Daniel Pinder, well known for his role as Michael on Chicago PD – and for his love of skate boarding – is about to start in a new film project, Paved New World . With a powerful role inspiring his craft, he found the transition to a big-screen project inspiring.
“We start filming in October in Los Angeles and I can’t wait. The movie is set in the 90s and follows two teens, Slim and Kilgore on their last day of summer as they travel across town to watch their skate boarding idol attempt a suicidal skate trick,” Pinder explains. “It’s really a coming of age story about these best friends on a journey of finding themselves.”
Pinder terms the story eminently relatable, and he feels he’s fortunate to be able to help tell it. “My character Slim is really spectacular. He’s very artistic; he’s a rebel at times with a sensitive side. He’s the kind of friend that everyone wants in their group of friends, the friend that will take a bullet for you.”
The film, written by Bio-Dome creators Scott Marcano and two time Emmy nominated and Golden Globe winner Kip Koenig of Greys Anatomy is directed by Skate God director Alexander Garcia. Pinder will be sharing the screen with actors such as Nash Grier from The Outfield and You Get Me, and as his love-interest, Claudia Lee of Kick-Ass 2 and Hart of Dixie.
Pinder has loved acting since his childhood. “I get to entertain whoever the audience is and hopefully make an impact on their lives.” He says that he always knew that he wanted to impact other people’s lives, but wasn’t always sure how.
“Through watching movies or television shows that I liked, I started to see that the characters in these shows go through things I might have been going through at that time or things I might go through in the future, and it’s like the characters were teaching me or showing me ways to deal with the things in my life.” Calling this a moment of discovery, Pinder says this was when he knew that “acting was the thing for me, and the way I wanted to help other people.”
Pinder was raised in Fargo, North Dakota, far from the Los Angeles and New York acting scene. His friends and family have been supportive. “We all push each other to work hard to succeed at whatever we want to do,” he relates.
Pinder’s first role on Chicago PD made him fall in love with acting. “Michael was my first role. I got the part two months after dropping out of culinary school,” he laughs. “I was living in Minneapolis at the time and I actually self-taped my audition in my basement. I got called back again the night after my tape was submitted asking for more video of me, and I was told it was down between me and about 8 other guys.” He got the call every actor wants to hear – you got the role – the night of his father’s birthday party.
Pinder says he relates well to the character, and was able to bring his favorite hobby – skateboarding – to the character, too.
Along with Paved New World, the actor just finished working on Alexander Garcia’s film Skate God. The skateboarding hobby Pinder has long enjoyed is useful for this role, as well.
The just-released film, which also involves actor Peter Fonda, deals with the descendent of Greek gods in a dystopian future. Pinder plays the role of Clash. Director Garcia is also working with Pinder on an upcoming mystery, Gallatin 6.
But it’s Paved New World which is most on Pinder’s mind right now. Having a lead role is an exciting first.
“I really did fight for this part. I actually flew down from Fargo to Los Angeles to meet with Scott Marcano and Kip Koenig who wrote the film. They told me their vision, and I told them what I wanted to bring to the project and we really clicked. I think what makes me right for this part is that I understand Slim and in a weird way I feel like I’ve been very close to this character most of life,” Pinder asserts. “What I most identify with in him is his passion. I’m very excited for everyone to meet Slim.”
Pinder adds “Besides the amazing team behind the movie, what really drew me to Slim was that he makes choices that I didn’t have the courage to do in my real life.”
Of course, pursuing acting itself was a courageous choice, and Pinder does have a few salient words of advice for anyone who wishes to follow in his footsteps. “Always stay unique because that’s what people are looking for. Work hard, stay true to yourself, and don’t change just to fit into the L.A. scene. You can do it no matter where you live as long you’re willing to put in the work,” he smiles. “If I can do it while I was living in Fargo, you can do it too.”
- Genie Davis; photos provided by Daniel Pinder
Paved New World is set to release June 21, 2018.