Birthday: August 31
Hometown: He was born in Charleston, SC, but grew up in nearby Summerville, “a small town a little more inland. I loved it.”
We Are Family: Wactor is the oldest of three sons. “My mom is a self-proclaimed tomboy and wanted all boys and she got what she wanted!” He affectionately describes his mother as “a tough cookie. My brothers and myself and my dad act like we’re tough, but she’s the toughest of the bunch!”
Sketchy Behavior: Wactor was accepted into an arts school as a kid on the strength of his drawing ability, “pencil sketch in particular”, but transferred from the visual arts department to the theater program before the seventh grade after winning one of two available slots with a strong improv audition. “They said, ‘Okay, Johnny, you’re on a Ferris wheel, and you’re terrified!’ I thought, ‘I’m going to go all out,’ and I freaked out and had a really good time [laughs].”
Major Development: In college, Wactor double-majored in business (“I wouldn’t say I was interested in business, but it was recommended by my parents!”) and Spanish.
BAD Boy: Wactor was thrilled to share scenes on WESTWORLD with Aaron Paul. “I am a true fan of his because of his role on BREAKING BAD, my favorite television show of all time. That was pretty amazing.”
Johnny Wactor had what he describes as “a pretty idyllic” childhood growing up outside of Charleston, SC, where he could often be found frolicking in the woods on his family’s property and swimming in the nearby lake. “I was a fun-loving kid,” he says. “Very positive and happy.”
Looking back on his formative years, he claims that he’s “still not quite sure how my interest in performing developed,” but it seems fair to conclude that his passion for make-believe kicked off when he was in grade school. “I loved movies,” he recalls. “In particular, I loved martial arts movies. The movies in my time were 3 Ninjas and 3 Ninjas Kick Back and Surf Ninjas. A lot of people are kind of going to laugh at that, but those movies had a powerful effect on me! I never took martial classes, but I bought martial arts costumes and ninja costumes and karate costumes and I would pretend and play martial arts like I’d seen in the movies.” Plus, he and his brothers and their gaggle of cousins “were always putting on shows for our parents or whoever would watch — dance shows or trampoline trick shows, diving contests and stuff like that.”
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