David Faustino talks “Bud-Bundy-esque” qualities and BAD SAMARITANS
You remember David Faustino. He played Bud Bundy in Married with Children.
Nowadays, Faustino is playing a new character with similar traits, something he calls “Bud Bundy-esque” qualities, for Netflix.
Bud Bundy II?
The character’s name is Dax Wendell, the series Bad Samaritans.
Wendell resembles Bundy on several fronts. Says Faustino, “Bud Bundy was obviously a character who wanted to be loved and wanted to be respected, and never was. And the same goes for Dax Wendell. I think there might be a theme there, unfortunately.”
Faustino sees similarities to Wendell in his own life as well. He says, “I’m a little guy. I want to prove myself to the world, which Wendell does. I want people to love me and like me and respect me. And that’s really what Dax Wendell wants. He just wants a little respect. And I have that in me. I think I always will. It’s just who I am.”
When I speak with Faustino, he is excited about his new puppy, Bella. She is a pit bull/lab mix about 18 weeks old, and she is a cutie pie. He is crazy about her. Our conversation is occasionally, but lovingly, interrupted by her.
Faustino’s Role from the Start
Wendell is the kind of role Faustino feels was made for him. He says, “Once in a while, you get these roles, and you know they just fit you like a glove. There’s no other way I can really put it. I knew this was my role, even though I had to audition for it.”
Faustino wanted to do such a good job in the audition, in fact, that he was willing to risk losing the role if he couldn’t do as great a job as he knew he was capable of.
He tells me, “When I first went out for it, I was having a horrible day, and I showed up at the audition, and I knew I was gonna do a horrible job. I was not prepared. I was busy with my other business (more about that later). So, I actually walked into the waiting room for the audition and I left, because I knew that I wasn’t gonna do the great job that I could really do. I took a risk, because they could have cast somebody that day. But, luckily for me, they didn’t cast it, and I got to go in about three days later. I was fully prepared and ready, and I ended up landing it.”
A Fun Job
He also likes the writing of the series. As he says, “It is well written, I have to say. The writers do a really great job penning the script. You know, it always comes down to that. Without good writers, you have nothing. And when you have great material to work with, it just makes your job so easy and so fun. It makes my job a joy.”
A Shocking Request
Faustino says one request from the producers did shock him, however, once he landed the role.
He says, “When I got the part, they called my agent the next day and asked if I’d mind just growing out a full mustache. My first reaction was, ‘I don’t want to do that. I’ll look goofy.’ I’ve never worn a mustache in my life. I definitely wear a little five o’clock shadow or am clean shaven or maybe have a goatee, but never have I worn a full-blown thumbs-up mustache.”
He continues, “I realized rather quickly, though, that they were totally right about it. It was perfect for the character.”
A Second Career
Though acting is his passion, Faustino is also an accomplished producer and performer of hip hop music. And, he owns his own record label, Old Scratch Records, which features artist Patience Price.
Faustino tells me, “I fell in love with his music, his writing ability, and based on his talent, started the record label. He is such a talented guy. He also helped me get back into my own rapping passion. And we created a character for me called Lil Gweed. It’s sort of an alter ego, a dark side of David Faustino.”
The Start of Something Big
He says, “I’ve been into the hip hop world for a long time. When you’re young, you get introduced to a certain form of music. And hip hop was what I was introduced to really early, at 14 years old.
Here’s how it happened. “I was on set with Married with Children, and someone put a set of headphones on me and said ‘listen to this.’ It was Mixmaster Spade. I immediately went from listening to Average White Boy ‘80’s music to full hip hop.”
From there, Faustino says he hooked up with legendary Lou Adler’s son, Nick, to bring hip hop music to Sunset Strip.
A couple of years pass, during which time he acts and writes, then meets Patience Price, who is capturing quite an underground following, with six videos under his belt and four EP’s completed. Faustino himself even performs in some of Price’s shows.
Faustino says, “Hip hop fans are really blown away by Patience Price.” He adds, “The hip hop world, to me, is sort of like a hobby, something fun.”
When I ask what’s next for him, Faustino says, “I would love to bring back the Bud Bundy character at some point, maybe grown up, maybe with kids, maybe not. It’s something my writing partner and I have been playing around with.”
Whatever Faustino undertakes as his next project, for now, viewers can catch him on Netflix and, if they’re lucky, at a Patience Price performance.
Cheryl has been a freelance TV/film writer for more than 10 years. Simultaneously, she has worked in PR for Bon Jovi Productions in NYC, PolyGram Records (also in NYC), and Rogers & Cowan Public Relations. Cheryl has published articles at suite101.com, “Sci-Fi Entertainment” magazine, and “Soap Opera Weekly.” She was also a credited researcher for English author Denis Meikle’s JOHNNY DEPP: A KIND OF ILLUSION. Cheryl enjoys writing for the entertainment industry and meeting new people. She is also an animal lover.