At any point did your relationship with the role turn right into a feeling of ownership?
Yes. Mike is mine. Mike is mine. I caught myself almost for a moment choking up while you asked that. And I feel the honest thing to say is that if I actually give it some thought, perhaps Mike has modified Johnny, too.
I feel Jonathan Banks, by playing Mike, became just a little more silent, just a little less rambunctious. And by silent, I mean, I feel I listen just a little greater than I did 12, 13 years ago. I don’t wish to use the word witness, but that’s what’s coming to mind. I feel he possibly affected me in that I’m just a little more patient. Perhaps that comes with age anyway.
Was there ever a time where you bought a script and thought, “Mike wouldn’t do that”?
There have been moments that I went, “Oh, I feel Mike wouldn’t do this.” But I discovered, quite truthfully, a number of the times that what the writers were telling me, if I deferred to them, it made sense.
The very first thing that involves my mind is in “Breaking Bad” when Mike left his granddaughter within the park and had to flee. And I used to be going, “No, Mikey would never leave his granddaughter.” And after all, the reasoning is, the police department — they’re there within the park. They may handle her, they’ll return her to her mother. I still have a troublesome time with Mike leaving his granddaughter within the park.
There’s a scene in “Higher Call Saul” last season where Mike is reading “The Little Prince” to his granddaughter, Kaylee. It’s a passage where the little prince says, “My flower is ephemeral, and she or he has only 4 thorns to defend herself against the world.” What do you’re thinking that this scene means for Mike?