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Q&A – Julia Minesci (Wendy)


Beginning Wed., Mar. 8, AMC will re-broadcast all three seasons of Breaking Bad at a rate of two back-to-back episodes per week. As part of the Breaking Bad encore experience, is interviewing the show’s talented supporting cast. This week, Julia Minesci explains why Walt’s gambling cover story could be bogus, offers a glimpse at Wendy the Meth Whore’s youth and describes how life imitated art while shooting on-set.

Q: How did you end up on Breaking Bad?

A: Well I got very lucky. Shari Rhodes, who has passed away since, was a wonderful casting director and she submitted me for that part and believed in me. I had just started the whole mid-life crisis, turning fifty, and all of a sudden I’m like, “I’d like to try acting.” So, I got a few lessons with people around town and started auditioning.

Q: Did you ever expect Wendy to play such a big part in season three?

A: I had no idea and it was such an exciting thing to have happen. The opening with the Windy song, I thought that was very clever.

Q: Have people been singing it to you?

A: No. My co-workers love to tease me, but they want to know if I want a root beer. My main job is as a dealer at a casino.

Q: What do you think about Skyler saying Walt won all his money counting cards? Do you think he could do it?

A: As a dealer, I see people mainly lose their money. I have a hard time believing he could make that much money counting cards, and if he’s caught counting cards he’s going to get escorted out of the casino. You’ve got surveillance watching and what we call our pit bosses. If somebody is playing high action they’re standing there watching almost every hand. They’re on them like a hawk. I think she’s lying. Which she was.

Q: Is there a specific costume piece that helps you get into character?

A: Nothing’s better than those white stripper boots. I don’t know where they found them but those white patent leather boots are just fantastic.

Q: Were they hard to walk in?

A: Absolutely not. Didn’t you see me running when I was throwing that root beer can? They fit like a glove. [Laughs] I hate to admit it but they were actually comfortable. Filming the scene where the guy takes off and I realize he shortchanged me, I was really pleased. I think we did four or five takes and I hit the station wagon every time with the root beer can. Everybody was like, “Wow, what an arm.” I did play a little softball when I was younger. Wendy wasn’t doing meth when she was twelve; she was playing softball.

Q: Is it true that you’re a marathon runner?

A: I’ve done the Hawaii Ironman six times, Ironman Germany once and countless marathons. I don’t do it anymore. The last time I did the Hawaii Ironman was after my second child was born. She was born in January of 1993 and I did the Ironman in October of that year. But I do work out and watch what I eat and drink.

Q: What’s it like to play someone whose health is the complete opposite of your own?

A: I never really thought of it like that. I just go and do the part. Keep in mind, in the script I’m supposed to be around thirty-five-years-old, which I’m not even close to. They chose somebody older who could have that beat up look a little bit more with some make-up, a little more wrinkled, a little more worn around the edges.

Q: What did they do to your teeth to make them look like a meth addict’s would?

A: Yeah, those are natural.

Q: Oh I thought–

A: [Laughs] I’m just teasing you. Bless your heart. Awesome make-up people worked on my teeth. They have stain that stays on. They blow dry what they put on my teeth and then they put I believe it’s just red food coloring to make my gum lines inflamed.

Q: Even with her flaws (or maybe because of them), Wendy turns out to be one of the most reliable people in Jesse’s life. Do people depend on you that way?

A: Oh my children certainly do. I have two wonderful daughters and one is listed with the same agency I’m with. She’d like to follow in the acting footsteps, so I’m crossing my fingers. She’s just starting out and she’s taking drama in high school. I’m hoping that she’ll carry on the tradition. [Laughs] Maybe a little different part than Wendy though.

Q: Do you have a favorite moment from Season 3?

A: We were filming the scene where I’m getting in and out of the johns’ cars. Before it started they introduced me to about ten different men in ten different cars that drove through really quick. So, the filming starts and the first thing that drives up is a van and I walked over and said, “What’s going on? How ya doing?” and I hear from the back “Julie, he’s not with the show. He’s bogus. Send him away.” I actually got propositioned. I thought that was quite funny. I could have made an extra twenty dollars. [Laughs]

Click here to read an interview with the actor who plays Wendy’s occasional-partner-in-crime, Aaron Paul (Jesse Pinkman)

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