Breaking Bad’s Dean Norris Went to Harvard and Has Always Played 10-Years Older Than His Real Age

dean-norris-breaking-badDean Norris has turned out to be one of the more compelling characters on AMC’s Breaking Bad, playing DEA agent Hank Schrader but it was difficult for Norris to choose acting as his career.

“It was a tough decision, because I went to Harvard, and I was the first kid in my family to go to college—and my parents didn’t go to college,” he told NPR.  “So on one level, you’re like, wow, here’s the lottery out of the lower middle class by getting this ticket into Harvard.  And I had a choice to either go into investment banking or pursue acting, and I talked to a lot of people.  I had done some plays with the American Repertory Theater there in Boston, so I had other professional actors who were making a living…and I asked them what they thought my chances were.

“And I figured these guys all made a living.  They didn’t make as much money as someone on TV or film, but I said, I’m standing backstage in some tights and a codpiece, watching grown men onstage, and it was just electric.  There’s 800 people out there, and there’s just something magical about being backstage, ready to go onstage, and all your colleagues are out there.  And I said, man, if this is as good as it gets and I can do this the rest of my life—be a repertory actor—I’d be a happy man.”

However, Norris has been faced with some typecasting issues in his career.  “Well, you know, if you stop in any doughnut shop, and you see three cops eating doughnuts, one of them is gonna look like me,” he said.  “I don’t know why that is…but I guess you have a certain look, it’s kind of an authoritative law enforcement-type look, and that look is certainly the first thing that people cast you with before you get a chance to do some acting.”

Not only does Norris have the face of a cop, he also has the face of someone slightly older.  “I was always playing 10 years older than I was because I was losing my hair, and I just had that kind of look,” he said.  “So I was playing 35-year-olds when I was 25, always playing 45-year-olds when I was 35.  And I always felt when I got into my mid-to-late 30s, that would be the time when I would be playing characters that fit who I was…I think people kind of hit their peak when they’re young, and I have no complaints because I made a really good living…I would rather be having all this stuff happening now than having had it happen at 25 and not happen again.”

Breaking Bad airs on AMC, Sundays at 10 p.m.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Latest Videos

http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/bill-hader.jpg
Bill Hader: “I kind of fell into acting” (video)
Bill Hader, starring in the soon to be released The Skeleton Twins, talks about the film and how he fell into acting and then got “crazy lucky” in this quick video from USA Today. Share on Tumblr
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/director-john-carney-narrates-a.jpg
Director John Carney Narrates a Scene from ‘Begin Again’ Starring Kiera Knightley and Mark Ruffalo
Director John Carney (Once) narrates a scene from his new film, Begin Again. Starring Keira Knightley and Mark Ruffalo, the scene shows the first time the two characters meet. I haven’t seen it yet but I’ve heard it’s great.
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/holler-if-you-hear-me-gma.jpg
Watch the Cast of Broadway’s ‘Holler If You Hear Me’ Perform ‘California Love’ on GMA
The cast of Broadway’s newest musical, Holler If You Hear Me with music from Tupac Shakur, performed on Good Morning America this morning. Singing ‘California Love’, the cast (including the teriffic Christopher Jackson – read our interview here), show why they’re the most energetic and inspiring group of actors on Broadway. Holler If Ya Hear [...]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/behind-the-scenes-of-dawn-of-the.jpg
Behind the Scenes of ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ with Performance Capture Actor Terry Notary
Actor Terry Notary is 1 of 5 actors playing the apes in the new Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. “When you see armies of apes,” he says, that’s “five of us.” Check out the video where you can watch his performance capture work.
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/melissa-mccarthy-daily-show.jpg
Melissa McCarthy and John Stewart Talk About Terrible Commercial Auditions on ‘The Daily Show’
Melissa McCarthy stopped by The Daily Show last week to plug about her new movie, Tammy. She talked about how she loved working with her husband, Ben Falcone (director of Tammy) and then segued into talking about some horrible working situations. The always hilarious McCarthy then started to tell host John Stewart about a particular [...]