Steven Michael Quezada at the 19th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles on Jan. 27, 2013. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

‘Gomez’ says goodbye to “Breaking Bad”

“Breaking Bad,” the show which caught the attention of a record-breaking 10.3 million viewers, in the U.S. alone, has ended after six years. The AMC hit about a meek cancer-stricken high school chemistry teacher who becomes a ruthless drug kingpin, had a steadily growing fan base riveted to their screens to see how the twisting plot would end.

NBC Latino spoke with Steven Michael Quezada, who starred as Drug Enforcement Administration agent Steven Gomez in the worldwide television hit. He was so proud, he says, that he played a positive Latino role and was the only character in the show who never “broke bad.”

“I’m happy — I think that’s the way it should’ve gone,” says Quezada whose character lost his life in an epic shootout with a neo-Nazi criminal gang. “To get to all the way where I was — a man facing my enemies — I felt that was one of the best moments for Gomez.”

Quezada says he is proud of the writers and crew because although they all believed in the project from the beginning, they didn’t predict the height the series would soar.

“We were waiting for fans to come on board,” he says about the early stages. “The general public didn’t really watch it. They would either tell me, ‘I’ve never seen it’ or ‘I love it more than anything.’ Now everyone loves it, and people recognize me no matter where I go.”

The actor explains that many directors often get carried away with shows and don’t end them when they should end, and “Breaking Bad” director Vince Gilligan kept his promise from the beginning to end the show when it needed to end.

“It wasn’t typical American television — it was something outside of the box,” says Quezada about what he believes to have been the secret formula to the show. “Thank God for cable television, because [the American people] are ready for something different.”

Now Quezada says he is looking for his next challenge.

“As human beings, we need to figure out a way to challenge ourselves, and I think actors do it all the time,” he says. The actor and comedian is continuing to work on his late-night talk show, “The After After Party,” in his native Albuquerque.

Quezada also dedicates his time to an issue dear to his heart — education. In fact, he spoke to NBC Latino from Washington, DC, where he is attending the 9th Annual NALEO National Summit on the State of Latino Education — as he also sits on Albuquerque’s school board.

“New Mexico is really blooming, and I’m trying to create more work here,” says Quezada who loves to work in his hometown and be able to come home to his wife and three daughters every night.

So far, he says he’s very pleased with the school board ever since he was elected.

“Since I’ve been on the board, they’ve become supportive of charter schools, and they see the options kids should have.  Our graduation rates are up; I’m very, very excited,” says Quezada. “Now we have to get more funding. Today, I’m in Washington —  if we can get our communities together, we can really change education — we’re responsible for our kids’ education.”

RELATED: Actor goes from fighting crime in “Breaking Bad” to fighting for kids and education in NM

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