Guy Nardulli

Professional football player, athletic model, Italian cook, actor, director… Guy Nardulli has an impressive résumé, even before he adds “viral TV sensation” to the list. Nardulli talks with me about his new hit Carl’s Jr. Superman commercial, shares some funny (and slightly embarrassing) stories from the set, and spills his secrets about that chiseled physique.

Your Carl’s Jr. commercial has gone viral – did you know how big of a hit the commercial would be while filming it?

I didn’t realize it was a Superman commercial until the last audition. I had no idea it was going to be as big of a hit as it was. I didn’t even know Zach Snyder – the director of Superman – was directing it.

Did they keep that information from you on purpose?

During the audition, they kept saying that some guy named “Zach” was directing it, but I just wasn’t putting two and two together. I really had no idea who it was. Even when we got on set, Zach was talking to me about the original Superman outfit, and I leaned in kind of quietly and asked, “So, did you work on the Superman project?” Zach kind of looked at me and smiled, then leaned in and said, “Yeah, I directed it.” It was a pretty funny moment.

Oh no! Hopefully you recovered from that OK.

I recovered a little bit. I was slightly embarrassed because here’s a guy who’s directed “300,” “Watchmen” and several other great films, and I just had no idea.

So, how many times did you have to take a bite of that sandwich before they called it wraps?

Forty-three times [laughs]. At first I was excited, I thought, “Wow! I get to eat a Carl’s Jr. burger!” Then the person responsible for the burgers told me that there were 100 in the back, and I thought, “No way am I eating 100 burgers.” Also, there were pins in the burger to hold the bun in place, which I didn’t realize at first. Luckily they gave me a spit bucket, so it was bite and spit, bite and spit.

“I’m 100 percent Italian. I grew up

in an Italian home where my mother

and grandmother would cook from the

minute they woke up to nearly the

minute they went to sleep.”

Guy Nardulli

Guy Nardulli

We’ve heard you have a love for cooking; you’ve even owned two Italian restaurants. Where does your inspiration for cooking come from?

I’m 100 percent Italian. I grew up in an Italian home where my mother and grandmother would cook from the minute they woke up to nearly the minute they went to sleep. I would always watch my mom bake these great dishes, so I started to pick it up. I just love food. I would be 400 pounds if I could, because I would love to eat all day, every day. I love making people dishes, too. That’s where I put all my passion. I have this great macadamia nut Halibut that I make.

Wait, did you just say macadamia nut Halibut? 

Oh yeah, you crunch it up! Halibut is a great fish, you don’t have to overcook it; you can literally undercook it and it will cook itself a little bit. It works amazingly with the fresh flavor of the macadamia; it’s got that sweet flavor. Now you’ve got me hungry!

You’re (obviously) in great shape, but you say you love to eat. How do you maintain your physique?

First, whatever I eat I need to burn. It’s really that simple. Whatever you bring in, you need to burn off. Is it easy? No. You need to go to the gym and work.

Can you share some of your nutrition secrets?

Something I really try to do is eat clean. I don’t eat a lot of junk food or fast food – I know it’s funny, I just did a Carl’s Jr. commercial – but I really don’t eat a lot of that. I don’t drink soda. I really try to eat as clean and as healthy as possible. I also try to find as much freshly grown produce as possible. Buy fresh, eat clean, burn off what you put in; that’s my advice.

Do you think your love for cooking also helps you stay in shape?

Absolutely. Restaurants tend to either over serve you or under serve you, so you’re left either stuffed or starving. When you go out, you drink the soda and eat the fries, and by the time you get home all that food is weighing you down and you don’t want to hit the gym. When you cook at home, you’re not going to overeat and you’re going to eat healthier.

Do you have a favorite quote or motto that you live by?

As I got older, I started reading more and I got into Shakespeare, and there’s a quote that goes, “The roads we choose dictate the lives we lead.” It’s pretty meaningful. It’s saying, “Don’t have any regrets. If you choose to go down this road, that’s the life you’re going to lead.”

Looking forward, what are your plans for the future? Any more commercials on the horizon?

I would love more commercials just because they pay so well [laughs]. Right now I have three projects that are all coming out in the next three months. I’ve got a show on the travel channel called “Travel Virgin,” which focuses on a guy who knows all about the world – he could literally tell you the height of Mount Saint Helen off the top of his head – but has never left L.A. I’ve also got a film that I co-wrote, called and I’ve got a couple A-list celebrities working with me on that one. Last, I’ve got “Land of Goodbye,” which was inspired by the story of the husband who asked for a divorce and then found out his wife had cancer – you may have seen it on Facebook.

So it sounds like a lot of exciting things coming up.

Absolutely. I just want to give a big thanks to everyone who’s been following me on my Twitter@Guy24 and my Facebook. I didn’t know the Carl’s Jr. commercial would be such a hit, and obviously I didn’t do it, it’s the fans. I can’t thank you all enough.