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Q&A – David Ury (Spooge) and Dale Dickey (Spooge’s Woman)

Every Wednesday night, AMC continues its re-broadcast of 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, actor David Ury compares Spooge’s demise to other on-screen deaths he’s experienced and explains what motivated him to impersonate Mad Men‘s Don Draper, while Dale Dickey describes the benefits of being a go-to actor when it comes to casting meth-heads and her post-traumatic stress after murdering her on-screen partner.

Q: Are you better housekeepers than the Spooges?

Dale: Oh my God.

David: I think I’m marginally better.

Dale: I have boxes I need to go through, but nothing compared to that house. After a while it was just like, “I don’t want to touch anything in here if I can’t wash my hands.”

Q: Any items in the mess that stood out to you?

Dale: There was a bra with a lot of empty cigarette butts that set dressing had out that I thought was pretty special.

David: There were cigarette butts everywhere.

Dale: And that couch. That big nasty couch had something written repeatedly on the arm rest. Sort of like, ‘All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.’ It was something from one of the crazy people that lived there. It put me right in the mood. Somebody’s been sitting here desperately writing to get out of this place.

Q: Did you keep any souvenirs?

David: [Laughs] Just the memories.

Dale: I remember that prop ashtray, cause didn’t I hit you in the head with that? I’m sorry. I know I hit you more than once.

David: I got hit in the shin by something, but I think that was something with Aaron.

Dale: [singing] Memories…

Q: Is there anything you actually liked about these despicable characters?

David: That’s pretty much all I play. I somehow got a clean cut role on a Disney kid’s show — he’s a little more hardcore than my usual meth addict role, but that’s my bread and butter.

Dale: When I see a character like that on a breakdown, it’s like oh that’s a Dale role. I too play a lot of those.

David: We were meant to be, really.

Dale: Some of the freedoms that can be found in those really intense characters are a lot of fun. It’s such a dark, dark place to go. But it’s great to roll out of bed and go to auditions and not have to look nice. That’s the real plus side.

David: I’ll say this: There was something about the writing for Spooge that set him aside from some of the other druggy characters I’ve played, which is that he seemed to have had a life as a non-meth head, because he knew these terms like “subdural hematoma.” Maybe he was an EMT at one point who dug into the morphine or something.

Q: Any idea how Spooge came to be called Spooge?

David: No. I don’t think we discussed that.

Dale: I thought it’s a drug term of some sort.

David: Where I come from it has a different meaning that I will leave shrouded in mystery. I feel like it would be unladylike of me to discuss in this setting.

Q: You’re more of a gentleman than your character.

David: I think that could be said of about 99.5 % of the male population, but yes, I hope. I try to open doors for the ladies.

Dale: I’m sorry I dropped that ATM on your head. Can we just go back and redo that? Can we please?

David: Looking back this was all just a big misunderstanding. And had I used some of the communication tools that our counselor had suggested, I think we could have — I take the blame for it, but really I think it was just a miscommunication.

Q: About that: Why do you think Spooge’s Woman takes such offense at being called a skank?

Dale: Most addicts, deep down, have a huge sense of shame and guilt about how skanky they can be. I think she knows she’s a skank. She just doesn’t want to hear it over and over and over again, particularly from him — cause he’s a skank too.

Q: She has such a wicked laugh when they’re stealing the meth from Skinny Pete. Where did that come from?

Dale: I just knew that it needed to be something extreme and different from the way I laugh, so I just went for it. That whole evening was physically intense because I was in some spiky heel boots and really tight jeans running down that alleyway to get the take, and I was still smoking at that time so I was hurtin’. By the time we got to that next section where we were inside, the laugh was maybe relief.

Q: Will we see her in Season 4?

Dale: She’s most likely in prison and she could be in rehab. But yeah, I’d love to see where she is today.

Q: Let’s talk about the make-up. It seemed so integral to who these people are.

David: I remember the first day in “Breakage” we were in downtown Albuquerque and I came out of the make-up trailer and was walking across the parking lot and the set security guard said, “Sir, you cannot be in here.” That’s when I knew the make-up folks had done their job.

Dale: Like it was the real thing.

Dale: Boy they did the job well. I remember turning to one of the producers, trying to ask a question, and there were visitors to the set and their faces were just horrified.

David: It looked worse, I think, close up. There were always reactions, all day long.

Dale: “Oh, the Spooges are coming!”

Q: David, how does getting killed by an ATM machine compare with your other on-screen deaths?

David: That’s definitely one of the more creative deaths that will likely not be repeated. Elizabeth Berkley shot me, which was really rude. A monster throttled me against a door and then pulled out my guts.

Dale: Oh nice. Yeah, I had one of those. Fun.

David: A demon did something similar where he reached inside and pulled out my insides. My earliest one and only experience in high school theater was in a play about a fisherman who goes off to sea in Ireland and dies. I had two lines and then I was dead onstage for the rest of the play. That was foreshadowing my career. I don’t think that character was written as a meth addict, but I probably played it that anyway.

Q: David, I noticed you submitted a video entry for AMC’s “You Could Be On Mad Men” contest where you played Don Draper. Was that before you did Breaking Bad?

David: I think it was after we’d shot but before it had aired. I had friends who were doing it and I just thought it would be fun to do. Plus, it was a character that I would never get to play. I’ll add that instead of basing it on who Don Draper was, I was just doing it the way I do things.

Q: It’s a little like watching Spooge do Don Draper.

Dale: That’s as far apart as you can get, isn’t it?

David: I’m sure people wouldn’t have been happy if the person who won had also just done a guest star on Breaking Bad. It would have seemed kind of fixed. And that’s the only possible reason I could have lost, of course.

Q: Was it hard to do the scene where the ATM falls on Spooge’s head?

David: You don’t realize that when you are performing for a TV show you have to do all that acting stuff, but at the same time you have to be thinking, ok when she says this, that’s my cue to stick my neck under the floorboard so the ATM can fall on me. The other thing was having a live drill: I was afraid that I was going to somehow slip and drill a hole in poor Dale. And definitely, when I came out and I saw that set-up, I was like, “Oh my God. We have to do this?”

Dale: It just made you queasy.

David: It scared the hell out of me, which is probably very good for the adrenaline that I needed to play that.

Dale: Listen, before that episode aired, I was in my kitchen with my husband, and I didn’t want to spoil the episode for him so I hadn’t told him about the ATM machine. Something was wrong with our refrigerator and he leaned it back against a chair and asked me to hold it while he got underneath it. It freaked me out. I was like, “No, I can’t do it.” He was like, “What’s wrong with you? Just hold the fridge.” It was a flashback to the ATM.

David: Post traumatic stress disorder.

Click here to read a Season 2 interview with the actor who dared to enter Spooge’s lair, Aaron Paul (Jesse Pinkman)

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