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Monday, August 12, 2013

Dean Norris on Last Night's Breaking Bad Final Scene

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Mon, Aug 12, 2013 at 2:14 PM

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I am a huge fan of Dean Norris who plays Hank in Breaking Bad, and his bravura performance last night was top notch. Here's his interview with Vulture in which he describes filming last night's final and very powerful scene. (Don't fret... no spoilers until after the jump!)

The last scene was really interesting. The first take was really violent and hard. That’s how it was written in the script. Bryan and I thought it turned out okay, but we weren’t entirely satisfied. It was weird that this happened, because usually on Breaking Bad scripts you show up and it’s written in such a way that you kind of flow right into it. But we felt uncomfortable; it seemed like too much. I talked about this with Vince last night. The thing about Hank at that moment was that he feels such betrayal, like your best friend just cheated on your wife, some horrible thing like that.

More (including spoilers) after the jump!

The betrayal angle helped us see the scene as it really was, that it was hurt as much as rage, though the rage is obviously there. And Vince asked me, "What was that great thing where you grabbed the back of Walt’s head?" when Hank says, “All along it was you.” It wasn’t a specific reference, but I realized it was from The Godfather 2 — Michael Corleone saying to his brother, “I know it was you, Fredo. You broke my heart.” And it was like my best friend — well, not my best friend …

But somebody you trusted.

Right. Someone Hank’s known for twenty years — a family member, which is even worse.

At one point, early in the scene, it looked like you were tearing up. Did I imagine that?

I did almost feel like crying, or Hank did at the time, because of the betrayal. And that made the scene work for Bryan and me. And then Walt’s response at the end, “If you don’t know who I am, then maybe your best course would be to tread lightly,” was originally written to be like, “I’m a dying man who runs a car wash,” and then he switches to Heisenberg, and he’s a badass. The direction in the script was that Walt picks up his glasses and walks out of the garage. That’s the way it was written. And if Cranston had done it that way it would have been great; everyone would have loved it because everyone loves badass Heisenberg. And I think it was the writer, Peter Gould, who said to Cranston, “Think about what Hank just said to Walt — essentially ‘Who the fuck are you?’” And Cranston, in his greatness, synthesized that as Walt being sad, too. In the next take, his speech was much more heartfelt — more of a plea than a threat. I think he might have had a tear in his eye. I just saw it last night for the first time, but as I recall, shooting it, he, too, was almost in tears. It was more like he was saying, "Be careful." For real be careful. Like seriously, be careful! [Laughs.]

Read the rest here.

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