In the big leagues
Local actor lands role as millionaire in popular new ABC television series
|‘Millionaire’ Nathan Topie will be casting his vote for ‘Darling’ in ’08 on the ABC TV series ‘Dirty, Sexy Money’ on Wednesday. Topie landed a role as a campaign party-goer in the popular show. photo by Catherine Minolli.|
October 31, 2007DRYDEN — Nathan Topie is not really a billionaire, but he plays one on TV.
The 32-year-old actor snagged a part on the popular new ABC series 'Dirty, Sexy Money,' which airs from 10-11 p.m. every Wednesday night.
Topie, a 1993 Imlay City High School graduate, will be part of an upcoming party scene, where he's hobknobbing with the movers and shakers at a campaign fundraiser for one of the fictional Darling family characters who's making a bid for congress.
Donned in a tux bearing a campaign button 'Darling '08,' Topie looks like a million bucks—which is exactly what he's supposed to do.
"I'm a supporter of the son that's running for office," Topie explains.
He's also 'dating' a close friend of Karen Darling, daughter of the power couple Tripp and Letitia Darling, played by actors Donald Sutherland and Jill Clayburgh. Natalie Zea tackles the role of Karen Darling. The segment featuring Topie's scene is set to air tonight (Oct. 31) on ABC.
The show, which is said to be loosely based on a modern day version of the Kennedys, revolves around the exceedingly wealthy Darling family and their idealistic attorney, Nick George, played by actor Peter Krause. Following in the footsteps of his fictional father, George handles the affairs—literally and figuratively—of the Darlings and can't escape the web of entanglements and strings attached to all their money— 'Dirty, Sexy Money.'
Topie was happy when his Central Casting agent told him about the part, especially since the show features so many well known Hollywood stars. Along with Sutherland, Clayburgh and Krause, the show features William Baldwin as Patrick George.
Making its debut on Sept. 26, 'Dirty, Sexy Money' has been holding steady in the ratings.
"It's an interesting show about an incredibly rich multibillionaire family and how much trouble having so much money can really be," Topie says. "It's not really a blessing, it's kind of a curse."
Well, the fictional family's curse is somewhat of a blessing for Topie, who says he enjoyed the experience of working on a Hollywood set.
He spent the day on set at Paramount Studios, and got a feel for the work and perks that go along with producing a serial TV show.
"I was pretty impressed," Topie says. "It was a full 12 hours of work to shoot just portions of that episode. But you don't have to be there the whole time unless you're in a lead role."
As for the perks, Topie says he was a little surprised.
"I couldn't believe the amount of food they allow you to have," he says. "Every type of food you want to eat while hanging out is amazing. They'd shoot for about 45 minutes or so and then you go and eat for another hour or so."
Another perk was meeting and working with all sorts of actors—from highly experienced and well known to those who've played lesser roles.
"It was great to meet so many people who've been in just about everything you can imagine," he says. "There were a lot of resumes and pictures everyone had to show around. There were many independent film actors, and everybody there was involved in film in some way."
That's good for Topie, who earned a degree in theater and musical theater from Oakland University. He also studied Shakespeare in New York and at Oxford University in England.
The recent Hollywood experience led to more opportunities for Topie to use his skills. He's been receiving emails and casting calls for everything from acting to voice-over roles.
"The business of film has a lot to do with networking," Topie says. "The more time you spend with people in the same business, the more you find out and the more opportunities you get."
Topie is no stranger to the stage or screen. He was recently cast in a starring role in the independent film 'Love & Plutonium.' The quirky picture was awarded the "Filmrunner Choice Award" prize at Filmrunner.net, a Web site that assists independent filmmakers with networking and marketing. It also earned the 'Best Feature Film" prize at the Twisted Spine 'Micro' Film Festival in Cleveland, Ohio in Sept. 2005. To learn more about 'Love & Plutonium,' visit www.loveandplutoium.com. The film is also available to download to your PC or TiVo at Amazon.com.
Topie is also busy with a couple of leading roles in murder mysteries across the state, including one at the mansion at Oakland University.
He's worked with the same company for a number of years, and says he enjoys doing live theater the most.
He's also in the midst of producing and filming an audition tape for 'Beyond Deal or No Deal,' the popular game show featuring actor/comedian Howie Mandel.
Topie, also a published writer, and his wife, Jennifer, have four kids, Alex, Lucas, Cecelia and Kellen.