5 Questions with Jessica Hecht
5 Questions with Jessica Hecht

5 Questions with Jessica Hecht

You may know Jessica Hecht from playing Gretchen Schwartz on Breaking Bad or Susan Bunch from Friends. She has also made numerous Broadway appearances, earning a Tony Award nomination for Best Featured Actress for her role in A View from the Bridge alongside Scarlett Johansson and Liev Schreiber, which wrapped in 2010. Most recently, in 2018 she won an Obie for her performance in Admissions at Lincoln Center.

Up next for Jessica is Period Piece, which brings together 36 diverse and dynamic storytellers who aren’t afraid to leak the truth about menstruation. Each evening of this three-night virtual production features a unique cast of 12 performers sharing hilarious and poignant insights into the once-every-month event that has remained a taboo topic for far too long. You’ll be able to catch Jessica Hecht in the second performance on April 19.

Jessica answers 5 questions for Broadway Direct, where she tells us about what she misses most in NYC, her inspirations to become an actress, and what she’s been spending time on.

1. What inspired you to become an actress?  

I was inspired to become an actress when I took a Shakespeare class in college with a founding member of the Group Theatre named Morris Carnovsky. He taught Juliet’s final speech with an incredible intimacy that made Shakespeare speak directly to my experience of life. Then he said I must go to NYC to study with his friend, Stella Adler. I did, and in turn met several members of “the Group.” I was awed by the idea of what they created with their company… I think the sense of an artistic community was an enormous draw. 

2. Who in your field inspires you?

I love actors who have a unique aesthetic and also look for a civic purpose in their work as well, as though their storytelling is serving our community (there’s that word again!) I think Heidi Schrek is fantastic. I love Dede O’Connell and Mare Winningham, and of course, Mark Ruffalo. 

3. What will audiences be most excited about seeing in your upcoming projects?

I hope audiences will enjoy the next seasons of Special and The Sinner because the writing is so strong and the characters are more exposed. I feel incredibly honored to be part of both shows. And I’m also looking forward to being part of Period Piece, an important new play series about periods and all of the different people who get them. You can catch me in the April 19th performance.

4. What are some things you’ve always wanted to do that you’re able to spend time on now? 

I have always wanted to learn an instrument. Particularly sing and play at the same time. I am taking ukulele lessons and singing my heart out and that feels like it taps into the person I wanted to be in college but never was. It’s thrilling. I also spend more time with my dog and that’s created a lot of codependency.

5. What NYC spot are you missing most now?

I MISS THEATRE! DESPERATELY!! And perhaps Yoga To The People.

You can catch Jessica Hecht in the upcoming Period Piece virtual play series.