For fans of AWKWARD., Matthew Fahey is better known for his portrayal as Ricky Schwartz, Tamara’s on-again and off-again boyfriend. But in December, Matthew is also making a special appearance in the TNT series RIZZOLI & ISLES and, taking time out of his busy filming schedule, he talked about both roles and all the fun he is having.
Are you excited about your upcoming appearance on RIZZOLI & ISLES?
MATTHEW: I am!
Maybe you could talk a bit about how you got the guest-starring role on RIZZOLI & ISLES and what kind of character you are playing?
MATTHEW: Well, I auditioned and I thought I kind of blew it, but didn’t fortunately. I play Detective Vince Korsak’s (Bruce McGill) step-son. My character’s mom had recently got a divorce a few years before and then when my character gets into some trouble, Detective Korsak tries to help me.
Is it something the character kind of got himself into, or is it sort of something he fell into?
MATTHEW: I was hanging out with the wrong kids, and it got me into some very bad trouble and now I’m looking at a lot of jail time, and Detective Korsak tries to come in and help me out with it.
What was it like working on RIZZOLI & ISLES? What was the experience like and what was the funnest part of it?
MATTHEW: It was incredible working on there. Bruce McGill is an incredible actor and he made me feel very at home and just worked with me a lot with the character and just giving me something great to play off of, and everybody else on the show was incredible. The director was great. He came in and just really gave me some good things to think about and go off of to really pull the character out and make it something very different. Angie Harmon was wonderful. Sasha Alexander was great. It was a really great program to work for.
How did that feel different than working on AWKWARD.?
MATTHEW: It is a lot more of a dramatic show than AWKWARD. is. It’s not that it’s a deeper character, but there’s a lot more conflict going on with the character that was something that I had to really think about, to pull from and it was kind of a tough character to play. I’ve never been in trouble in my life, so it was just something that I had to do some very deep thought about to pull from what the kid was actually feeling and what he went through, and where he is at, at the moment where he is getting interrogated.
How did that feel when you’re in character? I mean, it had to feel difficult in that kind of scene?
MATTHEW: Even when I left at the end of the day, it kind of left me with a heavy chest and just still kind of thinking about it. It’s a lot different than AWKWARD. So much different. You kind of get into the moment and really into the character and kind of stay there for a little bit. But once you come out of it, you’re okay.
Sounds like it was a rewarding experience for you.
MATTHEW: I think so. It was a great experience and it was really fun. It was good stuff.
Okay, maybe we can talk briefly about AWKWARD. It was quite the summer sensation. How did it feel for you coming off such a fun season?
MATTHEW: It was incredible!. When I first booked it, I didn’t know exactly how the show was going to be received. But then when we saw the fan reaction from the people who were watching the show every single week came back, people were nuts about it. I’ve never been a part of something where there were such great reviews on for a show and suddenly kids and even adults were saying how much they loved the show. It was an incredible feeling that I got to be a part of something so great.
Maybe you could talk a bit about your character Ricky Schwartz on AWKWARD. — what you like about him and how much fun it was to portray him?
MATTHEW: Ricky Schwartz, oh man. Ricky is kind of a jerk and a bit of a player, and yet he is still a nerd — kind of “king of the geeks.” I’ve never really been a player, so I definitely had fun. I was like, “Let’s try it out.” I was glad though that it was acting and not in real life. But it was kind of awesome. It was something different and I hope that I pulled it off.
Are you looking forward to getting scripts for the second season and getting back to filming in a couple of months?
MATTHEW: I am definitely looking forward to that! I hope that everything works out and I will be a part of it. It was such an incredible experience. Lauren Iungerich is such a great writer and she’s a sweetheart and everyone else on the show is great. Jillian Rose Reed is amazing, so to be able to work with her was great. And Ashley Rickards is amazing, and Molly Tarlov was awesome. We all became good friends. Brett and Beau, both guys on the first day on set really make me feel like I was at home, which is incredible.
It seems like your character was always on the verge of laughing, was that just because you were trying to contain your laughter or was that just the character’s nature?
MATTHEW: I think it was definitely a character feature that I was trying to do. I don’t think he takes anything seriously. When Tamara (Jillian) was yelling at me, it was pretty much like, “Okay, she got mad at me, but I had my way with her. So I can laugh it off and everything will be fine.”
They were very fun scenes. What do you think Ricky is drawn to when he looks at Tamara? Is it more than just the physical attraction? What do you think he sees in her?
MATTHEW: I think that she definitely has her little thing that he likes: he likes the fact that he knows she is attracted to him and he uses that to his advantage because he can do whatever he wants, and yet she will still come back to him.
So it’s an ego-booster and he loves that feeling.
MATTHEW: Oh, yeah, he does! Ricky definitely has a very big ego.
If the show were to do a “Freaky Friday” episode and you got to do a body-swap, and instead of Ricky you got to play a different character, which other character would you want to be?
MATTHEW: Wow, hmm . . . definitely have to be Sadie. She plays such a mean character and I think it would be definitely fun to play. She’s hilarious. I think it would kind of be cool to just be the really mean character of the show and go around saying “You’re welcome” every two seconds. And it would be nice to be Beau because it would good to be very good-looking.
It doesn’t seem like Ricky is hurting for the girls, so I think you’re doing okay! So maybe you could share something fun that you got to do on AWKWARD.
MATTHEW: Oh, man, the entire show is fun. The last episode was definitely a lot of fun. It was actually two episodes that they put together as one for the season finale. I got to drive this RC car around pretty much the entire day and do crazy 180’s, 360’s, “donuts” and other things with it. I was taking Jillian as Tamara to the winter formal and then at the winter formal pretty much half the day was dancing and stuff. So I busted out some dance moves — and it was pretty good. It was a lot of fun!
Is there anything else you’d like to share about either AWKWARD. or RIZZOLI & ISLES?
MATTHEW: We’re coming back for Season 2, and hopefully I’ll be in it! As for RIZZOLI & ISLES, I think it’s going to be a great episode and I hope everybody watches.
To see more of Matthew as he explores both ends of the acting spectrum, brilliant drama and biting comedy, be sure to tune in to see Matthew in RIZZOLI & ISLES on December 19th, and the second season of AWKWARD. in 2012.
“Shining the Spotlight on Jillian Rose Reed of AWKWARD.”
“A Love Letter to AWKWARD.”