Matthew Fahey, a.k.a. Ricky Schwartz, photographed by his very own mother, Deidhra. Aww...
How exactly do you describe a guy like Ricky Schwartz? Player? Slimeball? Any way you slice it, the actor behind the thinly-mustached band geek is anything but the douchebag prototype. He's actually pretty great. Still, Matthew Fahey is ready to channel his inner lowlife again when "Awkward" rolls back around later this month (Season 2 premieres June 28 at 10:30/9:30c). Read what 21-year-old Fahey told Remote Control about getting a backhand from pal Jillian Rose Reed and the state of his character's facial hair.
Rumor has it, "Awkward" fans will get to see a softer side of Ricky Schwartz this season, not just the sleazy one. Is that true?
I think you’re gonna see both sides this season... You'll see Ricky being his normal, sleazy self, and then I think you’ll see a little bit of a softer side. You know, he does try to be a good guy, but he always ends up being the bad guy.
The cast often points out what a nice guy you are--how do you prep to play such a douchebag?
Well, I do live in LA. But there’s always a Ricky Schwartz in everybody’s life, really. They treat girls like crap, but girls still always want them--I don’t understand it. I try to not be anything like Ricky Schwartz. I try my hardest, but I know a few, and I just try to mimic or reenact or how they would act.
How will audiences see Ricky’s and Tamara’s relationship evolve?
It’s definitely gonna evolve, and possibly dissolve. Ricky always has things up his sleeve. I know in the teaser you see Tamara slapping me. There are the ups and downs, and I think everybody is going to be surprised by it.
How did the slap go over?
We practiced and finally got it down, where she didn’t actually hit me. And I was like, "Can she just hit me?" And the stunt guy was like "OK!" So she slapped me one time during rehearsal, and they were like, "Yeah, that looks the best." And then when we did the scene, it didn’t happen. But let me tell you--she definitely knows how to slap. My face was hurting the next day.
Your character and Jillian’s character have a unique dynamic on screen. Any particular way the two of you prepare?
I’ve known Jillian since I was, like, 13 years old--we’re really comfortable with each other. She’s not much different than Tamara. She’s always talking fast and excited all the time, and happy and hyped. She’s very real, and with my character, I kind of have to pull from something. It mixes really well and it’s easy for us.
You recently worked with Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who's one of TV sitcoms' biggest names, in "Picture Paris." What was that like, and who are some of your personal inspirations in comedy?
Working with Julia--I can’t even explain it--it’s working with a TV legend. She’s the sweetest lady, and past that, she was playing my mom and treating me like her own son, and it was like, "This is incredible!" I really felt like I was her kid.
I look up to everyone in comedy, because growing up, I was not the funny one. My brother is the funniest person I know and I feel like I can’t beat him in the comedy world--he was like Zach Galifianakis when he was 14. I would always look to him and be like, "Where’s the joke in this?" and he’d point it out. Will Ferrell, Sasha Baron Cohen and Zach Galifianakis are up there--but my brother is definitely the one I admire most.
Ricky can be picked out of a crowd by his mustache. Will his facial hair return?
I think he’s pretty clean shaven, actually. He did get a haircut, though. He did get his bowl cut cut.
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Photo: Deidhra Fahey
Stylist: Audrey Brianne