Steve Olson stars opposite Katrina Bowden (30 Rock), Kate Flannery (NBC’s “The Office”) and Quinton Aaron (The Blind Side) as ‘Rodney’, the lead role in the dramedy film Fishbowl California, released on iTunes and Amazon at the beginning of May. Rodney is unemployed and on the verge of 30, who finds unexpected inspiration from his encounter with an ailing and cantankerous widow.
Steve’s additional credits include FOX’s “New Girl”, truTV’s “Those Who Can’t”, and Comedy Central’s “Ving Break”. In addition to acting, Steve has a diverse background in comedy, having studied improvisation with the iconic Groundlings before becoming part of the Acme Comedy Theatre sketch group in Los Angeles.
In his free time, though, Steve enjoys playing piano, drums and guitar and listening to Aerosmith.
Get to know him more with our interview below!
It must’ve been so much fun shooting “Fishbowl California”. Are we right?
“Darn tootin’ it was fun! Boon hootin’ it was fun! Boot Scoot and Saloon’n, I can’t tell ya how much fun it was! Oh, my…that got out of control quickly. But for real, it was more fun than a barrel of monkeys.”
Could you please share anything about your character Rodney?
“Rodney’s an aimless deadbeat who thinks his corny jokes and perplexed attitude are enough to get him through life. He is not in possession of any of the following: girlfriend, car, money, job, friends, normal haircut, bed frame.”
Growing up, did you always know you wanted to be an actor?
“Not until I was 18. The only time I acted was in the 7th-grade talent show; I did Will Ferrell’s SNL Harry Caray impression: ‘Hey everybody! If you were a hot dog would ya eat yourself?! I know I would. I’d smother myself in brown mustard and relish… I’d be delicious.'”
What are your earliest memories of acting?
“Probably jumping off furniture and crashing into lamps and TV screens pretending to be Ace Ventura when I about six. It was an expensive impersonation.”
Who inspired you to get into it?
“Nothing really played in our household besides Jim Carrey, Steve Martin, Martin Short and Robin Williams. They were on the loop non-stop. We’d be at dinner, my mom would ask my sister, ‘So how was school today?’ My sister would start to answer, and my mom would say, ‘Hold it, Franck’s coming on again.’ (Martin Short in Father of the Bride). We’d go to see Mrs Doubtfire 5 to 6 times in the theatre, a little over the top. I consumed a lot of Milk Duds.”
We’ve heard you’re into music, too. Have you ever thought about being a musician?
“I played one live gig in high school at my hometown ice cream store with my friend Steve Hiltner. I’m on piano; he’s on guitar and singing. I start off the fifth song or so, but I start playing it in the wrong time measure, which meant he had to sing and play it in that same wrong time measure, which meant it didn’t even sound like a song. So, no.”
Now, could you imagine another path?
“No, I couldn’t imagine another path. Once, before acting, I was hired at one of those pop-up kiosk Sprint phone booths in the mall, but the phones were tethered to the booth, so I thought, ‘there’s no manager here, and the phones are hooked to the booth, why am I here?’ So, I left for the day, came back, and three of the five phones stolen. So, when actors say they really can’t work another job, it’s not a cliché.”
What has been the most exciting thing to happen to you as an actor?
“I think the first thing I ever got felt the most exciting because it was so new at the time. It’s exciting when you see yourself on TV or someone recognizes you, but actually, most of the time, they don’t know where they know me from because I’m not famous. I’m just vaguely on TV, so they go, ‘I know I know you from somewhere…did you grow up in Dallas?’ I’m like, ‘no.’ They’re like, ‘Hmm… Did you go to Woodrow Wilson Middle School in Denver?’ I’m like, ‘no.'”
Acting has some drawbacks too… What is the hardest thing?
“Just maintaining the thick skin and pulling yourself up off the mat after the losses.”
What advice would you give to your younger self?
“’Why are you drinking a Bud Light Lime Tall Boy? It’s 10 am.’ I’d also warn him, ‘of all the things you’ll miss, you’ll miss your mind the most.’”
Little Steve would be really proud! What would you like to achieve in the next few years?
“Aw that’s sweet of you, maybe he would be, I don’t know? Goals, hmm…I’d like to order off UberEats less than 90% of the time, that’d be a win.”
Back to Fishbowl California for a moment – What can fans expect from this film?
“If you liked the classic 80’s/90’s throwback buddy comedies; Steve Martin, Carl Reiner, Tom Hanks, anything in that ballpark, you’ll like this. It’s funny, it’s sweet, it’s sad, but it’s mostly fun and funny, and you feel good at the end.”
Thank you so much for your time! Is there any last thing you’d like to share with our readers at CelebMix?
“Check out Fishbowl California baby! It’s out now on DVD, Amazon, iTunes and all VOD platforms. And please subscribe to my YouTube where I post everything I do including self-created content at aplemank19. Twitter @steveolson22, IG @olsonsteve2. Thanks for having me!”
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Steve Olson Website: steveolsonsite.com
Fishbowl California on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Fishbowl-California-Steve-Olson/dp/B079ZT1XQD
Fishbowl California on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/movie/fishbowl-california/id1359619656
Photography: Stephanie Girard
Men’s Grooming: Stephen Bowman