Actor Michael Steger

Celebrity Q&A, People
on December 8, 2011

Is it true that Michael Steger, Navid Shirazi on 90210, has a black belt?

—Kayley Steinman, Boise, Idaho

Yes. Steger began studying Tae Kwon Do when he was 8. Ten years later, he received his first black belt, but it wasn't all smooth sailing.

"My black belt testing in Tae Kwon Do is probably one of the reasons I became an actor," he says. "I got so nervous. I had to break four boards for my test. For a black belt test, it is like an event. There are 10 masters that show up, and all the studio is watching. So it comes down to this moment when I had to break the boards. The one try I had, I broke my hand. I had the opportunity to do it again later and I ended up succeeding."

Steger, 31, says he turned to acting to help him overcome his nervousness. "I have always been a shy kid, reserved. Acting was like my safe haven. It filled me out."

These days the 90210 star, who is married to actress Brandee Tucker, is learning a new martial art, Capoeira, which he describes as "a mixture of break dancing and martial arts."