Steven Michael Quezada is best known for his role in Breaking Bad as DEA agent Steven Gomez or “Gomey;” but who is the man behind the popular television show? ABQ-Live sat down with Steven and got the inside scoop on his life here in the 505, what’s up next for his acting career, and how he’s an active member within our community.
For those of us native to NM, we’ll always see him as “Gomey” from Breaking Bad, but Quezada starts his interview with us by saying that he “doesn’t consider himself a celebrity or anything like that. I’m just a worker, an actor, and a comedian who’s been working really hard for many years to make a living for my family.” That’s something most New Mexicans can all understand and appreciate.
Quezada has played numerous roles in different movies throughout his career, but the most recent movie he just finished filming is titled “The Condemned 2,” starring himself, Wes Duty, and Randy Orton. “I get to play the bad guy in that one. I’m trying to break out of playing the ‘cop’ all the time. As an actor, I’ve really enjoyed being more involved in the fight scenes and stunts because I haven’t really done much of that to date.” He’s looking forward to seeing how the movie comes out and playing other ‘bad guy’ roles in movies coming up.
New Mexico doesn’t have much as far as a big film industry. “We have proven the film industry is lucrative, but, unfortunately, the ‘powers to be’ don’t really care. We’ve got to keep fighting for it though. In a poor state like this, where they say we’re 49th in education, it’s important to figure out how to grow.” Tourism, as well as local businesses such as “The Candy Lady”, have benefitted a lot since Breaking Bad, but what is next for New Mexico? “We need to look at other ways to not only employ people, but bring money into the state.” With Arizona developing its own tax break for film, we have even more competition to inspire locals to work and stay competitive in the film industry.” “$1.3 billion was huge last year; I don’t see how people don’t see that as a huge industry and a huge profit for the state of New Mexico. We have the best crews, I’m telling you. I think that’s what will help us over Arizona at this point. The people behind the cameras are amazing and I know they don’t get a lot of love but they are the reason we are truly successful here in NM, on top of whatever limited tax breaks or incentives that we have.” He also stressed the importance of growing the programs at UNM and CNM and the Santa Fe University of Art and Design.
Education is an issue that’s consistently argued over in any state in the US, but especially here in New Mexico. As Secretary of the Board for Albuquerque Public Schools, Quezada has implemented several strategies to address the quality of education children receive as well as helping push youth to be the best that they can be through various platforms. “I’ve tried different ways of starting my own programs with YDI and taking project-based learning to really give children an opportunity to learn and thrive. That is one of the reasons I joined the school board—to push that same agenda—to give more choices to our children. Through that I’ve learned a lot of different things that we’re doing wrong and that we’re putting money into the wrong areas to really help our children become successful.” Quezada will continue to fight for these sorts of things throughout his four years on the school board including raising money for as many programs as possible. He encourages the community to get involved by simply getting involved in PTA or the Neighborhood Associations. “If we could get everyone involved, we could really make some huge improvements in New Mexico,” he adds. “I’m very blessed that the community supported me when I was a starving comedian and for me, the best way to repay all my fans is to really make a commitment to the children of New Mexico.”
In his spare time, Quezada is an avid golfer that enjoys all types of courses and the challenges that come with them. “The cool thing about New Mexico is it’s affordable to go out and play a bunch of different courses. There is a bunch of great ones here ranging from public to more high-dollar courses. I try to take my clubs with me wherever I go because I love the game so much.” He also comments on the culture, colors and places that make New Mexico a unique place to live. “There’s a lot of history here. Places like Barelas, Duranes, and Duran Pharmacies restaurants are great places to eat. New Mexico is special all over the place. From Chaco Canyon to Carlsbad Caverns to White Sands—I could go down a huge list of places that really make New Mexico what it is. I’m proud to have found a way into the industry without really ever leaving New Mexico. I’m proud to be a New Mexican.” He also adds that if there are any secretly great places out there that he should know about, we should tell him!
Steven Michael Quezada will be heading up a big comedy show May 2nd at the Hispanic Cultural Center titled The Three Cochinos featuring himself, Chris Otero, and Anthony Garcia with a special appearance by Niki Mangin. This event is a fundraiser to benefit the Christopher T. Keller Foundation and help raise awareness for Pediatric Pulmonary Hypertension.
For more information about tickets for this event check out their website: nationalhispaniccenter.org
Written by Heather Hutzell