In honor of SeptBender, David Faustino recently chatted with Hypable about his role as the brave, romantically-challenged, and divisive firebender Mako on The Legend of Korra.

David Faustino is currently staring as Mako on Nickelodeon’s The Legend of Korra. David also appears on the Netflix comedy Bad Samaritans and, as a hip-hop enthusiast, runs a record label Old Scratch Records. Follow him on Twitter as @DavidFaustino.

Hypable chats with David Faustino

Hypable: Were you familiar with Avatar: The Last Airbender before you auditioned for The Legend of Korra?

David Faustino: I had heard about it, obviously, through that film that was out. I never was a big cartoon guy, when I was a little kid I was, but [I've] never really been a big sci-fi fan… I just heard about it peripherally, and then I knew it had a big following and then I saw the role and it looked cool.

And then I read the script, you know, I read some of the material and that’s when I thought, “Oh, okay, well this is more than just a cartoon.” It’s this well-written, really cool artistic piece, that’s very cool.

Do you have a favorite moment from the first season of The Legend of Korra?

I really like the moment where… Korra and I are separated… It was us thinking to each other and talking out loud, and then it cut to me, and her over there doing her thing. It was just a really quiet, interesting, kind of deep moment. I really liked it.

Mako is a little bit controversial because of some of his girl issues. How do you approach that from an acting standpoint?

Well, it’s interesting because I didn’t realize how invested the fans were. I had a lot of fangirls very upset at me, and I didn’t expect that at all. To see people on Twitter and other social networking sites angry with the Mako character – and they were able to separate me from the character, but they still couldn’t help themselves to let me know that they didn’t like Mako… It didn’t really bother me, it was just interesting and surprising to me.

Really for me, it’s all about the writing. The two guys and the whole writing staff really, but Bryan and Mike are just genius writers and they make it so easy for us. [Mako is] a complex character who’s got a lot of issues, and I can relate to that, no question. I have my own issues with girls and dates and all that scary stuff, so it just again comes down to well-written and complex character. And that makes my job really easy because it’s all there on the page.

David Faustino

Is there anything you specifically admire about Mako?

Yeah, I do. I admire his desire to stand up for what he believes is right. Yeah, [Mako] has his issues with commitment and has his issues with the ladies, but I believe he loves Korra and would stand up and protect her to the death. I respect his courage and bravery in situations of danger, when it comes to protecting his loved ones.

And if you could give him a piece of advice, what would it be?

Maybe, be able to laugh a little bit more. He can be pretty heavy and pretty intense a lot of the time. Unlike Bolin, who’s sort of a joker and very light-hearted all the time – maybe to a fault. It’d be nice if maybe Mako could have a little more balance and kind of ‘let go and let life’ a little bit more sometimes.

If you could be a bender, what kind of bender would you be?

Oh… moneybender! I’d be a moneybender. Yeah, bend money at my will!