborating with actors/artists you have looked up to?


Podany: INCREDIBLE. You never want to meet your heroes, cause what if they’re jerks! But I have had the utmost privilege of working with not just some of the best actors around, but some of the best people. I came off the set of Hello Tomorrow as a better actor and a better person after working with the folks there. And damn, they listen. Billy didn’t shut me down and say “look kid, I’ve got an Emmy, so get lost.” He worked with me, to create the scene, the characters, the relationship... and I think it really shows. Pretty amazing.


IRK: How do you collaborate with other actors and directors to create a cohesive performance?


Podany: I’ve been lucky enough to work with some insanely talented scene partners. You can practice a scene by yourself as much as you like, but when you walk on set with a good actor, it’s like grabbing hold of a live wire. If an impulse hits you, run with it, and throw it right back. You’re playing a live game of tennis. And the director will then come along and define the rules of the match. How big is the court, where is out of bounds, how many rounds, what’s a foul, etc. And when they game really gets going, when the rules are understood and clear, when the rally feels like it could go to either player... that’s a good day’s work.


Suit by Pal Zileri / Provided by TRILUXE , Turtleneck by Hugo Boss


IRK: Do you have any aspirations to work with any specific actor(s) or artist(s)?


Podany: Oh man... One of my biggest idols in the industry is Donald Glover. He writes, acts, produces, directs, makes music... he’s a person I’d be speechless if I ever met. Not even an attempt at playing it cool, just speechless.


IRK: What would you say has been your biggest achievement in your career?


Podany: Woah... I don’t know. Something that comes to mind is I made a web series during 2020 called Lucids. It’s entirely me, I play every character, I edited it myself, I scored it myself... it was just me going to locations with a suitcase of costumes, a tripod, and a camera. Hell, I recorded sound on my phone. But... wow it’s good. I’m extremely proud of that series. And I’m extremely grateful for the community of fans that came from it. Seriously, if you haven’t watched it, it’s really good. I learned so much about film and how much I adore it by creating that thing. I realized that, in the grand scheme of things, I want to do a lot more than act. And if I get the chance to step into those roles, even if it’s for just me and a suitcase of clothes, I have the time of my life.


IRK: What do you enjoy most about your career?


Podany: The people. When I made Lucids, a whole online community sprung up around the series. And the people in that group started getting to know each other, and they’ve told me that without the series, they wouldn’t have met some of their best friends. People have reached out to me and let me know that because of my work, they’re thinking about majoring in film or writing or acting in college. Stuff like that is the best. There is no call from my agents that will bring me more joy than what I feel when I hear how the stories, I’ve made have impacted people. That’s why I do this!


IRK: How is it working with an incredible actor like Billy Crudup? How has he inspired you while working on Hello Tomorrow!?


Podany: What an asshole. He made me fall in love with acting more than I already was when I entered the project. He was a class example of even when you’ve “made it,” i.e., you get offers for roles, you get awards, etc., the work doesn’t stop. You always want to work on what you’re making. There’s a joy and satisfaction in that drive and ethic. I loved it. I loved watching him run lines and rehearse and talk scenes over and over, cause... I dunno, this dude could

easily put his feet up and say, “I’m successful, whatever.” And he didn’t, he still works so hard to bring heart to the characters he plays. Pretty damn inspiring.


IRK: You mentioned on set that there is a fight scene in episode 6, how did you prepare for that? Was there anything specific that you struggled with during that scene?


Podany: There are a handful of fight scenes in this show between ol’ Billy and me! You learn your lines as best you can, get your head into the mindset of your character right before the scene happens, and then you just let loose! And if you have a scene partner as good as the folks I had on this show... it’s just a big playground.


Tuxedo by Pal Zileri / Provided by TRILUXE , Turtleneck by Jack Victor


IRK: Do you have any pre-show rituals? What do you do to de-stress?


Podany: I have a super-secret ritual, but that one is just for me. But mostly, I listen to music. I love creating massive playlists for each of my characters. What do they listen to? What puts me in their shoes? It doesn’t have to do anything with the narrative, so much as it has to do with the mindset of the character. What’s their favorite song, their favorite artist, their least favorite genre? That helps a lot.


IRK: How do you stay inspired? What do you do when you feel uninspired?


Podany: If I feel uninspired, I take a damn break. I walk, I play video games, I watch a show, I cook, I just... stop. There’s a benefit to pushing through blocks, absolutely. But my god, sometimes, when you feel like you’re just banging your head against a wall, just stop. It’s not giving up; it’s literally taking care of yourself. Take a bath, call a friend, get real lazy. And don’t worry! It’ll come back; it always does.


IRK: What music inspires you? Any favorite song right now?


Podany: Frank Ocean, Bobby Charles, Oscar Peterson, Bowie, Lizzie McAlpine, Jack Frerer, Emitt Rhodes, Kendrick Lamar, Regina Spektor, The Fynches, Fela Kuti, Wet Leg, The Lemon Twigs, Julian Lange, I could go on. But I also love walking around and listening to my own latest demos. If I feel stuck with a song, I take it for a walk. I try to always be a fan of my own music. I love the feeling of getting excited about a new way to approach a stagnant song. And there’s no better way to do that than taking it on a walk. Oh, and my favorite song right now is “I Must Be In a Good Place Now” by Bobby Charles. But it’s also “Moonage Daydream” by David Bowie. But it’s also “Self Control” by Frank Ocean. But it’s also “I Found Out” by John Lennon.


IRK: Talking about favorites, what are some of your all-time favorite songs, movies or books?


Podany: The entirety of Kendrick Lamar's "To Pimp a Butterfly", “Glow” by The Fynches, “I Must Be in a Good Place Now” by Bobby Charles, “A Boy and a Girl” by Eric Whitacre, “Ur Mum” by Wet Leg... Oh god! There are tons of others.

My favorite movies have gotta be “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” “Good Will Hunting"... Stuff like that.

And books? Oh man, “All the Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr is my all-time favorite.


Jacket by Paisley & Gray , Turtleneck by Hugo Boss / @kennethcole


IRK: Apart from acting, you are also a musician. How did you get into music? And do you have any musical aspirations?


Podany: I’ve loved music ever since I first watched That Thing You Do! when my parents showed it to me at... I think I was 3? If you haven’t seen it, watch it, it’s the perfect band movie. Besides, it’s Tom Hanks, Steve Zahn and Liv Tyler, c’mon. I would bang on pots and pans until I finally got a tiny little plastic drum set. Then I would hold concerts for any family member brave enough to sit and listen to 30+ minutes of screaming and wild solos. So, when I first got garage band in seventh, it was a game changer. I got a small MIDI keyboard and a USB mic, and started writing

almost 3 “albums” a year. I got a band together in high school called Across Coves, and we somehow managed to win a battle of the bands that let us open for none other than Maroon 5. To be 15 years old and stand in front of 4,000 people and play a couple songs you and your best friends wrote. Pretty wild. But now, I just adore creating and recording music. It feels like an old childhood kind of pastime. And if I get the chance to release that music, I do! I’ve got 9 songs up on Spotify now. And I am so insanely thankful to all the surprisingly many people who listen. But really, that I do for myself. That being said, put me on tour? I wouldn’t say no. I live for a gig.


IRK: We're loving "Telling Myself". Tell us about that process.


Podany: I wrote Telling Myself when I was in Harry Potter! I was 23, the new graduated life was confusing, glorious, terrifying, thrilling, and a complete mess. I was desperately trying to “define” myself; what do I stand for? What do I like? What do I want to do with my life?? The song comes from that quarter life crisis place: “Something must be wrong with me, cause the cloth that they were cut from is the one that I’ve been wearing to say, that no one really knows me that well.”

Turtleneck by Jack Victor, Jacket by Pal Zileri / Provided by TRILUXE , Pants by Hugo Boss / @kennethcole


IRK: IRK Magazine is highly committed to sustainability and ensuring the welfare of both humanity and the environment. Are there any particular charities or philanthropic organizations that you hold in high regard, and which share similar values?


Podany: The Climate Reality Project! (@climaterealityproject)

There’s another charity I’m proud to be a regular donation giver to: Friends of UNFPA (@unfpa). They provide money for women’s health in 3rd world countries.


IRK: What are some conscious actions you implement in your daily life? For Example, are you committing to reducing plastic, second hand, public transport?


Podany: Well, of course there’s recycling, public transport, all within your individual power, and those are important. But the best impact I believe we can make is with donations towards combatting the massive companies that are driving climate change to the brink. Lobbyists have millions behind an agenda of fossil fuels and fracking, and I’ll be damned if putting a plastic straw in the right bin is going to hold much weight against that. Meanwhile, marches, donations, etc., getting the attention of lawmakers in whatever capacity you can, that’s the most effective means of making real change. But also, please bring your own reusable straw with you to coffee shops!


IRK: What’s your hope for the future of the planet?


Podany: Call me sentimental, but I’d love the earth to stay habitable!


Jacket by Pal Zileri / Provided by TRILUXE , Turtleneck by by Fradi / Provided by TRILUXE , Pants by Fradi / Provided by TRILUXE


IRK: What is the best advice someone has given you?


Podany: Anne Rutherford! I met her before she passed, I was 14, and I was doing a play. She was in the audience, and I met her afterwards. She said, “You want to be an actor?” and I said yes. She replied, “Then keep going. Because it’s a wonderful life.” So, I’ve kept going. And so far, she’s damn right.


IRK: What advice do you have for any aspiring actors and artists?


Podany: Lately, my motto has been this: when you’re creating a project, the worst thing that can happen isn’t that the project’s bad, it’s that the project never gets made at all. It doesn’t matter whether or not your stuff is good, it only matters that you’re working on it. I am a pretty firm believer that if you keep working at something, you will, without a doubt, get better at it. So just go for it, make the thing you’ve been meaning to make, cause who cares? At the end of the day, it’s just for you. And if you don’t like it, fine! At least you did it.


Despite his success, Podany remains grounded and focused on his craft. He is passionate about storytelling and the power of film and television to impact people’s lives. With his natural talent and dedication to his craft, there’s no doubt that he will continue to make a significant impact in Hollywood for years to come.



 

IRK Collaboration

Thornton is a NYC based fashion photographer with editorial and advertising clients worldwide.

 



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