These days, Danny Pudi is full of excitement.
Not only because he’s feeling good, but he’s getting ready for the launch of the second season of the Apple TV+ series “Mythic Quest.”
The series follows a video game studio that produces Mythic Quest, a popular multiplayer online role-playing game run by game creator Ian Grimm, played by Rob McElhenney.
Pudi plays head of monetization Brad Bakshi.
With quarantine over, the second season of “Mythic Quest” finds everyone back in the office (well, almost everyone), attempting to build upon the success of “Raven’s Banquet” by launching an epic new expansion, but Grimm and the newly promoted co-creative director, Poppy Li, played by Charlotte Nicdao, struggle with the game’s direction.
Meanwhile, C.W. Longbottom, played by F. Murray Abraham reconciles some unresolved issues from his past, the testers – played by Ashly Burch and Imani Hakim – test the bounds of an office romance.
David Brittlesbee, played by David Hornsby, loses yet another woman in his life as Jo, played by Jessie Ennis, leaves him to assist Bakshi.
Pudi says that when he was first told about the show, Megan Ganz thought he would make an excellent Bakshi.
“We envisioned him as this more sort of practical, smoother kind of guy with, like, a rich life outside the game product,” Pudi says. “He’s sort of a master manipulator. I was, like, ‘Sign me up.’ He’s someone who can be brutally honest, very blunt. And that’s very uncomfortable for me in my real life.”
Pudi says that in the first season, viewers were able to see the expansion of the company.
He says Bakshi is constantly looking for ways to monetize the game.
“In Season 1, you got to see a little bit how the it could all shift,” he says. “The new season, we dive into Brad’s life deeper. He is the office villain in some ways. He’s not concerned about how people feel about him. At the same time, he does have a human side, which we explore as we go further into the season.”
Pudi says there’s an episode in the new season in which Bakshi visits his family.
“This is where you see the vulnerable side to Brad and who he is,” he says. “You see what made him the sort of ruthless person he’s become. That was fun for me, to explore that different side of Brad.”
Stepping into the role of Bakshi was a challenge for Pudi. It’s taught him how to be a rough character.
“I am envious of people who are a little more firm and not afraid to tell the truth,” he says. “I think that’s part of the fun of being an actor, is I get to try something new and play a part of me that I haven’t been able to do before. Or something I can’t do in my regular life. I think my kids would be afraid of me if I was constantly embracing Brad’s inner darkness all the time.”
Pudi is also grateful to have this opportunity to be part of “Mythic Quest.”
“I’ve never played someone like Brad,” he says. “I’ve always played likable characters. Brad does have his good moments, and that’s fun.”
As the cast awaits word on a third season, Pudi has some ideas of where Bakshi would be in a new season.
“Brad is definitely in a low place, but it could be a high place for him in terms of street cred, which is, I think, all he’s looking for is the sort of respect,” he says. “I think we’ve hinted at this dysfunctional childhood that he’s had, especially with his father. I’m definitely interested in exploring a little bit more about what that was like for him. And I also want to see a little bit more about Brad’s personal life, I think that’d be kind of cool to see. You know, peel back some layers there about Brad, what Brad is like outside the office now, it’d be nice to kind of dive further into that. I think that’d be just fun. I’m just curious about it myself.”