Popular Girl: Michelle Nunez
Jan 9, 2021
Having just starred in BET’s “Ruthless”, Tyler Perry’s spinoff of the hit series “The Oval,” as well as staying active in a large number of fields from activism to music, Michelle Nunez is, without doubt, a born fighter and woman of many talents. A trained 500 HR Yoga instructor and a strict vegetarian, Michelle Nunez – who recently came out as pansexual and is a big supporter of the LGBTQIA community – is of Dominican, Spanish and Nigerian heritage, growing up while constantly moving all over the US and parts of Europe due to her parents’ work in the army. By all accounts a talent on the rise, the future is definitely bright for Michelle Nunez. Today, PopularTV had the pleasure of talking to Nunez about her acting work and her nomadic experience growing up as well as her environmental activism and much more.
So, you starred as ‘Zane’ in BET’s “Ruthless.” How was that as an overall experience?
Awesome. Incredible. I’m super grateful for joining the Ruthless team. Everyone bonded so well, and the entire experience was loads of fun and I learned so much in such a short period.
For readers who are perhaps not yet familiar with “Ruthless” what is the show about?
The show is about a cult that lures in new members from all walks of life to join. On the surface, they seem like great people. But beneath the surface is a dark and controlling hierarchy that makes you choose life with the cult or death. Not great options.
How did you get into acting?
A few years back I started studying, working on set, and traveling to be part of projects. I knew from a young age that I loved the arts and have always been involved with music. I’ve studied with a ton of incredible teachers, coaches, mentors, and at some of the best studios around. I’m super grateful for the team that has always been there to support me in cultivating and honing my craft.
You also just starred in Gorgon City’s new music video for “Burning” featuring EVAN GIIA. Talk to us a bit about how that came to life and your experience on set.
Ah, this was so awesome. Some friends and I drove to Wyoming (and surrounding areas) and shot this incredibly fun music video together. It was an awesome welcome back to LA after being away for a few months during lockdown. Plus, I love the song.
We know you grew up moving all over the US and Europe due to your parents’ work in the army. Do you think growing up in so many places has shaped who you are today?
Absolutely. I think every military brat has some kind of story that relates their life growing up back to their life now. From moving around (three middle schools in three years) to my pops being away and my mum raising my sisters and me a lot of the time. I think it takes a strong heart and mind to live this kind of life and I’m grateful that I got to experience this alternative way of living for a large part of my life. I’ve lived in New York City, Germany, Washington State, and more because of it so experiencing new cultures is a part of me now.
What are some of the essential things you do in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle and avoid burnout?
Oh man, my list could get very long but here are some of the things I do just about on the daily that keep me in tune with my mind – body – spirit. Yoga, reading, journaling, meditation (I practice three different forms of meditation daily), getting my heart rate up at least once for a steady amount of time, practicing breathwork, red light therapy, eating as healthy and clean as can be, and drinking heaps of water.
You are also a music producer and DJ in your free time. Talk to us about the music side of things and how you became involved in that. Is it something you keep for downtime as a hobby or do you also aim to make it a professional endeavor?
For sure, I love music. I think most of my life I’ve been doing something music related so I think it was a natural evolution that I take some time and study music production formally. Right now, I love making beats solo and with friends and I think releasing some music in the future would be awesome.
You recently came out as pansexual. If you feel comfortable talking about it, tell us about your journey towards finding your sexuality and coming out?
I knew I was this way for a big part of my life, I just never had the words to express it. And I never felt like I needed to explain myself. But last year I think it was important for me to be part of the shift taking place in the world and share this about myself in hopes of creating more equality. We’re all different and we all love different.
You’re also an animal and environmental activist. What are in your opinion three simple things everyone can do in order to lead a more sustainable lifestyle?
I’d say compost when you can (especially if your community provides it), recycle, and be mindful of where your dairy is coming from (factory farms or family farms?). Also, reducing your meat intake helps a ton too.
This year has been a hell of a ride for everyone. How did you experience everything that happened in 2020 and has it had much of an effect on your craft?
2020 was a year and I’m grateful that I’ve been able to look through a positive lens toward everything. No, not false positivity. I was pissed at certain moments, totally depressed in others, and exceptionally ecstatic in others. It taught me a lot about balance and where my intentions and priorities were and how I could be a better citizen of the world and stand for the things that matter most to me. Regarding my craft, I spent a lot of time in acting classes and studying music production during our initial lockdown, so I was constantly trying to keep myself occupied with learning, which ultimately helped me come back inspired even after such dark times.
A lot more people have been struggling with mental health issues this year. What is one thing that you would provide as a tip that has perhaps helped you previously?
Mediation. Along with journaling and reading a ton. When you’re learning, you’re expanding. And I’ve found that my darkest moments come when I’m not actively learning in some capacity.
What are some hobbies of yours that really help you escape from all the work-related things you juggle.
Everything I listed in one of the first few questions. My morning routine is everything – meditation, yoga, reading, journaling, and exercise.
Are you working on anything new and exciting that you can share with us?
Yes! I am stoked to share soon enough!