While fans might know Nico Tortorella as Josh on TV Land's
Younger or from his roles in movies like Scream 4 or Trespass, the talented actor has been exploring new territory as the host of a podcast exploring relationships, sexuality, gender and all of the labels that go along with them. The Love Bomb launched in August and features Tortorella in conversation with the likes of everyone from gay porn star and artist Colby Keller to RuPaul's Drag Race star Milk. On the heels of Tortorella starring in our Pedro Almodóvar-themed fashion shoot, we caught up with him to talk about the podcast, Younger and what's next for him.
Along with television and podcasts, you're also involved in dance and theater. How do you find time to do all of these different projects and work in these disciplines?
I feel like my life right now is a big magnetic ball that's rolling and picking up all these things as I go along. I've done more [in 2016] than I've done ever before. Idle time makes me go crazy. This podcast, more than anything, has started to influence every other job that I'm working on. There's such a self awareness that comes from it. I get to listen to myself have conversations and I'm a lot more cognizant of who I am. Before, a lot of the projects were centered around me, and now after this, I'm pushing everything outwards towards other people and spreading this message of love as far as I can.
Can you tell us more about the people you choose to invite onto your podcast?
We kind of just jumped into this, not knowing exactly what we were going to do. The first idea was to focus on different [identity] labels. I was trying to break the barrier of labels by having a conversation about labels, but it kept me in this box of, "This is what a bisexual conversation is." And every single person is so individual, and you can't treat 5 stories that fit in the same label as the same, because they're all completely different. So, it's turned into a conversation about love, relationships, and self-love.
You spoke with a few exes in the podcast. Did you feel vulnerable in those conversations?
Yeah, for sure. These are conversations that I've always been having, and the second that I got in the studio, it was like, "Why not share these with the world?" And [it seems like] there's a fine line between it being exhibitionism and narcissism, but why does it have to be either one of those things? I'm just having these conversations, and if it's a little narcissistic at one point, fine. If it's me exposing myself to the world at some point, fine. It's never going to be one specific thing
What draws you to podcasts? What have you learned since working on your own?
I didn't listen to podcasts at all before I went on. In terms of production, podcasts are incomparable to any other platform. You can go in, record, edit, and the next day you can get your voice out to millions of people. I think the biggest problem with podcasts is the word 'podcast.' Phonetically there's something wrong with it; it doesn't roll off your tongue. Even the picture of the app doesn't really make sense. It doesn't ring radio. It doesn't ring entertainment. People don't even know how to get to it. It comes on every single Apple device.
Switching gears, let's talk about Younger. How do you find yourself relating to your character, Josh, these days?
The writers are writing as we're shooting, so it's only a matter of time before they start writing the character more in line with who [the actors] are as people. I think that's exactly what's happened with Josh. Josh leads with his heart. And he's totally committed to this person that he loves, and to his job, and does a really good job of balancing the two, better than I do at times. I think he's a real stand up dude. I think he's kind of like this perfect guy on television that owns a tattoo shop and lives in Brooklyn, has money, and wants to spend the rest of his life with the woman he loves. That's kind of the dream, you know?
You recently appeared in our Pedro Almodóvar-themed shoot. How was that experience?
It was the day after the election. I woke up like everyone else did, really angry and numb. I was driving down Hollywood Boulevard [in LA] to the shoot, and I was convinced that [there was going to] be some [protest or rally] going on, because I knew what was going on [in New York], but there was nothing. It was like a sunny, beautiful day, and it felt like just another day. And I was crying all day like a lot of us at the shoot. We were all treading lightly, we didn't know what to say. It was super surreal. But the shoot itself was amazing. The images were beautiful. The art direction was insane.
Could you tell me a bit about your upcoming projects? It sounds like you're really invested in the podcast.
We're taking meetings now to figure out where the TV show [version of the podcast] is going to live. We're everywhere from Vice to Netflix, to MTV, to, fingers crossed, HBO. That is the most exciting thing right now. There's another TV Land show that's gearing up right now that I can't really talk about yet, but things are looking really awesome. And season 4 of Younger. We start shooting in April. There are a couple films up in the air.
Photo by Matteo Prandoni/BFA.com