Meet Jamie Young and Tierney Breedlove—the actors behind the dual villains in the upcoming Heart of Christmas.
Jamie (previously seen as bad guy Colonel Jessup in A Few Good Men) returns to the role of Toadfinger J. Wigglewart, the greedy, green owner of Toadfinger’s Christmas shop. His biggest problem is a little girl named Emily, whose homemade ornaments threaten to put him out of business.
Tierney joins the cast to play the newly created role of Gretchen Clutch, a professional child-catcher—sorry, we mean child advocate—who must snatch Emily off the streets in order to win a much-coveted award for social work.
Tonight, I got to grab a moment with Jamie and Tierney between scenes and get their thoughts on the art of playing evil.
Blair Cadden: Jamie, we know you’re no stranger to playing the villain—how does Toadfinger stack up against other bad guys you’ve played?
Jamie Young: Considering some of the bad guys I’ve played, I’d say he stacks up remarkably well. I’d say he outshines all the rest in utter villainy. He kidnaps a kid and says he’s going to turn her into a fly and eat her… that’s about as villainous as you can get.
BC: Tierney, what about you? Any past villains on your resume?
Tierney Breedlove: The only other villain role I’ve ever done was the Wicked Witch of the West. I was completely covered, totally masked, and there was a character voice and everything. So I was really stepping outside myself. I really like being the villain—it’s over the top, but there’s always something at stake for the villain. And there’s something for Gretchen.
BC: What do you two like most about playing the villain?
TB: Well, I’ve been taught in theatre that when someone is seen as a bad person, they always think they’re doing the right thing. So my favorite thing about looking at this villain part is thinking, “What is the right thing for her?” And trying to justify that. To find that and cling onto that–to try and see the other side. To say, “this is the right thing for her,” and to fight for that.
JY: The perks. I love the perks. I’m hoping that if I do this play enough, I’ll finally get that toadstool-shaped trailer out back, my bowl of fly flavored green M&Ms, and just…respect… I just want respect. Is that too much to ask??
BC: Jamie, how has Toadfinger changed and developed since the last incarnation?
JY: I have a girlfriend! It was a nice compromise from the toadstool-shaped trailer… They wrote me a girlfriend! In all seriousness, I like the way that the play itself has evolved, to include new characters and to expand a little on the characters that were there.
BC: Tierney, you’re playing one of those new characters. Tell us a little about the process of originating a role.
TB: Oh! So much fun. There’s no pressure to be like anyone. I think a lot of people would think that’s scary, but I think there’s so much freedom. I get to jump into this world that already exists and figure out how to interact with the characters that are already there.
BC: Alright, my final question, and this one’s for both of you: Who’s the baddest of the bad?
TB: I would have to say he is! I’m the mastermind, but I don’t do my own dirty work. I have Jasper [Gretchen’s hapless sidekick] doing everything, and when that doesn’t work, I call on [Toadfinger]. Oh! But maybe that makes her better…
JY: See! I asked for this last year. I want toadstool minions!
TB: So, I take that back. I thought he was more evil, but Gretchen is so evil she doesn’t even have to do anything!
Come catch The Heart of Christmas from December 11-20 at 5th Wall Studios to decide for yourself who’s the most wicked of them all.