Edi Gathegi is back! September 28 with all 10 episodes.
Kenya-born Edi Gathegi who plays Ronald Dacey in Crackle’s hit show StartUp does not agree with me that the hard-hitting show is a dramedy and that his character—a Haitian gangster-turned-tech entrepreneur is remotely funny.
He would be backed up by most of the fans of the show because there is too much violence, bloodshed, intrigue and old fashioned double crossing of your very best “friends” —all in the pursuit of acquiring staggering wealth—to fit comfortably into the aforementioned category but it’s because of the pursuit of tangible assets that for me makes this a very funny television show. Because—and I will wrap this up—no matter how much power you amass on this earth in the end, and it always ends you can’t take it with you.
In Startup the name of the game is introducing a new monetary currency—GenCoin and the investors (for the most part) are all evil people without a moral compass. Their goal is clear however in that they will vanquish any competition real or imagined.
“Money” is only “real” if entire communities agree and act accordingly and therefore for those that seek world domination, manipulating currency becomes an essential part of a power base.
This is real stuff. To wit in a 2016 article written by The Guardian’s economics editor, Larry Wlliottt, the gap between the rich and the poor is growing wider and faster than experts imagined. In an Oxfam report it showed that the 62 richest billionaires own as much wealth as the poorer half of the world’s population. Meaning that 1% of people own more wealth than the other 99% combined.
In season two of StartUp the fight continues over GenCoin and the story returns to the streets of Miami following the takeover of the unregulated global cryptocurrency. Now GenCoin is now in the ruthless hands of the Russian Mob. The trio left standing is
Izzy Morales, Ronald Dacey (Edi Gathegi), and Nick Talman. In a surprising move the reinvest in their partnership and launch an exciting new endeavor, a darknet prototype called ArakNet.
But as their decentralized network begins to grow, so too does the peril, the corruption, and the moral turpitude. The new-gen-three : Izzy Ronald (Edi Gathegi), and Nick attempt to stay alive long enough to triumph.
To further underscore my original point and why I find “Startup” so funny the second season of StartUp poses the all-important question, what is the cost of ambition?
Here is a very brief excerpt for a conversation with Mr. Gethegi(Ronald Dacey ) whose rise as an actor includes some very hefty credits including The Blacklist, The Blacklist: Redemption, AMC kung fu series Into the Badlands and on the film side some of his credtis include “Twilight,” “New Moon” and “X-MEN: First Class,” to name a few. This fall he will appear in the horror/thriller “Raven’s Watch” and “Pimp.”
Los Angeles Sentinel: To me “StartUp” is a dramedy and I can defend my thoughts on this. One of the elements that make this show amazing (to me) is your chemistry with the key cast and your timing.
Edi Gathegi: (laughing) I have never heard anyone call “StartUp” anything but a drama. Ok. To each his own. To your point about having good timing, honesty, I think, it’s just playing the truth of the circumstances. If there is comedy that’s written in there I think, sometimes, then maybe that can come out.
LA: You are a hard working actor. Congratulations. But where do you call home?
EG: My heart will always belong to New York but now I call L.A. home. It took me about six years [to learn to love LA] and then I had an epiphany, ‘you can be miserable anywhere’ so let me just open myself up to the LA experience. Now I love L.A.
LA: Where were you born?
EG: I was born in Nairobi, Kenya. I came to the San Francisco Bay area when I was a baby.
LA: What tribe do you belong too and what languages do you speak besides English?
EG: I come from the Kalenjin tribe and our mother tongue is Kikuyu but Swahili is the national language. Swahili was the first language that I learned but I forgot it as soon as we came to the States. I had a culture shock. I was in pre-school and I came home crying. I told my parents that the [African-American] kids look like me but they don’t sound like me. I did not speak for two-weeks. The teachers thought that I had a learning disability. My parents assured them that I was a-ok but they [teachers] were confused. When I spoke for the first time I spoke English without [a Kenyan] an accent. I had been studying. That was the greatest acting performance of my life.
LA: O.M.G. You are a great storyteller. I could see you— the little boy—confused, watching everything and everyone around him. Hey, you should make this into a short film. Do you like short film content?
EG: Actually I just did my first short film, last winter and I caught the bug. I am never going to give up acting because that’s my first love and it’s what I was trained to do. All of this expands my abilities to share stories. I just produced a film that just wrapped [principal photography has been completed] it’s called “Princess of the Row” and it’s about a 12 year-old-girl who runs away from her foster family to live with her father, who is homeless and mentally ill and living on skid row. It’s a love story between father and daughter. I play the father.
I love storytelling. I love directing and I will pursue that. I enjoy producing. Moving forward I want to incorporate all the ways in which a film is made: acting, writing, directing, producing the whole 9 [yards]. It’s very exciting to me. It never gets boring. It’s a constant challenge for me and hopefully I will bring something good into the world.
Season 2 of Crackle’s hit show, “StartUp” premieres on September 28th