Michael Mando : Fake gangster, true Québécois

Michael Mando : Faux gangster, vrai Québécois

“I meet a lot of people in the street who are surprised to see me here,” remarks the actor Michael Mando, a native of Quebec.

April 25, 2020 4: 00


Michael Mando : Fake gangster, true Québécois

Michael Mando : Faux gangster, vrai Québécois

Geneviève Bouchard

The Sun


When it lends its features to the character Nacho Varga in Better Call Saul, popular series derived from Breaking Bad, Michael Mando seems quite out of place at spawn with drug cartels in the desert of New Mexico. There have, of what be surprised to learn that the actor and now singer (read below) has passed its first winter feet in the snow of Quebec. This is a fact that the main party would like to know more about.

“One thing that makes me a little sad is that the majority of Canadians and Quebeckers do not know that I come here, he said. When I come back, I meet a lot of people in the street who are surprised to see me here. I’d like to do more projects in quebec…”

Mando entrust feel at home each time he comes back in her corner of the country, who spends a lot of time to turn in the Southern United States. “I miss living the seasons, being surrounded by Canadians and the French language,” notes the actor, who is enjoying the more peaceful life among us.

“I had an apartment in New Mexico and every two or three weekends, I heard shootings, does it. It was still pretty intense. You realize that this is a sad situation in some corners. We also realize how we are lucky in Canada.”

Michael Mando : Faux gangster, vrai Québécois

Michael Mando in Better Call Saul.



We talked to Michael Mando this week, the day after the broadcast on AMC the final episode of the fifth season of Better Call Saul, where his Nacho was in dirty sheets. The actor looked forward to the echoes that he heard about this. “People like the character, they’re all scared for him,” observed one who had a journey to say the least, atypical before joining the well-attended franchise in Breaking Bad : early childhood in the capital, and then some time in the city before spending several years on the african continent, where his father was in the trade. Return to Canada as a teenager, Mando has foraged in some programs of study before having the thunderbolt for the theatre.

To use the expression, the actor has had her “break international” as Vaas Montenegro, the villain of the game Ubisoft’s Far Cry 3. This experience has, he says, opened the doors of the plateau of the series canadian Orphan Black, which has in turn led to Hollywood.

Michael Mando : Faux gangster, vrai Québécois

Michael Mando was particularly noted in interpreting the villain of the video game Far Cry 3from Ubisoft.


Better Call Saul derives from the cult series Breaking Bad, which follows the trials and tribulations of a teacher of chemistry cancer is launching, with the help of a former student, in the production of methamphetamine. In the tense climate of New Mexico, where the cartels are managing the traffic and are not in the lace, the adventures of Walter White and Jesse Pinkman have kept the fans in suspense for five seasons.

The action of Better Call Saul brings us before all of this, on the trail of Saul Goodman, the man who would become the lawyer wheeler-dealer and a nice speaker White. Michael Mando portrays Nacho Varga, right hand man of a major trafficker of drugs. He will find himself caught between the tree and the bark when his boss will want to include the honest company of his father in the criminal operations of the cartel. Will follow a double-game to try to save his skin and that of his father.

Fans of Breaking Bad have ended up in this antépisode several characters who will cross later on the road of Walter White. This is not the case of Nacho, who does not appear in the original series. The sixth and final season of Better Call Saul, which has not yet been shot, tell us if it has managed to leave this environment shady or if it has passed the weapon to the left. Michael Mando himself is unaware what fate the authors reserve to her character.

“This is a situation that is very exciting for an actor. The anguish is at its maximum. I am really looking forward to the next season,” enthused the one who had “no idea” of the importance that would take Nacho when he joined the distribution. According to his words, he had to play “the villain” of the first season, before the writers would choose to capitalize on the rivalry between two other protagonists.

“It is a character that developed slowly in the series, describes it. It happened at the beginning, and then he could go for five or six episodes. The thing I’m most proud of, is that he has become iconoclastic. This is really what interests me the most. We started thinking that it would be a person of the cartel with the same interests as the cartel. Finally, it has become the antithesis. He is ready to reject the money, the influence, the power to save the life of his father and get out of the cartel. It starts as a gangster typical and it ends up as a classic heroes.”

The Breaking Bad series, the first four seasons of Better Call Saul and the film El Camino (which brings a conclusion to the saga) are available on Netflix.



Michael Mando is writing songs for a long time. It advances in have signed some 200 over time, and never think to make them public. The illness of his father, who has received a cancer diagnosis last year, persuaded him to dive : the first is a pop song with R&B, The Wild One, has been put online recently. A minialbum will follow soon.

“In Better Call Saul, I was playing a character who wanted to save his father’s life,” he says. This combination has been so intense. When I was in New Mexico, I felt the need to take long walks after the shooting. One day, I saw street musicians in Albuquerque and I’ve been wanting to go sing with them. […] When I got home that night, I felt much better. I decided at that moment that I was going to get out of the music.”

Because the world is small on the hollywood scene, Michael Mando tells have previously had the opportunity to meet Michael “Fish” Herring, who has been the guitarist for Prince, as well as producer Val Garay, Grammy-winner for the play Bette Davis Eyes by Kim Carnes. Both encouraged him to run, but he did not feel ready.

Once decided, the actor-turned-singer held on to capture his first songs in Montreal. At Studio Piccolo, he is surrounded by musicians on a tour of Celine Dion. “I started my career as a theatre and cinema in Montreal,” he says. I wanted to do the same thing for the music for that later, I can say that I’ve started in me.” Geneviève Bouchard

Le Soleil

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