Saving the day on Chicago Fire is serious stuff, so it’s a fun change of pace to see Yuri Sardarov (whom fans of the NBC show will know as Brian “Otis” Zvonecek) go for the laughs in the web series Boyband.
The second season officially premieres today, including Yuri as one of the members of the band’s hilarious glam squad, and we caught up with him last week to talk about comedy and how he’d judge his own sense of style.
First off, how did he go from firefighter to stylist? Credit that to one of his Chicago Fire co-stars. “I think Chris Stolte, who plays Mouch, saw the first episode and kind of tuned us into it,” Yuri explained, “and it was just some really cool kind of assertive humor.
“I really dug it and I’ve known [Boyband producer and director] Colleen [Griffen] for quite a while, so I kind of reached out to her and offered if she ever had anything for me, I’d love to come on for an episode or so,” he continued. “Lo and behold I got to act with my buddy Joe [Minoso] and we got to do a funny little scene.”
Funny would be an understatement as it really is hilarious, as well as something worth appreciating to see these actors that we mostly know and love for drama going totally in the opposite direction. We asked Yuri if that contrast was part of the appeal of his new role as the amusingly named Thaddeus Sifterspanks, who is introduced in the season’s third episode.
“It’s always great,” he told us. “I think being an actor you kind of want to spread yourself as far as humanly possible. I always feel restless when I’m not doing something, and it was during the summer when we were on hiatus and it was near the end of the summer, so I’d been doing a lot of relaxing [and] I was ready to get back into gear.
“It was just a lot of fun. Colleen was so game to improv and play around and figure out the characters on the day so Joe and I had a blast,” he continued. “The guys were just great, I feel they were kind of on the tail end of filming, so they were primed and ready to go. We had a great time.”
Yuri’s character represents one of the things that’s so fantastic about Boyband: it’s a spot-on send-up of all the types of people one encounters in the entertainment industry. As these five guys try desperately to become famous, they’ve also got to deal with producers who don’t make sense, trainers trying to whip them into marketable shape and people like Thaddeus telling them what they should look like.
If you’ve ever even thought about being a star, you’ll see things in these episodes you identify with – who all just happen to be played by actors that you get to see in a different light. As web series go, this is the funniest one you’ll ever see and it’s also chock full of talent.
Naturally, playing a stylist opens up a discussion about whether or not Yuri himself has any style. How would he describe himself? “I think I do a fairly good job but here in Chicago during the winter, my style is pretty much a sweatshirt and sweatpants,” he confided. “Anything to keep warm. My girlfriend helps me a fair amount.
“I like to have fun with style, I like to have fun with the clothes that I wear,” he added, “and my character [on Chicago Fire] is definitely out there with all the outfits he gets to wear. He’s definitely the funky one of the group, so maybe a little bit of that has worn off on me.”
He’s certainly going to leave an impression on audiences when you see just how funny he can be. Season 2 of Boyband premieres today. For more information, be sure to visit the show’s official YouTube and Tumblr pages. Chicago Fire airs Tuesdays on NBC.