Though Dean Norris‘ Hank Schrader on Breaking Bad might be one of the least “evil” characters on the show in terms of the law, that might not be saying much considering the show’s lead character is Bryan Cranston‘s Walter White, a meth-dealing high school chemistry teacher.
He spoke to Rolling Stone about dealing with the constant evil the cultural phenomenon is seeped in and how real-life nice guy Cranston manages to turn on his dark side.
Norris admits that all of the dark material on the show does get to him. He gives examples, pointing out, “Starting in the second season, when Hank was having PTSD, and very much so in the middle of Seasons Three through Four, when Hank got shot and he’s depressed and mean to his wife. One day, I was mean to Betsy [Brandt, co-star who plays Hanks wife]. My wife goes, ‘Oh, you better apologize to her!’ [Laughs] I did. I said, ‘I’m sorry if I was short with you.’ You know the concept that if you wear a mask long enough, you become that thing? Bryan said, ‘It’s because you’re living as Hank for 15 hours a day.'”
But Norris confesses that he’s marveled by Cranston’s ability to turn on “Heisenberg” — the meth-dealing alter ego of Walter White — at a moment’s notice. He reveals, “I sit there with Bryan, we chit-chat about the kids, and in a flash, he’s Heisenberg. We all do our own preparation but Cranston does it in a way that I like, too – I don’t walk around all day being a dick. And Cranston doesn’t need to be Heisenberg all day, at lunch, in order to do what he does, and he obviously does it as well as anybody.”