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

http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Ian-McKellen-Mr-Holmes.jpg
Ian McKellen on CGI, the One Character He Wants to Play and Why He Doesn’t Like Being Called “Sir”
"Each part will have its challenges and I like that because if you're trying to solve a problem you're fully engaged" - Ian McKellen
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/kit-harington-game-of-thrones.jpg
Kit Harington: “You got into this job to play roles and depict characters, celebrity is an unfortunate side effect”
“I kind of weirdly fell into being an action hero…I have no f— idea how that happened. You have to remind people that you want to act rather than just run around" - Kit Harington
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/dustin-hoffman.jpg
Dustin Hoffman: “It’s the worst that film has ever been – in the 50 years that I’ve been doing it”
“I was a freak accident, so I got a lead that happened to be The Graduate and it was like a light switch went on and I was an instant star" - Dustin Hoffman
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/channing-tatum-magic-mike-xxl.jpg
Channing Tatum’s Reddit AMA Covered Everything from ‘Magic Mike XXL’, His “Bad” Acting in ‘Step Up’ and Frozen Poop
"I do get nervous to act, it kind of depends on what it is really." - Channing Tatum
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/true-detective-taylor-kitsch.jpg
Taylor Kitsch on Living Up to Season One of ‘True Detective’ and Sleeping on New York City Subways
"I had someone very close to me say to me that hopefully I’ll have many more ups and downs, not in just my career but in life. If you don’t have that, you’re not taking enough risks." - Taylor Kitsch