Dakota Shapiro is a star on the rise. He plays Stephan Paternot in ‘Valley of the Boom’ and talked with HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY about the role, exploring the internet’s beginnings, and more!
Dakota Shapiro tackled the role of real-life Stephan Paternot for National Geographic’s six-part limited series, Valley of the Boom. The one-of-a kind show explores 1990s tech boom in Silicon Valley and the rise of the internet. Stephan was the co-founder the internet startup theGlobe.com, which would post the largest first day gain of any IPO in history at that time. HollywoodLife asked Dakota what he found the most fascinating about this monumental tech boom.
“I think what I found the most interesting is that I didn’t realize how little people understood the internet at that point, and how much money people were putting into it,” Dakota told HollywoodLife. “Most people didn’t really understand it, but I think it was even to a greater extent. There was only a very few people using the web, and they were incredibly tech savvy. I was just surprised by how much money people were willing to put into something that they had no idea about. I remember reading this script and at first being fascinated because I realized I didn’t know anything about the dawn of the internet, and it’s something that I use every day. Also, I really liked the disruptive kind of format that they used. I thought that was really interesting, especially because it’s about the disruptive nature of the internet and what happened during that time.”
He admitted that he had to read one of the scripts “three times before I actually understood what was going on.” That ’90s tech boom was just the beginning of a game-changing journey for the internet. Dakota noted that “technology at any point can come along and change everything.” In addition to the internet, Dakota brought up the phone as an example. “Smartphones have completely changed the way that we interact with each other,” he said. “It’s changed the way that we self-promote. Now, everybody’s their own publicist in a sense, because you’re creating your own brand. My takeaway from the show was just that as technology is advancing at a faster and faster rate, technologies that change the way we live are going to be coming out faster and faster and affecting us more and more. I just think it’s exciting. I think it’s terrifying, and I think it’s something that we need to be aware of.”