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"I always looked for damaged characters," Bryan Cranston said comparing his new TV character to his iconic Breaking Bad role

By Claudia Harmata
December 03, 2020 11:18 AM
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Bryan Cranston
Credit: Skip Bolen/SHOWTIME

Bryan Cranston has a knack for playing characters who break bad.

While speaking to Entertainment Tonight on Tuesday, the 64-year-old actor opened up about how his new role as Michael Desaito in Showtime's upcoming miniseries, Your Honor, is similar to his famed character of Walter White from the hit AMC crime drama series Breaking Bad.

"I always looked for damaged characters, I looked for characters that are basically good, but lost their way, perhaps, or have a fatal flaw that connected to their psyche," Cranston told the outlet. "As long as we feel that the character often makes the right decision and tries to be a better person, I think that is what grabs the sentimentality of the audience."

In Your Honor, Cranston plays a New Orleans judge who has to repeatedly break the law to cover up for his teenage son, who gets involved in a hit and run that sucks him into the city's organized crime.

And while his new TV character and Walter White have similar storylines of breaking the law and doing what needs to be done to protect family, Cranston explained how each character is different.

"In Breaking Bad, Walter White methodically designed the path he was going to take. In Your Honor, Michael Desiato has to use his impulses and make a decision immediately on what he was going to do to save the life of his child," the star said. "It's clearly different from my standpoint and why I felt I didn't step into any issues."

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Cranston went on to say that the moral dilemma that his judge character faces is what drew him to the role.

"As a parent... you would go to any length to save the life of your child. And that's what really hooked me when Peter presented this story to me," the actor said. "That's what creates the moral dilemma in this, is that a very noble, righteous person — a judge in this case — is suddenly on a path of corruption and deceit and lying, and things that are so foreign to him and against his true nature. And I thought, 'Oh, that's a juicy role to play.'"

Cranston also addressed rumors that he would be reprising Walter White for a cameo in the Breaking Bad spin-off series Better Call Saul.

"I have no knowledge to that... [None] whatsoever," Cranston said, before adding, "You think I'm lying, but maybe I am, and maybe I'm not."

Though, the actor did previously admit that he would be more than willing to appear in Better Call Saul. 

"I would be in it if Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould, who are co-executive producers on it, wanted me to be in it. I would do it in a second," he told Collider in August. "But it hasn’t happened yet, I can tell you, and we’ll see. I don’t know. There’s one more season to go, and we’ll see what happens."

Your Honor premieres Sunday, Dec. 6 at 10 p.m. ET on Showtime.