'Better Call Saul's' Jonathan Banks: Mike Is "The Dark Thread" to 'Breaking Bad'

The gritty fixer will continue to inject edge into the lighter AMC prequel.
Ursula Coyote/AMC

Mike (Jonathan Banks) is far from done.

The Better Call Saul fan favorite finally stepped out of the parking booth last week, with his sad backstory told in a series of flashbacks — and a monologue on par with his famous "Half Measures" speech from Breaking Bad. Mike admitted to his daughter in law (Kerry Condon) he was responsible for his son Matt's death, and that he killed Matt's murderers. 

The episode was a big departure for Saul, with fans noting it almost felt more like an episode of Breaking Bad.

Mike will continue to be a major presence in Monday's episode, with clips showing he's still under suspicion for murdering the men who killed his son, and Jimmy (Bob Odenkirk) is mixed up in it all.

See more 'Better Call Saul': See 'Breaking Bad' Easter Eggs You Missed

In a chat with The Hollywood Reporter, Banks reveals what shooting that much-praised monologue was like and where Jimmy and Mike's relationship is headed moving forward.

What was shooting that long monologue like?

You try to be true to Mike. You do the best job that you know how. To be on stage, and do it night after night, there are some nights maybe you don't like as well as others. Do you get to do a second take when you're doing television? You do. But as soon as that night is over, a soon as that scene is done, that's it forever. So I went into it with as much preparation as I know how to muster and it's never enough.

Writer Gordon Smith said the crew applauded when you finished.

I haven't seen it [THR spoke to him ahead of the episode], but if I see it, I'll probably tell you, "I wish I could have done this," but I went in. I've done this for 47 years. Maybe  48 now. I don't know, I'll quit counting here pretty soon, and I try to bring my best.

Read more 'Better Call Saul's' Jonathan Banks Teases Mike Backstory: He "Has Lost His Soul"

Do you wish Mike could do more long speeches, or would that detract from when he chooses to deliver them?

If you're going to do them, they have to be well-chosen, because Mike is a man of very few words and obviously he runs very deep and very pained. You only do so much of that, because Mike certainly wouldn't cry for himself, but he would cry for his son.

What is next for Mike and Jimmy going forward?

At some point they connect, and there are more jobs to be done. That's where Mike's going.

What is the most fun you've had on Saul so far?

The most fun is yet to happen. It's going to come around the ninth show. That was a lot of fun.

See more 'Breaking Bad': 25 Most Badass Quotes              

Why is Mike working in a parking lot when we first see him in Saul? Is it out of guilt for what happened to his son?

He shows up in town, and he's gotta get a job. You've got to get some money. It's that simple.

Do you want Mike to do more action, like in the shootout?

Mike is the dark thread to Breaking Bad. Do I want to do more of that kind of drama? Sure. Why not.

Better Call Saul airs at 10 p.m. Mondays on AMC.

Email: Aaron.Couch@THR.com
Twitter: @AaronCouch 

comments powered by Disqus