Interviews

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Interviews

Post by Rob on Wed May 13, 2009 1:26 am


Q&A: Bryan Cranston (Walt White) -- Part I
February 10, 2008
Spoiler:
Actor Bryan Cranston shares his diet and fashion secrets in the first of AMC's two-part interview.
Q: You've spent a good portion of your career doing comedies: first in Seinfeld, then in Malcolm in the Middle. Now you're in a drama. Was that a hard transition to make?
A: I enjoy doing comedy for the fact that you go to work and you laugh. That's a good combination. I did that for seven years, and after a while you go, 'Okay, now I should really focus on doing something else.' But I think any good drama worth its weight always has a sprinkling of comedy in it, because you can ease the tension to an audience when it's necessary, and then build it back up again. Walt White has no clue he's occasionally funny, but as an actor I recognize when there are comedic moments and opportunities. For instance in the pilot when my brother-in-law is giving a toast at my birthday party. We originally had beers set up, and I said, 'Wait a minute. What if Dean takes the beer out of my hand and doesn't even think twice of it? The guy who he's celebrating now doesn't have his own drink for his own toast, and he's left with a gun and he doesn't really know what to do with the gun.' It's not big, it's just little subtleties that people can find humorous.
Q: Walt's personality splits between the straight-laced person he is in the beginning, and the guy who snaps and "breaks bad." Is it difficult to play two versions of the same character?
A: I think what happens to Walt is typical of any person, and I approached him as a guy anybody can relate to. Especially men. We are more than what you see, and Walt was sitting on a volcano of emotions because he's oppressed himself for many years by his decisions--he's turned inward and he's gotten soft and flabby and myopic in his daily grind. But I think everybody knows that underlying every man is the potential for volatility. And you just need the right incendiary device to have the explosion. But that still doesn't change him at his core, of who he is as a person. He's still Walt White, but it's an addition to who he has allowed himself to be over the last 25 years. So it makes it more of a dichotomy of character that has to co-exist with who he is.
Q: Speaking of flabby, was it hard to gain and lose so much weight over the course of the season?
A: No. I guess that irks women to death. I got him up to 186 pounds at first: nice little love handles and soft middle, that kind of thing. And then when it came time to go on the chemotherapy diet, I dropped that and got down to about 171 pounds in ten days. And it's really not that difficult. You just basically cut out all the carbs and reduce your portions so you're not having massive amounts of food. I just stayed with the regimen and got the crew to start eating the same way I was. Everybody was dropping weight.
Q: How does it feel to see multiple-story billboards of yourself in tightie-whities?
A: Walt has no sense of image. And Bryan...well, I know that my sense of image is different from my character's, so I don't really think about it. Nine years ago when I made the decision for Hal inMalcolm in the Middle to wear tightie-whities, it was funny but appropriate--that character was a man-boy. Then last year when I was going through the wardrobe, I went in to find out what kind of underwear I was going to wear. And I just kept looking back at the tightie-whities. Clearly there is no other underwear that's as funny as tightie-whities on a grown man. But I kept looking at it, thinking, 'Is it right?' And then my thought was, 'Why am I hesitating?' And I just thought, 'Oh God, it's just so sad that he would be wearing them.' And then I realized: that's perfect.

Q&A: Bryan Cranston (Walt White) -- Part II
February 12, 2008
Spoiler:
In the second part of our two-part interview, Breaking Bad's Bryan Cranston talks about kissing Anna Gunn (Skyler White) and the period in his life when he was a wanted man.
Q: What are some of your favoriteBreaking Bad moments?
A: Making out with Anna Gunn. I tell my wife, 'Honey, it's just a job. I'm going to the office.' Actually, I enjoy the classroom scenes, because it gives me an opportunity to enrich and solidify my character so audiences can see what was once a passion of mine. I'm a good teacher, and if anyone is prepared to listen, they might get as excited about chemistry as I once was.
Q: Those scenes also give the viewer a window into what the show is all about.
A: Yeah, that's the brilliance of them. And you want to be able to do that without hitting people over the head with it. You don't want to say, 'This show is about...' so you want to couch it in a related way. The lectures have a sense of relatability as to what you're going to see. There are moments, like when he's getting lost in talking about Chirality and all of a sudden, in trying to make them understand, it's like left right, good bad -- he catches himself, realizing, 'Oh Christ. That's me. I'm both good and bad.'
Q: Is it true you were once a wanted man in Florida?
A: Yeah. My brother and I were traveling around the country on motorcycles back in the '70s, and we needed money so we stopped for the winter in Florida and got a little apartment and took jobs in a Hawaiian restaurant. And there was a cook there, Peter Wong, who was an unhappy, rotten guy. So all the waiters and waitresses and busboys, we would sit around before our shift and we would talk about ways we would kill Peter Wong -- chop him up in his own Chow Mein, slice him up or put him in the deep fryer. Well, spring arrives and it's time for us to go. So my brother and I take off to continue our motorcycle trip. And no sooner did we leave than Peter Wong went missing. They found him in the trunk of a car, bludgeoned to death. And he was the kind of guy who carried a thick wad of money in his pocket -- I mean a really thick stash of cash. So during the police investigation they went to the restaurant, talked to all the waiters as a group, and then individually, and then asked if there was anyone who was no longer there. And of course they said, "the Cranston brothers" -- and until the police resolved that he was led astray by a hooker, then robbed and killed, we were, as they say, persons of interest.
Q: So when Walt White is standing on the open road in his tightie-whities, holding up a gun, he actually knows what it feels like to be a wanted man.
A: To feel wanted. And you know what? To feel dangerous. Danger is cool. The thing about Walt is that he's actually accepting of this condition, and the reason is that for the first time in 25 years he's feeling again. And even fear is better than numbness. So he's willing to accept it, and possibly encourage it. You get addicted to emotions. Our endorphins kick in and it's like a high. On the low end you might love roller coasters. On the high end you might be a bank robber or something. He's somewhere now in the middle of that right now.

Q&A: Max Arciniega (Krazy 8)
February 15, 2008
Spoiler:

Actor Max Arciniega sometimes worried he was going to go down in history as "the guy who had one line in Barbershop 2." Now, thanks to his break out performance as Krazy 8 in episode three of Breaking Bad, he can put that fear to rest. He talks about being shackled to that pole, nine minutes with Bryan Cranston, and his character's surprising ability to stay alive.

Q: Did you know ahead of time that your character was going to be killed in episode three?

A: You know what, honestly, I got more than I expected to get. Originally, I was only doing the pilot and in the pilot episode, you know, I technically died...once we got picked up I kinda started hearing through my agent that they had me on hold to possibly do a couple more episodes and I was like "Really? Wow, that's weird. Cause my character is dead."

Q: Any chance he could come back from the dead again? They show him getting choked but they don't show what happened to the body.

A: Rrrright. It's funny. I have absolutely no clue. I can only say I hope so just cause it was such a great time to work with such amazing people. You never know. It's television. Maybe there will be some flashback scenes or something.

Q: How many hours were you shackled to that pole?

A: I thought man it would be pretty cool to ask the director if it's okay to stay tied up to this pole the entire day without moving just to get a sense of the agitation of being locked down and knowing that Walter's been holding me down there for such a long time. Everyone on set found out I was going to do it so they started putting bets that I wouldn't be able to last there all day...I ended up staying there nine hours straight. And it really did help me out. The following day I was so sore from my back to my butt. It was horrible. But it helped for the character.

Q: You have that great scene with Bryan Cranston when his character is deciding whether or not to kill you. Was it intimidating working with him?

A: It was honestly more relieving and exciting than it was intimidating. It's not an easy scene to pull off because it's so long. It's a nine minute scene and you hope you don't lose the audience. In this case, I had Bryan so it was really just working off of him. When I first started it was a little intimidating 'cause he was the dad from Malcolm in the Middle. I'd watched him so many times on TV, but once I got to know him as a person and got a chance to hang out with him we became good friends and we still remain friends.


Q&A: Creator Vince Gilligan -- Part I
February 18, 2008
Spoiler:
Series creator and executive producer Vince Gilligan talks about writing for cable, and making a bad guy lovable in part one of AMC's exclusive two-part interview.
Q: A lot of people have been drawing comparisons betweenBreaking Bad and Showtime'sWeeds. How would you compare the two?
A: I saw the pilot to Weeds, and what I saw was a really smart and funny show that was to my mind more of a slice of life in the suburbs. And I feel like what differs about Breaking Bad is that our show is more of a character piece centering on this one individual, Walter White. And I think our show is also much darker because, of course, methamphetamine is a much darker, more hurtful illicit drug than marijuana is. It really does tear peoples' lives apart, it tears apart entire towns. And marijuana, it can be argued, is not as dangerous, not as hurtful a drug.
Q: Breaking Bad certainly has its dark moments, but it's also pretty funny.
A: We definitely don't shy away from the comedy in my mind. I like to think of this as a funny show. I love writing comedy, although hopefully in Breaking Bad it's a realistic kind of a comedy. It's the kind of comedy that is never about people telling jokes or pretending to be funny. But when the moment needs to get serious we don't shy away form that either. That's the kind of mix I love to go for, which is a mix of really stone serious stuff, and then the more absurdist moments. And maybe it is a tricky mix, but I like the challenge and hopefully we succeed with it more times than we fail.


Q: Speaking of a tricky mix: Between the gore and the language, you must have to strike a pretty delicate balance with what you're able to show on TV.
A: I did seven years on The X-Files, and the gore of that episode [Episode 2, "The Cat's in the Bag..."] was nothing compared to some stuff we used to do on regular network television. The funny thing about America is that gore, no pun intended, goes down a lot easier than sex or bad language. And as far as bad language goes, on The X-Files we didn't have half the language at our disposal we have on AMC. When we wrote the pilot I figured no one but a cable network will do this show in the first place because of the subject matter, and the odds would be better that I would get to have the characters speak in ways that they would indeed speak in real life. I don't go out of my way to put curse words in the episodes, but on the other hand, people who live this kind of life are not models of decorum. So certain words have to be bleeped from time to time, and we try to use it very sparingly because we don't want to annoy the audience. But it would seem very off-putting and weird for me to have our show take place in this violent and corrupt and dark world and then have certain characters say "Oh Fudge" or "Darn it, somebody stole my meth!"
Q: In terms of subject matter, how was it to go from The X-Files to Breaking Bad?
A: Honestly, it's not as much of a transition as I might have thought it would be. Because looking back on The X-Files, we had to work very hard to make a lot of very strange and bizarre concepts realistic, and therefore palatable. Chris Carter, the guy who created the show, told us that his philosophy was always that it's only as scary as it is believable. And I thought that was a great mentality, and I've lived by that and I keep thinking of that. In the case of Breaking Bad I would alter that philosophy to be that it's only as good a show as it is believable. And so we're not trying to make the audience believe in mummies or aliens or ghosts. We're trying to get the audience to believe in these characters, who are doing a lot of despicable things. Walt has a terrible decision-making process. He makes terrible choices on the show, and yet if we are to expect the audience to keep watching, we have to understand why he does what he does. We don't have to agree with him, but we have to understand him, and to that end that's the extra effort we always try to make.
Q: How do you make these despicable actions understandable to an audience?

A: Walt's going to do a lot of bad things as the show progresses -- and in some ways we ain't seen nothing yet. But when Walt is doing some of these dumb things he does, I try to think, what would get me to that point? Why would I make that choice in my life? For instance, when he has to kill Krazy 8, he is in an intractable situation down there. And it's a situation we've seen other movie and television characters in over the years, where the good guy is presented with what looks to be no other option other than killing the bad guy. And yet a lot of the movies and TV shows sort of wiggle out of that scenario by having the bad guy get free and take a shot and the good guy drops him, and it ends up being completely righteous. And I didn't want to go that way with our show. I wanted Walt to be in a truly intractable situation where he just has to do something terrible. And so the way that we keep him human and likable is that we show his great pain and discomfort at having to do this. And when he kills the guy it's a horrible, long scene, just to show that this is the way it would really be. It would be horrible to have to kill someone and it would be even worse to have to kill someone in that manner. And when Krazy 8 is finally expired, Walt slides to the floor with him and just mutters "I'm sorry" over and over again.


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Re: Interviews

Post by Rob on Wed May 13, 2009 1:27 am

Q&A: Creator Vince Gilligan -- Part II
February 19, 2008
Spoiler:
In the second part of our two-part interview, Vince Gilligan discusses Walt's failings as a father figure, and explains Breaking Bad's Western motifs.
Q: Is Walt your alter-ego?
A: Some days I think he's my alter-ego, and other days I think he's not. But I think given the right set of circumstances I could be Walt. There's nothing particularly biographical about the writing, but I kinda see myself like Walt sees himself sometimes. I'm a middle-aged guy now and I think to myself, life's pretty good. But on the other hand, call it the mid-life crisis thing, sometimes you get to a certain age and you realize your days are fewer ahead of you than behind you. Walt's got more dissatisfaction with life than I do, but I think we can all relate to Walt from time to time. Hopefully we don't live too long in his shoes, but I think we've all had those moments where, 'The other guy's getting ahead and I'm not; I don't have enough money in my bank account; I don't get appreciated and respected for my work.' We've all had those thoughts from time to time, so I think yeah in a lot of ways Walt is me. But I think what potentially works for the show is that in a lot of ways, Walt is everybody.
Q: The other half of the show's equation is Jesse. How do you see him fitting in with Walt's life over the course of the series?
A: There's a lot going on there that I'm feeling my way through as we write each episode. I like the idea that they don't ever really get along. When two people work together as much as they're going to work together, at a certain point you come to some sort of an agreement. But I want to keep them on the outs with each other as long as we possibly can. But even mixed in with that dislike is that for Jesse, Walt is kind of a father figure. And in most ways he's a terrible father figure. He's keeping this kid cooking meth instead of saying to him, 'Find something else to do with your life. I'm dying of cancer, but you're a young guy with your whole life ahead of you. You should be doing something else.' Walt should be saying that to this kid, but he's not. He's being selfish, he's thinking only of himself and his family. And that's yet another in a long series of bad decisions Walt is making that makes him hard to get behind.
Q: How do you see Jesse's character evolving?
A: Aaron Paul, who plays Jesse, has so much subtlety to his action, even though he's playing a character that is over-the-top sometimes. We're going to realize there's more to Jesse than just the Vanilla Ice layer. He's this kid that we're going to feel sorry for sometimes and feel regret that he's not doing something better with his life, which he'd be able to do perhaps if he just got a little more forcefully pushed in the right direction. And the very fact that he refers to Walt half the time as Mr. White shows he still has some sort of ingrained respect for the guy, even though the other half of the time he's yelling at him. It's a weird, schizophrenic relationship he has with Mr. White.
Q: If in your mind Jesse sees Walt as a father figure, how does Walt see Jesse?
A: I hate to say it, but I think Walt just sees him as a means to an end. And that may well change -- I don't want to promise anything -- but maybe it will change too late. I think at the moment, Walt feels like his hands really aren't dirty. He's not really in the meth business. In his mind he rationalizes everything he's doing. The way he sees it is, 'Well I'm a chemist, I'm applying my chemistry knowledge to a market that existed before I ever heard of it. I'm not making junkies of anyone, I'm only selling a much purer and more homogenous, well-crafted product. I'm supplying a need, and to that end I'm using the help of a guy who is already in this business, I didn't get him in this business, and I'm doing it all for my wife and my son and my unborn daughter.' That doesn't mean during his dark nights of the soul he doesn't know better than that. But Walt is a really interesting guy who is rife with contradictions. He makes terrible choices, and yet I think he's still a fundamentally decent man.
Q: Why did you make the decision to set the show in Albuquerque, New Mexico?
A: New Mexico is a very interesting state -- it has more PhD's per capita than any other state in the union. It has this amazing history of science. The atom bomb was invented in New Mexico. And it goes without saying how important that history is for Walt as a scientist. Science is something that he has mastered more than any single element in his life. It's black and white, it's got definitive answers, unlike the rest of our lives which are so full of gray area. Meth itself is a concoction of science. So I like the idea of science as a double-edged sword: It does wonderful things for us, and yet it's capable of creating some really bad things in our society as well. And Albuquerque is just a beautiful part of the country, a very striking part of the country. It's got this sort of aridity and this beautiful, stark, desolate nature to it -- especially once you get out of town a little ways. It makes me think of old Westerns. I watched hundreds of Westerns growing up, and I like to think of our show as a modern-day Western. I'm not sure what I mean by that. There are no 10-gallon hats or six shooters, no horses and whatnot.
Q: Well, you do have a lone gunman.
A: [laughs] Yeah we do. There's a man standing on the horizon in a pair of chaps, or in the case of our show, in his underpants. I guess Breaking Bad is a post-modern Western.


Q&A: Aaron Paul (Jesse Pinkman) -- Part I
February 25, 2008
Spoiler:
Actor Aaron Paul ponders the magic of Hollywood makeup and talks about his wardrobe in the first of AMC's exclusive two-part interview.
Q: How do you see your character?
A: Jesse Pinkman is a funny kid. He's just this lost soul -- I don't think he's a bad kid, he just got mixed in the wrong crowd. He has decided to do something he knows, and he's been cooking meth for some time now, so it's taken over his world a little bit. And it's interesting because when you meet Jesse's parents, you can tell they're an upper-middle-class, very proper family. He doesn't come from an abusive, alcoholic background. But maybe he just didn't relate to his father, maybe his father was too strict and too proper for Jesse. And then he runs into Mr. White from his high school, and their relationship is more like The Odd Couple.
Q: I notice when you refer to Bryan Cranston's character, you call him Mr. White.
A: Right. I guess my character still respects him, especially now because Mr. White is showing Jesse he is truly an artist. But then again, he only knew him through school, so now that's how I know him, which is fabulous. Bryan Cranston is a genius, so I have respect for Bryan, and Jesse has respect for Mr. White.
Q: Between the housewife next door in the first episode and the motel prostitute later on, Jesse has some varied taste in women.
A: You know, Jesse just likes the variety of women. He takes love with open arms. He's like, 'Yes, just give it to me!' There's no judgment -- Jesse has no judgment. Actually the woman that played the crack whore is beautiful, they just made her look wrecked. Those are not her real teeth. It is amazing what they can do with makeup, and we have a great team. I get kicked in the face in the pilot, and for the first two episodes that eyepiece was just like this horrific two hours of makeup. If my call time was at, let's say 5 a.m., I would have to be there two hours early to put that thing on. I couldn't see, my equilibrium was all messed up, and they were giving me those pills for motion sickness.
Q: You were taking Dramamine?
A: Yeah well actually during the pilot, it was this silicone-based eyepiece, much heavier, and my eye was completely swollen shut. And so just walking around with one eye was really interesting. We would have 12 hour days, and it was pretty obnoxious. I felt like a little baby. I'm thinking to myself, 'Oh, I wanna act strong! I'm a strong man I can do this!' Then I'm saying, 'Um, can I have some more Dramamine please?' as I'm falling over. Please Vince, don't kick me in the face in future episodes -- I don't think I can handle the eye makeup again!
Q: There's this iconic image of Bryan Cranston in his tightie-whities. But I have to say, they look more comfortable for New Mexico's climate than all the layers you have to wear.
A: Uh, you have no idea buddy. It is so hot. I'm a small guy, and it looks like I'm a much bigger person because of these layers. People meet me, and they're like, 'You're...wow...I always pictured you to be so much bigger.' No actually, I just have fifty layers on in the Albuquerque heat. Bryan is lucky. I think that's why he agreed to do it: 'Yes I will just wear my underwear, it's fine. Write more scenes with me just in my underwear, please.' My wardrobe is hilarious. It totally fits Jesse to a T, but it's not like I'm going to be begging for these clothes when we're done shooting. I might try and snag the sneakers though.
Q: How do you like Albuquerque otherwise?
A: I actually hated it during the pilot. I loved working, obviously. But I would just go to work, and then go back to the hotel and I couldn't find much to do. But when we started shooting the series I fell in love with the city. I'm from Boise, Idaho, and it reminds me of a bigger version of that place. Dean Norris actually ended up moving out there. It's just nice to get away from the hustle of Los Angeles, and the skies are endless out there. It's like a beautiful painting every day.

Q&A: Aaron Paul (Jesse Pinkman) -- Part II
February 26, 2008
Spoiler:
In the second part of our two-part interview, Breaking Bad's Aaron Paul discusses the tragedy of drug addiction and dishes on a backstage poker game that ended in disaster.
Q: How difficult is it to put yourself in Jesse's shoes?
A: It's fun to tackle, but it's also very dark and sad at times, especially with the research I did and reading these stories about families that have been destroyed by this horrible drug. And I personally in my life have had people that I'm really close to, I've watched them get lost in this drug, and it literally ate their soul alive. They turned from these beautiful creatures into different people altogether, which is so sad.
Q: Do you feel like Jesse has reached that point?
A: In my head, I don't feel that he's actually reached that point yet. But I feel, with the things that are happening in his world now, he's going in this downward spiral. People are dying and he's losing his mind. He's never been in this situation before. He's been cooking and selling for awhile, but it's never been this hardcore. But after he and Mr. White team up, everything comes unraveled.
Q: What are you actually smoking in the scenes where Jesse is doing meth?
A: It is sugar. I'm not actually inhaling the sugar in my lungs though; I'm just putting it in my mouth and blowing it out. It actually boils up to this disgusting brown color. It doesn't taste good--it tastes like you're licking the side of a cotton candy machine. That's exactly what it tastes like actually, not that I have licked the side of a cotton candy machine.
Q: Were there any on-set antics while you were filming?
A: Oh man, this is horrible. Bryan and I set up a poker night on the lot -- we decided we would make this a weekly tradition after we wrap on Friday nights. And of course the first time we try it, some wrestling starts happening. Bryan and I weren't wrestling -- though I wanted to -- but there was just some wrestling that was happening, and this guy that was working with us, he actually ended up shattering his foot. We just heard this loud pop. Someone called an ambulance, there were all these people showing up wanting to know what happened. We were like, 'Everything is fine, our buddy he kinda twisted his ankle walking down the stairs.' It was too bad too, because this guy was literally just talking about how excited he was to finally work on a show that everyone is so passionate about and that's so gritty and edgy and new. And then this happened, and he couldn't work. So that was the end of poker night. We got back on set the next day and Stewart Lyons 9series producer and unit production manager], oh bless his heart, he just looks at us and shakes his head, like, 'Whatever.'


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Re: Interviews

Post by Rob on Wed May 13, 2009 1:28 am


Q&A: Betsy Brandt (Marie Schrader)
February 28, 2008
Spoiler:
Breaking Bad's Betsy Brandt reflects on sibling rivalry and her obsession with shoes in an exclusive interview with AMC.
Q: How do you view your character?
A: The first time we meet Marie she's just an unpleasant bitch. But there's more to her than that. I think we're seeing more of it now that she would be there for her family. But it's all about her. If she were an actor, it would be 'Blah, Blah, Blah, My line.' I really do love her, though. I know no one else does, but I do. Some actors, they always want their characters to be likable. And I do not roll like that.
Q: It seems like there's an antagonistic relationship between Marie and Skyler.
A: Oh yes. I have an older sister and there's quite an age difference between us, but we used to share a room, lucky her. I was a fourth-grader and she was in college, and she'd be up journaling every night and I would make scratchy sounds on my sheets to annoy her. And she'd say, 'Betsy, stop it.' I'd go, 'What?" as if I weren't doing anything. And I would just ask her questions and she'd say, "I'm not going to answer you if you ask me any more.' So I have some personal experience in that regard.
Q: What do you think of Marie stealing those shoes?
A: I did not steal the shoes, I traded them. I was talking to Bryan Cranston about it, and I said, 'It's not stealing if you should have it.'
Q: Are you a shoe fanatic in real life?
A: Oh God yes. Oh goodness yes. Yes. When I was in Italy I took a train to a different city just to get a pair of shoes. I was in Vicenza and I think I was on my way into Venice, but we stopped at Padova just to get off the train, get my shoes and continue. I had literally no other interest in seeing Padova. I still have the shoes.
Q: Have you ever stolen any?
A: No, of course not. But I have a thing for small spoons - like demitasse spoons. A couple of them from restaurants may have found their way into my purse. That is my one weird thing. Of course now that I have a small child, I don't do it any more. But I have friends who, when they travel, will get them for me. People give me little oyster spoons, caviar spoons. They're like, 'Oh I saw this spoon and thought of you!' The first one was from Air Portugal, and it was just the coolest little spoon. I use it to feed my daughter her baby food.
Q: You have a strong background in theater -- something you share with Anna Gunn.
A: You know, we actually worked together I don't know how many years ago on a new play reading for Beth Henley. And it is fun to talk to her about theater -- it's fun to talk to her anyways because she's just such a great actor. But some people don't care about theater, so it's great that Anna has an appreciation for it.
Q: Do you prefer theater or television?
A: I love opening night and I love doing plays. But one of my favorite parts about doing a play or working on a new play is rehearsal. And working on television, even moreso than movies, it has that feeling to me where you can do it again right away. You can change your performance, tweak it, make it better, talk about it. I like that. It's funny, this group, when we shot the intervention scene for episode five, it just reminded me of watching really great theater. Being in it was like doing it, and it had that same electricity. Sometimes you don't get that when you're doing film.


Q&A: Dean Norris (Hank Schrader)
March 3, 2008
Spoiler:
Breaking Bad's Dean Norris talks about jumping from heavies to comedies and shares his DEA rap in this exclusive interview with AMC.
* To view the Breaking Bad main site, with sneak peeks, exclusive video and more, click here. *
Q: What makes you such a good cop?
A: I don't know man [laughs]. I've played a lot of 'em. I think the physicality is certainly a part of it. Also having played so many cops, I've talked with a lot of technical advisers, so I've been able to pick up a lot. Coincidentally, one of my best friends growing up is a cop in Chicago, and one of my other best friends out in LA is a sheriff. So I get to see all the components of that culture. It's fun now to play cops with a little more humor to them, though. They're a little more interesting than just the hardcore guys.
Q: Hank has more than a little humor to him. He's the comic relief. Is that new for you?
A: When I was in college I did a lot of comedy. And when I came to LA -- I guess because of my look -- I ended up doing a lot of cops. I'm not complaining, but I got slotted into those kinds of roles. And then I played a funnier cop in Little Miss Sunshine and a lot of people liked it: I ended up getting called in on comedy movies all of a sudden. I don't know if it opened the door to doingBreaking Bad or not. But when I auditioned for the role, I was sitting in the room waiting to audition and Betsy Brandt was there -- I didn't know her at the time, but we were sitting there. I said to her, 'This is funny, isn't it?' She said, 'Yeah I think it's funny, right?' We were both going back and forth to reinforce each other because at first I wasn't sure. Thank God, she agreed with me because that's the way I played it going into the first meeting with Vince.
Q: Steven Michael Quezada, who plays your partner Gomez, is actually a stand-up comic. Did he give you any tips?
A: He didn't. I think he found that there's a big difference between being a stand-up comedian and an actor. When you're a stand-up, you play in front of 600 people and it's all about timing. I could never do stand-up comedy; it would be way too hard for me. But I think he actually found comfort in being able to work with me to bring his stuff down a little bit. So it was really vice versa: He looked for tips from me on how to be funny while keeping it real within the scene.
Q: What was the inspiration for Hank's Behind the Gun web videos?
A: When we were shooting the first episode I was sitting around thinking, "I've got a lot free time." So I said, "Hey guys, can you give me a camera and let me go off and do some funny skits?" They said okay, and we went out -- we actually shot lots and lots more stuff. I don't know how much we'll be able to put together. I've got a Hank rap song that's really good.
Q: A Hank rap song? Can we have a preview?
A: He's the H to the A to the N to the K / He's the Hank, He's the Man, He's the DEA / So if you're set on the crank, stay out of my way / 'Cause I'm the Hank, I'm the man, I'm the DEA. It goes on and on.
Q: What is your favorite moment from the show thus far?
A: Certainly for me the intervention scene is one of the best scenes I've ever seen on TV, and I thought it was unusual that you had five people engaged in the scene for such a long time. It's like a 10-minute scene and it was written so well. It was the moment on the set where we all gelled and everybody played their part perfectly, then it was topped off by Bryan's phenomenal speech. We did that scene the whole day, and every single time he made that speech he did it well enough that it would make you cry. The first read-through of the episode, just a sitting around the table, I went up to him afterwards and I said, "Hey man, thanks for the four-year job.

Q&A: Steven Michael Quezada (Gomez)
March 7, 2008
Spoiler:

For Steven Michael Quezada, the chances of surviving as a professional actor while living in Albuquerque were "zero to none." Here's how he went from breaking even to Breaking Bad.

Q: You went to school to be an actor but ended up making a living as a standup comic. How did that come about?

A: I started writing my own plays and I would sell out but after everything was said and done I'd break even. That's being successful. One of the plays I wrote was called The First Chicano President. This guy who is a comedy producer saw it and said "man you are so funny you should do stand up comedy." I told him he was crazy...After a couple years of starving I thought you know what, um, I'm gonna give it a shot. There was no turning back. I went right straight to headliner.

Q: How does a comic living in Albuquerque end up on Breaking Bad?

A: Now that we're Tamalewood, New Mexico is the hot spot. They came out and cast the pilot and when I walked in I guess I was exactly what Vince Gilligan was looking for because when I left he told them, "That's Gomez. I'm done with that." My family is so happy I'm not on the road and I'm home. I play a lot of golf with Dean Norris. How lucky can a guy be out here in the middle of nowhere?


Q: What's the most memorable moment from the show?

A: We actually trained with DEA agents out here.

Q: Did you go out on an actual drug bust?

A: No. These guys are in such danger as it is... Mad props to them because I wouldn't want to do that job. You don't know what's behind that door. I asked a guy what are you thinking when you bust into a house? He goes, "I'm thinking I want to go home to my wife and my kids. That's what I'm thinking."

Q: Gomez and Hank talk a lot of smack to each other. What's that about?

A: Gomez has been Hank's partner for many, many years. I don't see it as anything other than because we're buddies we can talk to each other like that. He calls Hank an asshole and a stupid white guy. I think you have to be a really good friend to call somebody an asshole 'cause if you're not my friend and you call me an asshole those are fighting words.You know and he just laughs it off so they are really good friends. He's always poking fun about Gomez being Latino. That's how partners mess with each other.

Q: What can we expect next from Agent Gomez?

A: They are on a trail right now and they really want to find who's cooking this meth. It's like 99.9% pure and that's just crazy. So they need to find this and Gomez, that's what he's going to do, he's going to hunt this down. What's going to get Walt first the cancer or us?



Q&A: RJ Mitte (Walter Jr.)
March 11, 2008
Spoiler:
Breaking Bad's RJ Mitte discusses the similarities between him and his character, playing Wii with Aaron Paul and stealing the spotlight from his little sister.
Q: You and your Breaking Badcharacter both have Cerebral Palsy, though Walter Jr.'s symptoms are more pronounced than your own. Did you have to regress from your therapy to portray him?
A: Yeah. It was very hard to regress. I had to stay up real late so I could learn to blur my speech more. I had to learn how to use crutches so it didn't look like I'm faking walking. I didn't want to look like just another faker because I really have it. If you're going to do it, you have to do it the full way. No matter if you're regressing or if you're trying to make it look bad, you need to still try to do it right. It was hard at first, but after a while everybody would help me out. For example, I used to walk on my toes a lot when I was a kid because I could barely move my feet, so when I was learning to portray Walter Jr., my mom would remind me about that. It was a big help.
Q: Do you think it was important that Vince cast someone with CP for the role?
A: I think it was very important. I think now I look like a role model to some CP actors, which is an honor. Everybody if they have CP on their resume, it looks like, oh this kid is wheelchair-bound or he's slow or something like that, which is not true. It is important for someone who is playing this role to really do the role.
Q: Walter Jr. has been described as a bit cocky and a smart-ass. Do you see any of those characteristics in yourself?
A: Sometimes I'm a smart-ass. My mom says that all the time. We pretty much are one and the same. We have the same personality. We both just want to be treated like everybody else. He tries drinking and stuff, which I don't do. I have never ever tried that. That's like, my mom would... Man, I would never hear the end of it.
Q: How was your experience on set? Were you treated like the kid?
A: No not really. Everybody pretty much treats me the same. I'm really mature for my age -- at 15 I look much older than I am, so I never get that awkwardness. My mom had to leave New Mexico at one point, and I stayed with Aaron Paul (Jesse Pinkman) for a week. He's like the greatest guy ever. We hung out, we went out, we went to a concert, we played Wii, we worked. We just really had fun. He's like the nicest guy you will ever meet.
Q: Did you like shooting in Albuquerque?
A: It was really fun, but a little bit boring since I wasn't in school. I didn't really know a bunch of people there. So I started taking ballroom dance lessons to meet people. Girls like guys that can dance--and it's going very well.
Q: What was your favorite scene to film?
A: When I cussed my dad [Bryan Cranston] out -- because my grandma was there. My mom was there a lot, but that day she was babysitting my little sister and my grandma wanted to see the set, so I invited her. So she was sitting in her chair and watching me film, and her face when I called my dad a pussy... When anyone says a bad word in my family my little sister says, "Pop your mouth!" It's like to hit your mouth. And so we filmed that scene so many times and my grandma was cringing. Every time I got off the set she said, "Pop your mouth!" But having my family there was really great. They're a great support. I don't see how anyone in the acting business could do it by themselves without their family. It's really hard. You need the support, you need people to come home to. You just need it.
Q: Betsy Brandt (Marie Schrader) claims that you have a fondness for Beyonce. What's the story there?
A: Oh my God she did not. She likes to sing Beyonce. A lot. Every time I'm on set with her. Every time I see her. Every time I get a call from her, she sings, "To the left, to the left." Now, that's the only thing she knows. Every time I see her she goes, "To the left, to the left." So after awhile it gets a little annoying, right? So I had some moments where I tried to get her back. Knock on her door, run away. Stuff like that.

Q: You originally got started in this business because your sister was recruited by a talent scout. How does it feel now that you're family celebrity?
A: My sister is a mess. I love her to death, but she is a mess. She has fiery red hair--if you ever see her you can understand why we came out here for her. She's four, she talks non-stop, she has the vocabulary of an 8 year old, she throws big words at me all the time -- she is the smartest four-year-old girl you will ever meet. And with that fiery red hair, she has no shame. That little girl will tell you anything. And I had never had that fire to be an actor. I always wanted to go into the military or something like that--my whole family, all my friends are either Air Force, Navy, or Marines. My PopPop was in the Marines, so I always had that desire but with my CP I could never do it. So I decided, why not try to be an actor? But now I get it every day from my sister. People will say, "Oh you're like a movie star." She'll tell them off and say, "He's not the movie star, I'm the movie star. He has a TV show, but I'm the movie star."


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Re: Interviews

Post by Rob on Wed May 13, 2009 1:29 am


Q&A: Thomas Golubic (Music Supervisor)
March 21, 2008
Spoiler:
Breaking Bad's music supervisor Thomas Golubic talks about finding the perfect song and Walt's secret room for listening to R&B.
Q: How did Gnarls Barkley end up premiering a song for the finale?
A: I went to Sundance for a DJ gig and bumped into a friend. He mentioned in passing that he had just finished work on the new Gnarls Barkley record -- I didn't even know there was a new Gnarls Barkley record. So I basically reached out to the Gnarls Barkley management and ended up getting a copy of two tracks way way before the release. One of them was "Who's Gonna Save My Soul." And when I heard it, I thought: My God, the lyrics are absolutely perfect. We needed something that was going to end the series on a big note and really capture that feeling of Walt and Jesse having just got into something really really deep. It was like the heavens dropped the song in my lap.
Q: Do you ever hear a song and think: I have to get it in the show?
I'm very wary of falling in love with a song and being convinced it should go in the show. I hear songs where I think "Oh that's completely Walt", or "That's something Jesse would have," but there are many different flavors in this show. A lot of the music doesn't effect Walt or Jesse -- music of the outside world, whether it's the shoe store or the clothing store -- it's very pretty and a little bit numbing. It's very easy, soft, a solipsistic quality to the world outside of them. The world outside is a drugged up world of its own. Everything's a little bit too slick and too pleasant. Then you have this world of Walt and Jesse, which is ragged and bursting with awkward enthusiasm. It's the dichotomy of the two different worlds.
Q: How did your work as a music supervisor for Breaking Bad compare to your stints with Las Vegas and Six Feet Under.
They're so different. Las Vegas was initially a slick, modern, fast-paced television series. James Caan was in it. And it was very exciting to work on a show that had so many possibilities for modern music. Six Feet Under was totally different. It had so many different characters and everybody had a specific kind of world that they lived in. For a character like Claire, we got to take her from being an angry rebellious teenager listening to music that was a fuck you to the world to a very complicated, music-intensive adult human being who'd been to art school and had her heart broken. I'm really excited to see where we go with Walt Jr.'s taste in music. That's something we haven't had a chance to tap into yet. I think he's going to be a very interesting character as he develops. I'm already mentally preparing for vetting Walt Jr. and seeing where he goes.
Q: You've introduced a number of under-the-radar musicians like Darondo, the In Crowd and even Rodrigo and Gabriela to larger audiences. But how about the Haydn?
A: I did a lot of classical music with Six Feet Under. You know -- music appropriate both for funerals and having dinner. In that show, the mom had a fantasy about being a ballerina as a child so I got a lot of chances to learn and play with the nuances of classical music. That was one of my favorite parts of Six Feet Under. For this show, we didn't have that many opportunities for classical music, so when it came to introducing Jesse's family, it was like: I know this family. They're sophisticated, upper middle class folks. They're going to have some nice pleasant dinner music going on. It's also a shorthand way of showing this is a family that believes in children playing instruments like the piccolo and growing up with classic literature and classical music. It also shows that these are parents who are a little too pushy about the world they want to impose upon their kids and in that pushiness they're pushing them away. That Haydn piece has an excessive formalism to it. If they'd simply had something a little more relaxed, maybe a little Ravel, Jesse probably would have responded better.
Q: What kind of music does Walt like?
A: Walt has many secrets. Even though we haven't had Walt listen to music much, I've always thought that if he had a little quiet room somewhere in the house where he could listen to music, he would listen to very deep R&B and soul. I think he has a natural affinity to music that's emotional and poignant. But it's something that he wouldn't share with other people. But there's something really rootsy and warm about the music that Walt cares about. We really get to dive into Walt's music phase hopefully in Season 2. It's going to be very strong and powerful and potent soul -- even if he doesn't have a big record collection.


Q&A: Adam Bernstein (Director of Episodes 2 and 3)
March 28, 2008

Spoiler:
Director Adam Bernstein has worked in comedy (Scrubs and 30 Rock) and drama (HBO's Oz) so he was the perfect choice for the gnarliest (and arguably funniest) episodes ofBreaking Bad. He details the experience in AMC's exclusive interview.
Q: How was your experience directing Breaking Bad?
A: I have to say that was probably one of the more interesting experiences I've had working in TV. But I knew it was going to be really interesting going in because I had worked with Vince, and he is such an incredibly original guy. He's so funny and he blends suspense and dark humor and a certain amount of humanity -- it's all kind of mixed in with the same stew. And the other thing I love about his writing is that he's an incredibly visual writer. I feel guilty saying it but as a director it's an amazing advantage to have someone who writes that visually, because there are going to be all these fun moments and fun shots that he's actually crafted into the script. It's not that I'm lazy, but if someone is actually giving me that much to work with and it's all completely appropriate to the material, of course I'm going to use it.
Q: What was it like to shoot the scene where Emilio's body falls through the ceiling?
A: Oh I love that stuff. We actually did it a couple of times because the first time when the body came through, the way it splattered kinda made it look like one of those Dura-Flame logs. And then we did it a second time, and it was a lot more spread out and goopy, which is more like what we were looking for. But they worked really hard to hit that. They got a complete skeleton from the scientific supply company and broke it up into pieces and then whittled away at the pieces so that they looked like they had been eaten away by the acid, and there were all kinds of weird little gelatinous chunks. A lot of time was spent on the viscera. You're not exactly sure what's going to come through the ceiling when it drops.
Q: There are some interesting underneath perspectives in your episodes: first when Jesse is dissolving Emilio, then later when they're cleaning up the mess. Why did you choose those angles?
A: I guess you could say it's a signature of the show for the camera to be showing you something from a perspective which is not organic to any of the characters. It's kind of an omniscient and strange perspective. Vince established it in the pilot and it's become a grace note throughout the series. And I think shots like that in some ways help establish the tone of the show because they let you know that this is not straight-up storytelling. It's coming from a strange place and it's slightly funny -- something you might associate with Malcolm in the Middle, but you're doing it in the middle of this gnarly drama. So I think capturing moments from strange perspectives helps visually underline what the attitude of the whole show is. I have to be honest, when I work on a show, especially one that's as unique as Vince's, I don't try to redefine it. I'm not trying to do like the incredible Adam Bernstein version of that show. I'm just trring to do the best episode I can within the framework that they want.
Q: The titles of your episodes, "Cat's in the Bag..." and "...And the Bag's in the River" are references to The Sweet Smell of Success, one of Vince's favorites. Did you have that in mind while directing?
A: You know more about that than I do. I had no idea. I like that movie too, but I would be lying if I said that I quoted it in any way.

Q&A: Reynaldo Villalobos (Cinematographer)
April 1, 2008
Spoiler:
Emmy-award nominated cinematographer Reynaldo Villalobos (who also shot Risky Business) talks about shooting bright vistas and dank basements for AMC's exclusive interview.

Q: How did you enjoy shooting Breaking Bad?

A: It's a funny question you say "enjoy" because that's my work. When you're working you don't enjoy you're working. You're just always solving problems and trying to make the lighting fit the story, etc. Enjoyment never comes until maybe months later and you look at the product and go, "Oh yeah, that worked," or "Man, that didn't work."

Q: Was it intimidating to take over for Oscar-winning cinematographer John Toll, who shot the pilot?

A: No. He's a friend of mine. We used to work together so we came from the same place. And I know exactly what he's doing when I look at the show, and I do the same thing. We have the same way of looking at things already. So I just looked at it, great, and then you're off and running. Theoretically you're kind of doing the same things, but then the show is changing, so you've gotta change with it. The harder part is that pilots usually have twice as much time to shoot. So you try to maintain the quality with less time.

Q: How did the show change visually for you?

A: In a way the show is still evolving. And it should be evolving with the scripts. I think it's getting darker and darker, getting into these peoples' minds, and you're finding out these little secrets. On the surface it's just normal Albuquerque, USA; but now it's getting darker and deeper. The lead actor is becoming more alive. So what's happening, and I think it should happen, is the lighting has to go with the story. I think it's getting a little darker, a little moodier. Bryan's wardrobe is also changing. It's getting darker, he's getting a little more hip, so colors are changing. At first it was kind of washed out, and things are now changing a bit.

Q: Speaking of Albuquerque, you're a resident. What do you like about shooting there?

A: I like shooting here because you're surrounded by nature, and then you have the city of Albuquerque. It's like this impingement on nature in a way, and you see it in the show. Sometimes we're in nature, sometimes we're in an old building, and I like that contrast. I like to shoot wide to tight, so there was a shot in the first or second episode where Walt's sitting up over the freeway, and I had the camera just pan from big vista, big vista, big vista, and then you came across and you see him sitting in his car on the overpass, this little white car. So I love doing that kind of stuff, and you can do it in Albuquerque because you've got all this nature.

Q: What was your favorite scene to shoot?

A: Well, I loved shooting in the basement where he's going to kill the bad guy, because you can really make it shadowy. And I also enjoyed when he goes to blow up the place with the drug dealer. That was fun because he's going in this place that's dark and moody, and you have an excuse to shoot interestingly. So I like that stuff, and Vince is all for making it interesting looking. Nobody's going to scream, "Oh my God! Pull back!"


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Re: Interviews

Post by Rob on Wed May 13, 2009 1:29 am

Q&A: Dave Porter (Composer)
April 3, 2008
Spoiler:
Series composer Dave Porter uncovers the geographical influences on his music and his uncanny ability to predict the season's ending through sound.

Q: It feels as though the Southwest is a big influence on the score.

A: Definitely.

Q: Have you spent much time in the desert?

A: I actually haven't, outside of a few solitary journeys to Joshua Tree. But that plays into how I feel about the desert. I'm an East Coast kid, and what I love about the use of the desert in the show is that it seems so beautiful, and yet so inhospitable and alien at the same time. It's similar to how I feel about the ocean. It's an easy conduit to internal self-examination because you're forced to go there by the magnitude of what you're surrounded by.

Q: Sometimes, the music almost sounds sci-fi.

A: I'm not sure it goes that far but I do think one of my roles for the show is to be unsettling, to be unexpected. Because everything's not alright. One of the ways I try to reflect that is to use a lot of different instruments that are less used in television, or instruments that you might not think of together... Asian pitched percussion and gongs mixed with kalimbas, shakers and drums from Africa, Native American flutes and rattles, and also, non-acoustic instruments like synthesizers.

Q: How would you compare composing the score for Breaking Bad to Saved, another TV series you worked on?

A: I think I was influenced by different strengths of those two shows. Saved was a paramedic drama that had a lot of rock-driven source music. To fit into that world, I kept an eye on the visual action. Whereas on Breaking Bad, I get to highlight the surreal moments and the show's unsettled nature. I actually feel like I concentrate more on the relationships and conflicts between the characters, and sometimes the conflicts within one character: Walt's two sides, or Jesse and Jesse's past.

Q: That's much more internal.

A: Yes. That's absolutely a fair statement. For this show, I'm never called upon to cover a scene with music just to amplify the action or heighten the acting. All those things are so good already, I really have the opportunity to try to get inside the characters' heads.

Q: Is there any one head that's hard to get into?

A: Jesse is probably the toughest because we definitely don't want him to be the stereotypical young guy gone wrong. He's much, much deeper than that. For him, I 'try to use subtly more modern tones and beats as well as some guitar and electric piano. All of which I generally treat in some way. It's all in keeping with my idea of having everything be a little off-kilter. If I'm using electric piano, it's going to be run through a sweeping filter and a distortion box to make it something you'd not quite expect.

Q: Can you tell me a little about the show's theme music?

A: Doing a theme is really tough for a TV show because when you create it, you've only seen the pilot. And of course you want the theme to represent the show as a whole -- before the show has even been built. I had a lot of discussions with Vince about where to go with the theme. There were actually several versions on the board, at one point. I tried a lot more cerebral choices at first, because I was thinking about all the internalized conflict. But in the end, I really focused on what Vince told me about the show having its roots in a post-modern Western. That led me to think -- maybe what I want from the theme is not necessarily what's happening in the pilot, but a glimpse of the scale of what's to come. So what came out of that is something that's startlingly aggressive. Strangely bold. The theme is played on a Dobro which is a kind of resonator, a guitar made out of metal that you'd associate with the Southwest. Played very loud and very bold, with a big mix of ethnic percussion and some scrap metal sounds played in an unusual time signature. You can imagine I was most amused when the final scene of the season ended in a junk yard.

Q: Maybe you made it happen.

A: Perhaps I did. A fortuitous bit of foreshadowing that I didn't intend.

Q&A: Raymond Cruz (Tuco)
April 24, 2008
Spoiler:
Raymond Cruz talks about the inner workings of Breaking Bad's most volatile character then deconstructs a beat-down in AMC's exclusive interview.

Q: You're on this show called Breaking Bad, and you're definitely the baddest dude on it. How does that feel?

A: Yeah. I have to out-break Bryan Cranston. It's a big bad breaking contest. It's a challenging character, not easy at all. That's the reason I wanted to do it. I'm not going to make a judgment and say Tuco is out of his mind, but his parameters are definitely a lot further out there than other people's. To try to pull this character off, it's such a high energy level. It's not necessarily fun, it hurts, man. You get drained physically, emotionally and mentally. You get exhausted just doing one scene. There is no finesse. And I'm not that kind of person at all. I'm pretty quiet and easy-going.

Q: Was it disturbing for you to shoot scenes where Tuco goes off and gets violent?

A: No, it's just work. You've got to be willing to go to these dark places. They let me do it the way I want to do it, because I want the violence to be real, and not look like a stunt fight. I grew up boxing, so when we went to shoot, they had a stunt coordinator there and they're like we want the punches to come down at this angle and this, and I'm like, 'Hey listen, that's not the way it would happen.' I've done tons of fighting and I've done most of my own stunts in movies, so I said, 'Let me show you how this character would beat this guy to end it.' And they were just like 'Oh my God!' There was no mercy, and when you look at it, it looks like I really took him apart. A lot of people that saw it were like, 'Dude, were you really hitting that guy?' I'm like 'No, I never touched him man.' But I did strain a muscle in my back doing it. That was a rough ride back to the hotel.

Q: Of course, Tuco is not just violent for the sake of it. He's a drug addict. How did you approach that?

A: It's a lot of research. You figure out the physiological effect of the drug on the person and you start translating that. I don't do drugs, I don't smoke. I've never had a drink in my life. But I'm a big reader, so I pulled all the information I could about meth: how it affects people, how it is externalized, internally how it feels. I found all these first-hand accounts from addicts, talking about how it affected them, and how it took them to these dark places and what they were seeing and what they were tasting and touching and how the external world looked to them. And then you take that and you try to layer your character with those emotional reactions so that whenever Bryan interacts with me, he's hitting triggers that set this stuff off -- and then you just let it come out, man. There is so much work you have to do that no one ever knows about man. It's like building a motorcycle. And you're looking at the bike and people are going, 'Wow, that's a really mean crazy-looking bike.' But they don't know every nut and bolt of how it's put together.

Q: You were in an episode of The X Files. Did you get to meet Vince Gilligan then?

A: Yeah when I worked on The X Files, that was pretty cool. And I know Vince worked on it, but I just don't remember. I can't remember last year, buddy. I work and I let it go.

Q&A - John Toll (Cinematographer)
July 31, 2008
Spoiler:
When two-time Oscar-winning cinematographer John Toll (Braveheart, Legends of the Fall) read Vince Gilligan's pilot for Breaking Bad, he decided to return to television for the first time in nearly 20 years. Not surprisingly, his work on the first episode has garnered him an Emmy nomination. He shares his experience launching the show in AMC's exclusive interview.

Q: How did you get involved with Breaking Bad?

A: I've known Vince for quite a while. I met him through [Executive Producer] Mark Johnson and really liked him and thought he had great ideas -- he had a unique style, sort of dark and irreverent humor, but not offensively so. Then out of the blue he sent me this script for Breaking Bad and he came to visit me to talk about a look. Vince had been talking about an interesting style where the whole story takes place in the Southwest. I wasn't sure I wanted to do it because I hadn't done television for a long time and at first I thought I might be out of touch with it. But we started talking about a visual style that was rich in contrast and stark. I've got a library with all kinds of visual reference materials, so I pulled some off the shelf and we started looking through it, and within a half hour we were talking about when I would come to New Mexico with him and start looking at locations .

Q: Did that style carry over to the actual shoot?

A: We didn't bat 1000, but that style was always our guide. There's definitely a real sense of it in the finished product. What happens in filmmaking is everyone needs to be in sync with the primary creative: the cinematographer, the production designer, costume designer, and so forth. And it was funny because we had a meeting with everybody, none of us had ever actually worked together, but I walked in to the reception area and met Production designer Robb Wilson King and Costume Designer Kathleen Detoro. We looked at the reference and within five minutes, it was like we'd been working on the project for a week!

Q: Was it a big difference for you to shoot for television?

A: I didn't really make any distinction between it being a television project as opposed to a feature film. In my mind you're there to tell a story and you use the camera to tell it in the most appropriate way. Everybody wanted to be there and make a movie. It didn't matter what the size of the picture was, the scope of it, the budget. It was like, okay here's a good idea, here's a good script, and here's a guy, Vince, who you really like and want to help make this film. In terms of composition you're trying to compose things for the way they will look on a smaller screen as opposed to a larger screen, but that's the only distinction in my mind.

Q: What was the most interesting scene to shoot?

A: The opening and the ending, with everything that happens with the Winnebago and the road and trying to tie those two ends of the story together. Not that it was photographically that difficult, but the most interesting thing to me was the whole opening of the picture and then the transition to when you find him in the bedroom at night lying awake and then trying to exercise. I think opening up the show with momentum, then getting a sense of where this character came from immediately created a lot of interest.

Q: Did you notice any changes when Cinematographer Rey Villalobos took over for the rest of the series?

A: I really have a lot of respect for cinematographers who do episodic television, because it is so demanding in terms of scheduling and just the amount of time they have to accomplish the work. I've known Rey a long time. He's an excellent photographer, and he fell right into place in terms of where we left off. He expanded on it a little bit, but shooting episodic is extremely difficult for cinematographers to maintain any kind of look and keep it going -- sometimes there are days when you just have to shoot. I think Rey did a fantastic job maintaining the overall visual style throughout the series.

Q&A - Bryan Cranston (Walt White) on the Emmys and Season 2 of Breaking Bad
August 6, 2008
Spoiler:
The star of Breaking Bad took a moment from production of the second season in Albuquerque to discuss his Emmy nomination and his hopes for the future of Walt White.

Q: Congratulations on the Emmy nomination. That's wonderful news.

A: Thank you! If you think it's wonderful, how about from my point of view? You just do your work and go along and then someone taps you on the shoulder and says, "Hey guess what," and then you can honestly be surprised and happy about it. And you know, it would be great to win. It would be wonderful for the show, and hopefully that would translate to allowing us to be on the air for a few more years and to tell our story.

Q: How do you feel sharing the nomination ticket with Mad Men's Jon Hamm?

A: I wasn't surprised at all he was nominated. The show was critically very well-received, as was ours, and so we're very happy for our sister show and we hope they do well. It would be great if they were able to win best show, and it would be great if Jon Hamm were a runner-up for best actor in a drama series. [Laughs]

Q: Did you ever have doubts that Breaking Bad would return for a second season?

A: Like the nomination itself, I just try to focus on the things I can control. So I leave it up to the TV gods to decide what the outcomes of anything should be, and I was hoping we would get a pick-up because the pilot and the first season were very compelling drama. And a lot of people get the dark humor -- we're getting the kind of avid fan base that can't wait to see what happens next, and that's what you want.

Q: How does it feel to be back on set after the hiatus?

A: It was six months ago that we finished the last season. So it does take some getting used to, remembering faces of your crew members. But once you get past the newness of that, it's like slipping into a pair of old comfortable shoes. We know we're going to be in good hands with the writers and crew.

Q: Season 1 was cut short by the writers' strike. Did this give Vince an opportunity to re-evaluate where the story should go?

A: He had an idea of what he wanted to do for the two episodes that we didn't get to. And because we didn't get to it, all things wash out. It ended where it ended, then he gets a chance to re-evaluate it, think about it over the hiatus and now look at an arc of thirteen episodes as opposed to six. And of course it changes things.

Q: Where would you like to see the show and your character go in the future?

A: I think eventually I'm going to die in this show, and rightfully so. [Laughs]. I deserve it. In the meantime whatever happens, happens. But we can't accelerate a storyline in order to think that we only have this season to tell it. I do know that because of the conditions of the character and what has been established already and what Vince has already stated is that he wants to have a show where your lead character changes. And as he semi-jokingly puts it, he wants to turn Mr. Chips into Scarface. Maybe not that drastic, but interestingly enough not all that far away.


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Re: Interviews

Post by Rob on Wed May 13, 2009 1:31 am

Q&A - Lynne Willingham (Editor)
August 13, 2008
Spoiler:
Editor Lynne Willingham talks with AMCtv.com about her Emmy nomination for Breaking Bad's first episode and the brutal beating that just had to be the finale.

Q: How did you get involved with Breaking Bad?

A: Vince Gilligan and I had worked together on The X-Files for five years, and I was lucky enough to do a couple of things he had directed. We just had a really nice working relationship -- if you're lucky to have a relationship with a director when you're an editor you have a shorthand and it makes things all that much quicker. You're not learning each other, you can get into their head with them, and take it one step further and create a project together. Vince is so good that if you're lucky enough to get a call from him, you make it work.

Q: What in your mind makes the Breaking Bad pilot unique?

A: It's got so many different elements, the first of which is a beautiful story of a man whose world is falling apart. But also in the story you've got drama, you've got comedy, you've got pain, you've got happiness, you've got action. There are a lot of television shows where you can go, oh that's an action-drama or that's a sitcom, but with a show like Breaking Bad it's just covering so much area of emotion and experience you can't pigeon-hole it. And I think when you've got so much going on, then as an editor you're able to show a lot of different things. It's one of those golden moments that clicks, and you're just lucky to be there for it.

Q: Was there any aspect to the show that you found particularly challenging?

A: The X-Files was a great training ground for being able to get a lot of experience across the board. And Breaking Bad was such a labor of love that I didn't find any of it overwhelming. It just was fun. I'm sure much of it was challenging, but it's like when you give birth to a child and you know went through something that was pretty painful, but you never remember it because the outcome was so beautiful. All of it was just a joy.

Q: What's your favorite moment in the first episode?

A: I love the opening. I love the teaser. I think it just rocks. I love how it was written, I love that the pants fly into the scene and we're off. It's like, what the heck is going on here? I think that teaser's my favorite scene of the whole show. I also love Jesse falling off the roof.

Q: The last episode of the first season was not meant to be a finale. Is there anything you had to do with your editing to make it feel more final?

A: To be honest, it had very little to do with editing. They figured it out before they started shooting that we would be two episodes short. That said, I think the emotional impact of the beating became an editing thing. Vince knew what he wanted, he knew he needed it to be violent, and to put Walt and Jesse into a place where they felt totally out of their element. So in editing we asked, how do we make that beating so horrific that we realize these guys have stepped into hell? That helped build us up to a cliffhanger.

Q: This is your second Emmy nomination. Your first was for an episode of The X-Files called "The Post-Modern Prometheus." How do the two compare?

A: I just think they were unique, well-written, and well-acted. When you're lucky enough to have a show that's recognized, the show has to be outstanding on a lot of levels. Film is very rhythmic, the way people talk is rhythmic, so the editing has a lot to do with pacing: Do I cut to this person or stay on another? What does an audience want to see? The overall effect is the editing should disappear, and you should be happy to be in the story. And in both of those episodes I think that happened, and that's what made them noteworthy. The editing didn't get in the way.

Q&A - Robb Wilson King (Production Designer)
January 8, 2009
Spoiler:
Breaking Bad's production designer Robb Wilson King talks about grounding the show's mythical plot in visual reality, Albuquerque's tweaky atmosphere and how to build a 9th floor DEA office in three weeks.

Q: You wrote recently that one of the most important jobs you have on Breaking Bad is grounding the visuals in reality.

A: It's so important that we are real. We travel the fine line between reality and myth -- Walt is a mythical character at this point, and we want to keep him that way. But we can't allow ourselves to get something in there that doesn't have some truth to it.

Q: How do those signature shots, like the one from the point of view of the bathtub, fit in?

A: The motivation there is to keep you in the movie, to delight you, to jar you into a certain sensibility that keeps it interesting. But even in doing that, you're taking great chances that you'll lose the viewer if you get too weird -- we never want to breach the truth. Even though the camera is looking abstractly at something to get the emotional impact of it, it blends with the tweakiness of the story. We're creating our own reality, and hopefully it works.

Q: Does shooting in Albuquerque enhance that tweakiness?

A: Who knew that this place called Albuquerque would find such a story being so at home with itself? As a designer, that's been my greatest pleasure. I've been able to mine all of these things here that virtually nobody has ever seen before. We have the ability to be outside in each episode, really using the landscape, choosing the colors, using the tweakiness of this place to our advantage. It's given me a pretty rich tapestry to work with.

Q: How much of what we see is Albuquerque, and how much have you built yourself?

A: The ultimate thing is to balance it -- to use what's there and add what I call "hyper-reality" to it. So you're grounded by the beauty of the landscape, and at the same time you insert these colors -- these beautiful okras, perhaps, that allow you to perimeter your people. Rarely do we shoot a place the way it is, but that keeps our vocabulary alive. If you really look at these episodes, they're full of little details that you discover.

Q: Do you have a defined color palette for the show?

A: We all love green here -- particularly for Walt [Laughs]. Initially our color palette was organic and earth-toned. It was also very important to create a warm enough color for our universe so that the actors felt real in it. The White house, for example: You had to feel that family had been there for a long time, and it was real for them. We built it in two weeks for the pilot and it's still sitting there. That said, the trajectory of color is very important as the story unfolds, and we go from a brighter universe into a more solemn universe. We still contain ourselves in our own color palette, but we darken it up because the mood is changing, and you want to make sure you're going with the character.

Q: What was the most challenging set for you to build for Season 2?

A: There's an iconic building in Albuquerque -- the city's first skyscraper, 14 stories, which was built in the '50s. And we had a chance to take over the whole 9th floor for our new DEA set, and it's perfect because it shows the roofline of the whole downtown. So in the span of three weeks, we gutted the whole floor and designed an interior that had moving walls, using only one elevator that was only 7 feet tall. You figure out the materials you'd need to do that and have it look good. That was certainly one of our great feats this season, and it's something that keeps us honest: When we're at the DEA, we enjoy every one of those shots.

Q&A - Aaron Paul (Jesse Pinkman)
March 10, 2009
Spoiler:
The actor who portrays Walt's partner-in-crime, Jesse Pinkman, discusses the duo's ever-shifting chemistry and stepping back into his role with Bryan Cranston holding the reins in AMCtv.com's exclusive interview. Click here to read Aaron Paul's interview for his upcoming horror movie, The Last House on the Left.

Q: After a strike-shortened first season, did you ever doubt Breaking Bad would be back?

A: You never know. But honestly, I would be really sad at society if they didn't bring it back, just because I think this show is genius. And even though I think the first season was beautiful, the second season absolutely knocks it out of the water.

Q: Season 2 picks up exactly where the Season 1 finale left off - was it difficult to step right back into the moment?

A: It was definitely surreal, but it was great because Bryan Cranston was the director. So we jumped into something very familiar on-screen and off. And I loved how they started our second season -- how there's no time lost, and you realize that Tuco is just this insane lunatic, more insane than you imagined. Jesse is literally thinking he is not going to live another moment. So now he's just trying anything to survive.

Q: Was it strange to have Bryan directing you?

A: Dude, it was amazing. I truly hope he continues to do this. I would like him to direct an episode each season -- his episode turned out beautifully. How he can step into the shoes as a director and a star is just beyond me. It was a nice way to begin, because we didn't have someone we didn't know directing. I know Bryan very well, and stepping back into this character with him holding the reins ready to make that happen with such an intense script couldn't have worked out better.

Q: How do you think Episode 1 sets the tone for the rest of the season?

A: The first episode is really non-stop, heart-pumping intense, and it just goes above and beyond from there. The show might slow down to give the audience and the characters a chance to take a breath, and maybe think they're okay, and then it just keeps going like a snowball effect. Second season there's a lot more sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll. [Laughs]. That's what we're all about here at Breaking Bad.

Q: It sounds like it's going to get much darker. Does that make it harder to integrate the show's humor?

A: Actually, I thought it became more natural. It's so funny this season, and the circumstances just make it funnier. It's fantastic how you find yourself laughing at such horrible things. Even as an actor reading these scripts, I found myself laughing at things I knew I should absolutely not be laughing about. You'll see. [Laughs].

Q: Do you feel like the chemistry between Walt and Jesse has altered this season? Does it feel to you like they're on a more equal turf in this episode?

A: Yes and no. Jesse's not afraid to bring anything up to Walt. He's definitely going to put in his two cents, like when they're talking about what to do with Tuco. Jesse's idea is young and guff, and Walt's is more sophisticated and scientific. So even though Jesse and Walt are becoming more comfortable with each other, they are still such polar opposites as human beings. There's always going to be that butting of heads and pulling back and forth tug of war. That's what works with these characters. But I think as the second season goes on, they become to truly trust one another.

Q: Vince Gilligan says Season 2 is about chickens coming home to roost. What does that mean to you?

A: Oh man. I think Walt and Jesse are coming into their own -- they're feeling comfortable. Even though they're terrified, they know what's going on. And so many things come their way that distract them or terrify them -- but they do realize that they have something good coming, and they're making good moves. The chickens are coming home to roost. I love that.


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Re: Interviews

Post by Rob on Wed May 13, 2009 1:31 am

Q&A - Bryan Cranston (Director)
March 12, 2009
Spoiler:
The Emmy-winning star of Breaking Bad discusses the difficulties of directing himself in the Season 2 premiere.

Q: Was there any particular reason you directed the first episode back?

A: Last year I wanted to see how it went being the lead in the cast and being in almost every scene. I wanted to see how that would play out, and whether my desire to direct would be beneficial to the show. They gave me this episode only because I needed the prep time. The only time that I, as an actor in the show, could prep properly would be the first episode when we're not in production yet. It wasn't like giving me a place of honor of directing the first show back -- it was chosen out of necessity.

Q: What's it like to direct yourself?

A: I always start by complimenting myself. As a director you come in and tell the actors how good they are. The thing that you have to be cautious about when you're directing yourself is when you're in a scene you can't watch the other actors, so you need to make sure you're getting what you need. I always advised the producers on set what I was looking for, and to make sure that we got it. I appreciate my role as an actor much more after I direct because it's just easier. You're focused on what you as a character want and need and how to go about getting it. As a director you're worried about everyone.

Q: The episode begins with a mysterious shot of a stuffed animal in a pool. How did you approach that?

A: I had to talk to Vince [Gilligan] to say, "I'm reading this information, but I have no idea what it means. Do I need to know what it means?" And it was interesting because he didn't have any specific idea about it - at the time the story was still evolving from a writer's standpoint, and so we talked about it and I just pitched the idea that instead of this bear laying on the bottom of the pool, I wanted it floating - I just thought that image looks a little creepier and a little more interesting. So that was my pitch and they went for it.

Q: There's a stark contrast between the pink bear and the rest of the scene being shot in black and white. What was your motivation?

A: That was actually done in post-production. I shot it in color, but I think they wanted a sense that it was other-worldly. And when you watch it in black and white, it does feel like, "Where are we?" There's a conceit that if you see something in black and white it's out of current, and I think that's why they chose to do it.

Q: What tone did you try to set with the episode?

A: When you're directing an ongoing series, the tone has already been set. So a director will come in and fulfill that tone -- reinforce the characters and their behavior. The challenge is to find unique ways that you can visually tell the story while keeping the established tone and the pace and the characters. I know the tone, the pacing, the characters; so it was just finding interesting visual ways to tell the story that reinforce the mood, or are counter to the mood: The scene where Jesse is freaking out at the hot dog stand, for example. I wanted the little flashing dog in the background where the tail is wagging happily. Then in the foreground you see Jesse who's about to puke. That kind of juxtaposition is always interesting visually.

Q: How did you approach the scene where Walt attacks Skyler?

A: I had to grapple with the idea of how we have our lead character rape his pregnant wife. How is that even possibly justified? I approached it from the point of view where he's so bottled up he can't tell anyone what he just witnessed - the murder of a man. The horror of that doesn't leave his head. He doesn't know what to do. He just needs comfort; he wants to say something, but he can't. We get confused sometimes - that's how I justified it as an actor, and that's how I directed it. Emotions fly around and they hit you a certain way and it doesn't always make sense. And when she finally yells "Stop it!" I wanted him to look like he's in shock. Then there's this long wide shot where he's sitting in a chair outside and Skyler comes out, and it's a lovely shot that helps enforce the loneliness and the chasm between the two.

Q&A - Raymond Cruz (Tuco)
March 17, 2009
Spoiler:
Raymond Cruz explains why his Breaking Bad character had to die, what he'd cook while hanging out in the desert and why he'll never forget playing Tuco in AMCtv.com's exclusive interview.

Q: How did you find out Tuco was going to die?

A: I asked them to kill me. Honestly, I wasn't looking forward to coming back and doing the part. [Laughs]. It's really difficult to pull off. They were like, "We want you to come back and do eight more episodes." And I said, "No. I'll do one more and that's it. You guys have to kill me." They're like, "We never heard of an actor that wanted to die." And I'm like, "You don't understand. This part's really hard."

Q: How did you feel about the way he went down?

A: I love how they did it. Some people are hard to kill. I think it would be really hard to kill this character if you just didn't do it violently and swiftly. The shootout was pretty big and it was a good direct hit. He was willing to face it and he knew it was coming.

Q: In Episode 2, we find out that Tuco cares about someone -- even as he's messing with Walt and Jesse.

A: Right! Dare I say love? For me, it's over. Checkmate. I'm gonna kill them. But I want to watch them squirm. I want to watch them suffer. And then I have to protect my relationship with my uncle who is very vulnerable. I make burritos, try to feed him and comfort him. And all of that is filtered through the gauze of a drug-induced paranoid. So yeah, it's really difficult.

Q: In your own life, do you like to cook?

A: Yeah. One of my favorite dishes to grill is a real thick pork chop. I use some of my mom's homemade green chile. I'll put it on a bed of lettuce with a grilled jalapeno or a small green chile, take it to the point just before it starts to cook completely through and I'll top it with my mom's chile and a couple slices of cheese. Man, it's the best thing ever. Then you cook a small can of chile con queso with tomato sauce and onions and cheese. Man, it's good. Am I making you hungry?

Q: Yes!

A: Growing up there were 5 kids and we were happy to take turns cooking dinner. I cook a really good breakfast too.

Q: Is there any part of Tuco that you'll take with you?

A: The thing that I take away from doing the part, honestly, is the experience of being able to test boundaries on television -- see how far you can push something. You think at any moment the director is going to pull you back and say, "Hey you can't go that far." But with this part, given the dictates of the character, it gave me free reign. I've never experienced anything like that on television before. The closest thing I could think of was when I did this movie, Training Day, with Denzel Washington. We did a scene in the house with a lot of energy, but still that was only for a brief moment. This was so sustained for a long period of time. I think I was very fortunate to have that earlier experience, to get an idea of how far you can go. You're testing your own physical and emotional mental limits.

Q: Did you sustain any injuries this season?

A: I almost broke my nose on the first episode. I wear these boxing gloves around my neck and they have weight to them. When we did the fight scene they swung up and hit me right in the face and broke off the chain -- that's how hard it hit me. I strained a tendon in my left arm from when I was carrying the guy at the beginning. The gun must have weighed about 190 pounds. I try to stay in the best physical shape that I can because I do most of my own stunts. It looks amazing if you can do it, but I don't advocate it because you always get injured.

Q: Did you get to keep the platinum grill?

A: They gave it to me. They encased it in Lucite and they gave me the grill as a parting gift. I have it on top of my mantle.

Q: So, you did take a part of Tuco with you.

A: Yeah. That and the strained tendon.

Q&A - Charles Haid (Episode 2 Director)
March 20, 2009
Spoiler:
Hill Street Blues' actor-turned-director discusses working behind the scenes on Episode 2 of Breaking Bad and his desire to step into Dean Norris' shoes in AMCtv.com's exclusive interview.

Q: How did you end up working on the show?

A: I was up in Montana and we were -- this sounds very strange -- but we were branding cattle. I had already discovered the first season and went, "Oh man, what is this?" They were sort of doing Jacobean revenge tragedies for television. I know that sounds highfalutin but I come from the theater. Anyway a friend of mine was there, [Breaking Bad producer] Karen Moore. She told me she was doing the show and I said, "Oh my God, choose me." I'm running around saying, "Please let me do one. I'll do it." Meantime, I'm running after a cow.

Q: How did you feel when you read the script for Episode 2?

A: Really lucky. The structure of that particular episode is so different. I thought, "Man oh man, I get to do this? I felt like I was working with Samuel Beckett or something. Remember Waiting for Godot? They're out there in the middle of nowhere. Waiting for Tuco. Or it's like Endgame where people are trapped in some kind of hell of their own making. And how do you get out? There's no way of getting out of the place at all. There's no salvation, save death. They made it sort of like a weird little play.

Q: What was biggest challenge?

A: Time and money. It always is. The thing we were most concerned about was the amount of material we had to do out of that house. We did it in 5 days. There was enough talent there to make everything else terrific. Everybody showed up to that house and everybody stayed in that house until we got it, and it was done with very little strain, very few problems. But it was hard as hell to do it because we were in the middle of the g______ desert in that g______ house.

Q: How did you convince the audience that Tuco might actually kill the stars of the show?

A: Raymond Cruz is a Humvee. You see what he does in the episode? That's what I'm most proud of -- that I was able to work with Raymond on that performance. It could have been s___. That performance could have just been over the top and man, that son of a bitch pulled it together. I was just so proud of him. The intention of this episode was to make it so psychologically terrifying. That had everything to do with the acting of it and the writing of it. All I had to do was aim the camera right.

Q: You still do some acting now and then. Will we see you on the show?

A: Oh I don't know. I'd love to be on Breaking Bad but they sorta got me covered because they got Dean. Dean Norris is absolutely amazing.

Q&A - Mark Margolis (Tio)
March 24, 2009
Spoiler:
The Scarface actor discusses the art of emoting with only a bell, drool and bowel movements in AMCtv.com's exclusive interview.

Q: What was your reaction when you saw the character Vince Gilligan wanted you to play?

A: I thought it was a great relief. But then I thought that it would also be also very difficult to stay in touch with everyone when I'm connecting only through bells. I was a student of Stella Adler and then later Lee Strasberg and they were into sensory work. At its best, acting is not about words -- even when the words are important. There's much more going on than words, and it was an opportunity to go completely away from words and yet have a whole existence, a whole life. So I had to communicate by drooling on cue. And then I soiled myself [Laughs].

Q: How did you approach using the bell to communicate?

A: There were moments where I would be ringing the bell critically, to show that I was all up in arms. And there were other places where the ding is meant to mess with their minds. The scene where Aaron [Paul] is across from me during the police interrogation and they're asking me if this was the guy that was there that night: I took a very long time on my own to enjoy Aaron's discomfort. I became a kind of prima donna, because the bell initially wasn't in a position where I could get to it easily with the limitations I have, and the prop people had to screw around with it to get it in the right place. And then later it wasn't dinging properly, even though they can put it in later in post. But I needed it to ding for me. I was kind of a pain in the neck about it.

Q: At one point, you ding out morse code to warn Tuco.

A: Bryan Cranston gave me a suggestion about that in order to give the moment more of a dramatic edge: I start sending an SOS to my nephew, but my nephew doesn't pick up on it and Bryan's and Aaron's characters do. I had been going "ding ding ding, diiinnng, diiinnnnng, diiinnnng, ding ding ding," and he asked me to slow it down so that it would slowly dawn on Walt what I was up to, and it would be frightening for him. And I thought, "God, that guy's smart."

Q: What were you thinking about when Tio is off in his own world?

A: I just gave myself the freedom to go off -- to relive some experiences that I had, because I didn't have to be that connected. I could hear what everyone was saying, but I could go off and dream these things very freely.

Q: What sorts of things were you dreaming?

A: I don't want to go there because some of them were erotic [Laughs]. An old man who still has feelings.

Q: Jesse does say you're upset because you Walt turned off your erotic TV show...

A: That's right! I didn't even think of that. The Telenovela I was watching actually wasn't particularly fascinating -- they were actually screening it while we were filming, and I would go into space just looking at it.

Q: What was going through your head when you crapped your chair?

A: What was going through my head was the joy with which I'd laid that on Dean, so to speak. If I'd had the ability to raise up and just pop it in his face, that's probably what I would have done.

Q: What was the most challenging aspect of the character for you?

A: It was physically painful at times. The way I was set in the wheelchair -- though I had set myself that way -- I developed a back ache on one side. And I couldn't quit what I had gotten myself into because Tio doesn't have the physical ability. Plus, when we were in the shed, there was a place about a mile from us that had hundreds of horses, and because of that the place was crawling with zillions of flies. They couldn't get rid of them -- it was quite horrendous for a lot of people.

Q: And you couldn't swat at them.

A: I could not swat them! [Laughs]

Q: Do you think we'll see Tio's revenge?

A: I don't know. Vince Gilligan sent me a very flattering note and he said he's not making any promises, but he'd love to bring me back. So I guess it'll all be up to him. I joked with him that Dean could take me around to high schools in the show to teach kids that crime doesn't pay.


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Re: Interviews

Post by Rob on Wed May 13, 2009 1:31 am


Q&A - Dean Norris (Hank Schrader)
April 28 2009
Spoiler:
Norris talks about life on the Mexico border, what happens when an actor takes things too far, and Season 2 souvenirs he wishes he had in AMCtv.com's exclusive interview.
Q: You recently starred in a movie about the Mexico border patrol called Linewatch. Between that and Breaking Bad, what have you learned about life on the border?
A: Just that it sucks. [Laughs]. We actually shot that movie in Albuquerque as well. I'm just amazed at how current all that work is turning out to be -- the issue of violence on the border coming up here to the U.S. Beheading is a big thing for those cartels. Having seen it, that's not anything I would want to be a part of. It's like, "I'm sorry, my bad. You win!"
Q: Hank looks pretty natural firing off his gun this season. Are you a gun guy?
A: I do have a couple of guns -- I've got a big 'ole .357 revolver. I'm not as big a gun guy as Vince is - he's a fairly decent shot, apparently. I'd really like to go shooting with him some time just to see. I did a lot of practice with the DEA on a range, and that was pretty fascinating. They had me fire the Glock .22, which is the gun I carry on the show. And then we pulled out the automatic weapons. It was like, alright, let's fire away! [Laughs]
Q: Where did you come up with the concept for the Cop Talk videos?
A: I remember when they had the riots in Los Angeles somebody was quoted saying the scariest thing was all the actors who were pretending to be cops and thinking they were protecting themselves. You know, they've got some gun they've never shot before, running around like they were real cops [Laughs]. Dude, that's for the stunt guys! So I tried to play a version in between Hank and myself: An actor who thinks he knows what he's doing. I think actors who take things too far are funny. I mean, Hank is an awesome guy, but usually I try to stay as far away from him as possible.
Q: Where did you find the cops you interviewed?
A: Those were just a couple buddies of mine. I had a band, and one of the cops was the drummer in our band. I played rhythm guitar because there was another guitarist who was better than me. Anyway, he was the drummer in our band, and his brother is a cop as well. So I got those guys and we just came up with some fun stuff.
Q: All of your online videos feature a lot of improv comedy. Do you get to do any improv on the show?
A: We do a little bit. Without a doubt I'm pretty much the only guy who gets to do it because I end up in situations where I can throw in a few things. Sometimes the lines get in the show, sometimes not. There's a scene in an upcoming show where Walt makes a little toast and it's kind of uninspiring, and I make a little joke about how lame it was.
Q: Now Hank has a blog. Have you ever tried blogging?
A: I'm not sure where or how I would. It's like this Facebook concept: People are like, "Hi I'm going to the bathroom now." I'd need to have more perspective to write a blog. Who wants to read about when I'm takin' a s___? I just started Facebook and the jury is still out. It's kinda cool. But people will post like 8 times a day. I'm just not sure I want to know what all my 100 of friends are doing at any moment.
Q: Hank wears a lot of orange shirts. Do you ever get sick of it?
A: I did get sick of it -- about the moment I started wearing it. They segued me to brown towards the second half of the season, though. I don't exactly know what that means, except that I get to wear something other than orange. Who would wear orange? But I like the brown a lot better -- I've actually taken a couple of those costumes home.
Q: Did you take any other souvenirs from Season 2, like perhaps Tortuga's head?
A: I tried to get ahold of it, but they wouldn't give it to me! It's probably an expensive head. They wouldn't give me Tuco's grill, either. They had a bunch of them, and they gave one to Raymond Cruz, but I didn't get one. I only get the brown shirts, so the prop department is getting a talking to when I get back: "Give me a grill and some head!" That probably wouldn't go over well. I would like a Schraderbrau t-shirt...


Q&A - Bob Odenkirk (Saul Goodman)
April 30, 2009

Spoiler:
The Mr. Show comedian discusses developing the "business mullet," running into real-life Saul Goodmans and doing hard time in prison (for a movie) in AMCtv.com's exclusive interview.
Q: You played a sleazy agent onThe Larry Sanders Show. Do you see any similarities between that role and Saul Goodman?
A: There's a similarity in that both of those guys are wheeling and dealing with other peoples' lives -- and not their own. They don't lose much if they lose: Saul Goodman doesn't go to jail, and a Hollywood agent doesn't lose a job if he f---- up a contract. They're also both performers. Saul Goodman is a bit of a performer in his life. He, like Stevie Grant, is putting on a show for the people around him because it suits his job. So Saul is the chess player and his clients are the pieces on the chess board. As much as he's in their corner, it's a bit of a game to him.
Q: What makes you so well suited to the role of shady professional?
A: It's all about realistic comic acting. Saul is a clown. I thought a lot about how this guy talks, and he fills the air with words because he's thinking on his feet, because he's improvising, because he entertains himself as well as some of the people around him... although they're probably not nearly as entertained as he is by his flash. Like a comedian, he has a cadence to his speech, he's constantly characterizing everything about him.
Q: Did you model Saul on anybody you know?
A: Yeah, I know people like that. I don't want to name names, though. They're probably vindictive type people. I made a movie called Let's Go to Prison, and I got to see the court system -- there's a lot of wheelin' and dealin' that goes on because our prisons are overpopulated. I shot that movie in a prison for months, and a lot of the extras on that movie were ex-cons. In fact, some of them were acting and playing cons in the same prison in which they were incarcerated. I talked to those guys a lot, and they're amazing people to have survived that. There are lots of guys like Saul who are good at what they do, and some people probably need them. I don't know if Walt needs somebody like this in his life, but it seems like Vince [Gilligan] just can't stop thinking of ways to torture this guy.
Q: Have you ever had a need to call Saul?
A: I haven't, but I could imagine myself doing it. I actually met a bail bondsman because my friend went to jail. And he was a nice guy who really knew his job -- knew who to pay, who to talk to. And yeah, you definitely go to the guy who works his way around the system as opposed to the clean guy who just does contracts. You go to that shifty dude and give him all the money you can. This is what happens, man. These guys are real, and some day you too may have to go see Saul Goodman.
Q: You starred in a series of Miller Beer commercials in 2004. Was that experience helpful when you were shooting Saul's commercial?
A: It was, but what was more helpful is that I live in Los Angeles, so I get to see these lawyers on the backs of busses all day long. They always have these big smiles and they usually have one hand holding a phone and the other hand holding a bundle of cash. There are the accident lawyers, and then there are the guys who get you off when you have a DUI. I love those DUI guys -- they'll get you out of any DUI, which is a scary prospect [Laughs]. So I got to do some improvisation for the commercial, and I was thinking about those guys as I walked around my fake office looking like I was reading law books and all that stuff.
Q: Saul's haircut is pretty interesting. Did you enjoy sporting a mullet?
A: I came up with that! [Laughs] I thought he should have a really good mullet -- what I would call a business mullet, which is really clean in the front with a good long comb-over and then a cleaned up mullet in the back that just underscores the fact that he thinks he's still a young man, even though he's really not. Saul is the greatest kind of person to play, because you don't get to be like this in your real life. I'm just a dad, right? I'm takin' the kids to school and going to the office. But Saul Goodman is loaded with bulls--- style.


Q&A - Jessica Hecht (Gretchen)
May 5, 2009
Spoiler:
The actress discusses kissing Bryan Cranston in front of her husband, devising her own get-rich-quick scheme and learning to love a Bentley in AMCtv.com's exclusive interview.
Q: Both you and Vince Gilligan studied at NYU. Did you know each other?
A: We both went to NYU, and I think he was even in my year, but we never saw each other. The drama school and the film school didn't mix. But we have all these points of reference -- although he didn't really love it there, and I loved it. But Breaking Bad came up because my husband, [Breaking Bad director] Adam [Bernstein] was supposed to do a pilot for Vince years ago, and it never came to pass. So when this came up I was like "Sign me up too!"
Q: Adam Bernstein actually directed the episode in Season 1 where you kiss Bryan in a flashback. Was that awkward?
A: You know, Adam and I had never worked together before that episode. And so when it turned out Adam was directing, I was like, "Oh no I have to kiss Bryan!" But it was so easy -- my husband was so far away. Usually he stays close to the actors but for this he stayed back, which was sweet of him. And Bryan was so nuts that he was doing all these things to try to comfort me. Everyone was nervous and excited and it just was deliciously funny.
Q: You had to display some chemistry wherewithal in that scene. Are you good at the subject?
A: I know some. My father was a physicist, and Adam's father was a physicist too, so he's really good at science. He and Bryan were filling us in on a couple things, and I really felt like the odd man out. But since I grew up around a lot of science, I knew to just nod, and nod, and nod. It was great. I always wanted to be good at science, it's just that my dad was so good, and Adam is so good, it just immediately pushes that button like, "Oh yeah, sure."
Q: What's it like have Bryan Cranston curse at you?
A: Oh man, he's a good actor. But it was easy because Vince Gilligan told us exactly what went down between the characters off screen: We were very much in love and we were to get married. And he came home and met my family, and I come from this really successful, wealthy family, and that knocks him on his side. He couldn't deal with this inferiority he felt -- this lack of connection to privilege. It made him terrified, and he literally just left me, and I was devastated. Walt is fighting his way out of going back to that emotional place, so he says, "F--- you."
Q: You got to drive a Bentley this season. Are you a fan of the car now?
A: Oh my God. I don't mean to in any way impugn the makers of Bentley, but that car is nuts. When I do drive, I drive a Toyota Prius. So driving around the streets of Albuquerque in a Bentley made me feel so fake-a-rooney. All the crew members were teasing me, saying I looked like I was born to drive it. But it's kind of delicious to pretend to be somebody that comes from that wealth. That said, the car is very confusing, because the buttons aren't very clearly marked. Putting the windows down was mysterious for me.
Q: Gretchen may come from wealth, but she and Elliott make millions off of Gray Matter as well. What would your get-rich-quick scheme be?
A: I think that if I had some way to make people feel thin for the day, I'd do that. I just saw this woman in the gym who said, "I just never lost that baby weight." And it was so sad to think about how badly everybody feels about themselves. It would be so great to feel good about your body, if only for the day.
Q: Gretchen is involved in a love triangle, so are your characters in Friends andSideways. You seem to gravitate towards those roles...
A: Yeah I guess so! I think I usually play the woman that after the person tries to go for some extraordinary feat of romantic accomplishment, they happily wind up with me. I do feel like I'm a part of these triangles with some really interesting people. I think it's because despite my efforts I look like a hippie, so I get put into these plots where there's a romantic thing going on, but there's a possibility for something unconventional to happen. God, that's so revealing


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Re: Interviews

Post by Rob on Wed May 13, 2009 1:31 am


Q&A - Michelle MacLaren (Episode 9 Director)
May 7, 2009
Spoiler:
The X-Files alum explains how Vince Gilligan's twisted mind transcends genre, discusses cooking meth in the big leagues and analyzes Episode 9's most important character -- the desert -- in AMCtv.com's exclusive interview.
Q: You worked with Vince Gilligan on The X-Files. Has his writing style changed much since then?
A: Not really, actually. On The X-Files, like in Breaking Bad, his episodes were always kind of out there. For example, one of the first X-Files episodes of his that I produced was called "Je Souhaite," which involved a devious genie. Another X-Files episode Vince did was filmed in a replica of the Brady Bunch house. Vince is sick and twisted, but I mean that with all the admiration in the world! If anyone else had told me what Breaking Bad was about, I would have been like, "What are you doing?" But with Vince, I was like, "Great."
Q: This episode was written as an homage to The Flight of the Phoenix. Did you try to mimic any elements from the movie in your direction?
A: I re-watched the movie to understand what the writers were going for. There was a grandiose-ness to it -- you really get the horrifying sense that they are stranded in the middle of nowhere, so I adopted that feeling. They did a nice job in the movie showing the gradual decline of the people physically, and the effect that decline has on their relationships. Will the crisis bring people together or tear them apart? The movie takes place over a longer period of time than our episode, so they were able to break the actors down dramatically. One of the guys actually freaks out and runs into the desert and dies. We weren't there long enough for that kind of drama, but we still accomplish the same thing.
Q: Your episode has a meth cooking montage -- as do several other Breaking Badepisodes. How do you keep that imagery fresh?
A: This montage was different because we wanted to show that Walt and Jesse have hit the big time. I wanted it to look impressive. I gave the montage a lot of movement because it covers several days, and it needed to show that their relationship is evolving. So the camera was constantly moving, almost like a dance. The message is that Walt and Jesse are getting really good at cooking meth, and the ultimate result is fantastic. The way we shot it gets that across. They could have been cooking apple pie! Luckily, meth is visually very interesting.
Q: How accurate is your depiction of the cooking process?
A: It's very accurate. We didn't actually make crystal, of course, but visually it's accurate. There are all these different stages to it, so we had these consultants we talked to about the right way to do it. There's the gray goo stage, the white smoke stage, the blue goo stage. We had a DEA consultant, and another consultant who I don't want to ask where he came from! I would ask him a question about how something was supposed to be done in the cooking process, and he'd say, "Hang on a second," and grab his cell and go around the corner and come back two minutes later with the answer.
Q: You once said that you've known you wanted to be a director since you were 13. What inspired that?
A: I always wanted to be in the movie business, but I didn't know exactly what I wanted to be. When I was producing on The X-Files, my grandmother passed away. My mom was going through old stuff and found a letter I'd written to my grandmother. I'd seen a movie I liked and I said, "I hope I can direct a movie like that one day." I wish I'd written down which movie! But that was my final push over edge into directing. I went out and took classes and really put myself out there. I like producing, but directing is my passion. When I direct, I finish the day and go, "that was awesome."
Q: Had you been to Albuquerque before shooting this episode?
A: I had never been to New Mexico before. I think it has some of the most beautiful light I've ever seen. I've shot a lot of deserts, but never lived in one. The desert, as beautiful as it is, helps the show's dark and depressing premise. It represents danger, death, fear, loneliness, remoteness. Walt is so alone in what he's going though, living this unbelievable lie. And that's all put in contrast to these beautiful vistas and sunsets.


Q&A - RJ Mitte (Walter Jr.)
May 12 2009
Spoiler:
The actor discusses learning how to drive (with one foot), decorating Walter Jr.'s bedroom and turning to the experts for help with his chemistry homework in AMCtv.com's exclusive interview.
Q: We hear you celebrated your 16th birthday on set. What was that like?
A: It was fun. I had a party and I invited the cast and a bunch of guys to it, and we had a great time. I got a new car. That's one of the reasons I'm ready to get back to Albuquerque -- I left my car there. It's a Honda Ridgeline, and I'm missing it.
Q: Did you have as much trouble as Walter Jr. learning how to drive?
A: No, because I've been driving since I was 11. One time I semi-wrecked my Uncle's truck: He told me to back it up into a ditch, but my foot slipped and I gunned it a little too much. But now I use one foot, and I do not run into stuff -- at least I try not to.
Q: Walter Jr. gives himself a nickname this season. Any idea where "Flynn" came from?
A: I know it was an old movie star -- Errol Flynn. It took me a while to figure out where it came from though. I asked Vince, "Flynn? Out of all the nicknames?" And he's like "Well, that's why I picked it." With Walter Jr., you don't see too much of his life. You hear a lot about it, and you question a lot about it, but you don't really see much. I'd like to see where Walter Jr. goes when he goes out. Is he really going to Louis's, or does he go out to some rave in the desert? I think of what ifs -- what would happen if he went to this place or did that? I'm still working on it. There's probably some stuff going on at school that his dad knows nothing about.
Q: Well, Walt knows all about the tequila...
A: Yeah! That was fun, except it was a long day. You don't realize it, but that tube they ran down my back was so cold and big. It ran from my shirt, down my neck, down my pants to an air hose that's shooting up cold fake vomit. It was lovely. The first couple of times, they didn't know how much pressure they should use, so it was shooting up in my nose. So I'd sneeze and all this corn came out. Where did Walter Jr. eat all that corn? I couldn't figure that out, because you'll notice every meal it's always bacon and eggs, and sometimes pancakes.
Q: Last year you took up ballroom dancing classes in your spare time. Did you continue them this season?
A: Not as much. I actually went to a homecoming with a friend while I was out there, so the ballroom dancing paid off. That was a wise choice. I also like to go running in the mountains, which is a big difference from Walter Jr. I feel bad for people in wheelchairs and people who have to use crutches. I hate being immobile. That's one of my biggest fears, to be paralyzed.
Q: Bryan Cranston has said he suspects you're attracting teenage girls to the show. Have you gotten any love letters?
RJ: I have. I won't name names. A lot of the letters will say, "Will you go out with my daughter?" I'm always really polite -- I'll say, "I'm sorry but I'm really busy. Thanks for the offer, but I can't."
Q: You're a big fan of paintball. Have you asked the writers for a scene where Hank takes Walter Jr. shooting?
A: Yes! I've been trying. If you notice in my room on the show, I have some paintball stuff in there. One of my walls has a big target with the paint splatter on it, and I have paintball cartridges in the room too.
Q: You do schoolwork on set. Do you take chemistry?
A: I am actually in chemistry. I'm not into math, though, and this is way too much like math. It's a pain to remember all the chemical compounds, but that's what's so great about working on the show: When I need help with my chemistry I'll go to Bryan or whoever is closest to me and they'll go, "Oh! This is the problem!"
Q: Who's the best chemist?
A: There's Bryan, because he has the most recent training (I wonder why). Jimmy, our Assitant Director is also pretty good at chemistry. Usually I'll go knock on his trailer and say, "Jimmy, what's this?"
Q: Do you think Walter Jr. will get into chemistry at some point?
A: There's a good chance. He might very well turn into the new Heisenberg!

Q&A - Phil Abraham (Episode 10 Director)
May 14, 2009
Spoiler:

A cinematographer and director for The Sopranos and Mad Men, Abraham describes changing the pace of Breaking Bad and living vicariously through Walt's double-life in AMCtv.com's exclusive interview.

Q: You've worked on AMC's series Mad Men. Were you a fan of Breaking Bad before you came on to direct?

A: It's a show I loved from the first season. I was completely bowled over by it and I couldn't watch enough. So when I stepped into that world I could see things I had never seen before. I was like a kid in a candy store: "I've never seen this cool angle of this room before! Let's do that!" I'd never had the experience as a director of going into a show that is already established that I hadn't been a part of initially. I had done The Sopranos, but I'd been so involved in that world because of my work as the cinematographer. Same thing with Mad Men. Breaking Bad was a world I'd only known through the television, and that was definitely fun for me.

Q: Does your work as a cinematographer influence the way you direct?

A: As a director I come to locations and see where the sun is and gravitate toward the angles that I would as a cinematographer: What time of day will we be here? Will it be front lit or back lit? You're used to looking at things through a camera, so you can make your decisions along those lines much more easily. I also had a shorthand with [DP] Michael [Slovis]. We'd go to a location and I'd go, "Michael, I know you're going to hate this, but I have an idea and I can see a way out of it."

Q: Your episode focuses on Walt's relationship with his family. How do you maintain the show's edge when the script moves away from the criminal elements?

A: This was a definitely a quieter episode. Vince was calling it the Mad Men episode because it's more an in-Walt's-head kind of show. But I think those elements that were in my episode are prevalent in all the other episodes -- the dynamic between the family. As far as it being a more internal drama with Walt and Jesse, though, I thought it was a nice change of pace.

Q: Betsy Brandt went into labor while you were shooting. Did you have to make any last-minute changes?

A: That was actually pretty exciting. The day we shot the interior scenes of the party was the day that she was due. We were all crossing our fingers, but we kind of knew once we got through the interior stuff that we had what we needed. The crew had a betting pool, but I had to stay out of it because of conflict of interest.

Q: You worked on the episode of The Sopranos where Meadow gets sick from tequila. Then in Breaking Bad Walter Jr. drinks it. Do you have an affinity for the beverage?

A: What can I tell you? Tequila does that to people. There's actually a famous story involving me and that beverage during the shooting of the season opener of the final season of The Sopranos. But in the time-honored code of film crews, I think I have to say that what happens on location, stays on location.

Q: How does Breaking Bad's depiction of crime compare to The Sopranos?

A: I think they both have a strong penchant for depicting crime with as much gritty realism as possible. Violence is a great background and it ups the ante. But in both shows you have the violence and the drug world along with the family world. And the conflicts those two things present for Walt and for Tony is what keeps the drama going.

Q: The Sopranos, Mad Men and Breaking Bad all have main characters living double lives. Has that inspired any fantasies of your own?

A: I can only wish to be that kind of person. I'm way too straight and narrow to bend the way great dramatic characters do, which is of course why they're so compelling. The whole Don Draper thing, being so mysterious in Mad Men, and then Walt leading this very traditional high school teacher life, but then getting involved in this criminal element -- you know, I suppose people do it. But it's certainly more fun for me to experience it with them dramatically than to think that I would actually be doing anything like that.


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Re: Interviews

Post by Rob on Wed May 13, 2009 1:32 am

Q&A - Giancarlo Esposito (Gus Frings)
May 26, 2009
Spoiler:

The star of Do the Right Thing, School Daze and Homicide: Life on the Streets discusses Breaking Bad's racial politics and his vision for fast food's future in AMCtv.com's exclusive interview.

Q: You starred in Homicide, playing a Baltimore FBI agent dealing with the city's drug problem. How does Breaking Bad compare?

A: I enjoyed Homicide a great deal, so when this opportunity came up, I said this is really the flip side of the coin: Gus is an interesting character, but Breaking Bad is also a very different show. Part of my remorse about shooting in Baltimore was that I had to be shooting in the court system. And within those walls were all black people -- the youth of that generation was lost to drugs. Breaking Bad doesn't depict drugs in a racial way. There are a lot of Hispanics, but still it's a different culture of people. It does share to a certain extent what The Wire and Homicide did. But it's funnier. Out of this horrible situation you get some comedy, and that's what I love the most.

Q: In your career you've chosen roles that tackle racial politics very directly. Do you see that element in Breaking Bad as well?

A: I think it does get picked up, and I'm hoping it gets picked up more. I'm hoping that I am graced with the opportunity to do more, because I think it will come in. What I love about Gus is, although he's a Spanish guy, Gustavo, he is very wise and is already referred to much like our lead character. So I love that analogy. Although he's peddling and has all these businesses, hopefully we'll be able to develop this guy where you'll see a human being who sees an opportunity, and seizes it because of the reward you could get from it. I'd like to see the show touch on the idea of these two characters having a conversation: "Why do you do this? You're hurting your own people." I think it's going to come up -- it's going to turn into a moral, ethical conversation, and I'd be interested to see what Gus's answers would be.

Q: You played a drug deal in Fresh. How does Gus compare to that character?

A: I never like to refer back to anything I've done when I'm working on a character, even if that character has the same occupation. So I feel like these are two very different guys. I think Gus is much wiser than Esteban. Esteban has some passion -- he's obviously on the same track, but he's much more ethnic and much less blended into the American mosaic. Gus is blended in there - he's not trying to hide from anyone. He's legitimized himself, which is the biggest difference.

Q: You starred in an episode of Ghost Whisperer with Aaron Paul.

A: We did - we kicked each others' butts in the alley in a backlot of Universal one night, and I will never ever forget it. When I saw him again we gave each other the biggest hug and he said, "Man, welcome!" It's kind of a neat thing when you see an actor you get along with, it's this loving moment where you know you're safe. I believe acting is very physical, and when you have to fight or do those kinds of things, it takes a lot of respect not to allow yourself to go off and hurt yourself or someone else. And we learned a lot about each other that night - he had a miss on me where he hit me with a two-by-four and he actually got me pretty square across my back. I had a miss on him, and you learn to respect each other. I'm hoping I have more to do with him.

Q: Gus owns a chain of fried chicken restaurants. What kind of fast food chain would you want to own?

A: I'm not too into fast food, but you know if I was, it would be chicken. [Laughs]. It would seriously be Los Pollos Hermanos. I love the smell of fried chicken. I think fast food places will become in our future like what McDonald's tried to do with the playground - they'll be like amusement parks. I predict it! [laughs] They'll have little rides for the kids and the adults, and you wouldn't just go to have a meal. You'd spend a few hours there playing beforehand, eating, playing some more. I think Gus's dream and vision would be to create the fast food extravaganza -- not just an eating experience, but a pleasurable outing for the whole family. And I could totally get on board with that.


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Re: Interviews

Post by Heisenberg on Wed May 13, 2009 9:48 am

Fantastic. I can't wait to read all of these! I'm on the first portion with Bryan Cranston now...
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Re: Interviews

Post by Lparsons7981 on Wed May 13, 2009 10:12 am

I've read most of these, but thanks for taking the time/effort to put all these up.
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Re: Interviews

Post by Rob on Wed May 13, 2009 10:15 am

Thanks, there's lots of others I need to add later as well.
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Re: Interviews

Post by MoFo_Blazed on Wed May 13, 2009 10:19 am

LoL Jesse, the Vanilla Ice layer


A good read. Thanks for the interviews.
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Re: Interviews

Post by easilyjaded on Fri May 15, 2009 1:34 am

Interesting to read that RJ Mitte (Walt Jr) stayed with Aaron Paul (Jesse) for a week. I wonder if we'll ever see these two characters meet? That would probably be interesting and painful to watch!
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Re: Interviews

Post by Rob on Tue May 26, 2009 3:56 am

Got most of them up.
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Re: Interviews

Post by diksee on Tue Jun 16, 2009 5:43 pm

Wow, Rob!!! I agree with Lparsons...you've really put a lot of time & effort in supplying us, with all the interviews!
Thanks! We appreciate it! Very Happy
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Re: Interviews

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