That laugh. Dean Norris could have revealed what happened in the final episode of Breaking Bad, but I wouldn’t have heard it; I was too busy trying to hear that explosive laugh of his. It fits the man, or at least the characters he plays on TV: big, boisterous, attention grabbing.
Norris has good reason to be so happy, too: this Sunday marks the return of Breaking Bad, Under the Dome continues to be an incredible hit for CBS, and he was in Terminator 2: Judgment Day AND Gremlins 2: The New Batch, so he wins. Yesterday, I spoke to Norris over the phone about Hank Schrader, Big Jim toilets, fantasy football teams, and tracking down Hank’s (Walter) White Whale. And yes, he laughed, and yes, it was great.
One of your first big scenes is when you take Walt on a ride-a-long? Did you go on any of those yourself, maybe even with Albuquerque officers?
You know, I didn’t. We had the full support of the DEA at the time, and we had some technical advisers who took us out shooting at a range and there are buildings and houses you kind of take over. But we never went on an official one, no — I’m not sure they’d even let me. I’m sure that’s some sort of liability issue. *laughs*
Earlier today on Twitter, I noticed someone asking that because you play a fake DEA agent, do you have any hook ups for a real DEA job? What’s the weirdest fan request or Hank artwork you’ve seen?
I get a lot of nice requests and I get a lot of strange requests on Twitter. But most of them are asking me to tell them to “f*ck off,” which is very strange, but funny. As for the artwork, I’ve seen some really good stuff. I’ve seen a lot of artwork of me sitting on the can, and Cheetos, and of course most of all, rocks vs. minerals.
What was your reaction when you first saw in the script “Danny Trejo turtle head”?
I love Danny Trejo, and I just thought that was such a Breaking Bad moment. He was such a big guy and it would have been fun to play with him for awhile, which it was, but I thought that in conjunction with what Breaking Bad does, it was such a startling thing to read. It was awesome. You think the head on the turtle is bad enough. Any other show would have stopped there. But Breaking Bad does the Spinal Tap thing and takes it to 11 and it blows up. That was just spectacular. That was one of my favorite scenes.
I like that: it being a Breaking Bad moment. Because it’s true — dramas will be compared to Breaking Bad once it’s gone; it’s become synonymous with a certain kind of surprise and greatness.
It’s true. I’ve always thought Breaking Bad does a bunch of things great, different kinds of styles. We do really intimate moments and they’re tender and they’re nice, and then we’ll do these crazy big, operatic moments, like blowing up the head on the turtle. It’s a cool show in that it’s able to do both. And funny moments, too.