NEW YORK -- Bryan Cranston will sit in the director's chair one last time for his AMC drama "Breaking Bad."

In an interview Tuesday, Cranston said he will direct the ninth episode of the show's fifth and final season, which begins July 15 and will air split over two summers. That break in filming gives the actor time to put on his directing hat before the second half airs in 2013.

"As an actor on the show it's really, really difficult – if you're in it a lot obviously – to be able to prep so I take opportunities before we're actually in production shooting," he says.

Cranston, who won three back-to-back Emmys for "Breaking Bad," also directed the first episodes of seasons one and three of the dark series about chemistry teacher Walter White, who turns to cooking meth to help support his family after he's diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. The actor also directed an episode of ABC's "Modern Family" and seven of his former Fox comedy "Malcolm in the Middle."

Cranston says in season five viewers will see an increasingly remorseless Walter White complete his journey from a hapless high school teacher to a full-fledged drug lord. "He's feeling very basic things: control, power, dominance. Those things and those ugly factors have come to the surface."

Co-star Aaron Paul plays Jesse Pinkman, a former student and meth dealer White teamed up with to help start his drug operation. Paul says Jesse is not happy with the changes in his partner: "There's something else that is driving Mr. White now. It's not just making money. It's something else."

Cranston said he would be willing to star in a "Breaking Bad" movie if there is one – but at this point they don't know if their characters will be around to make a film, because only creator Vince Gilligan and his writing team know how the series ends.

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  • Dean Norris as Hank Schrader

    "Breaking Bad" Season 5 Exclusive Gallery Photo.

  • Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman

    "Breaking Bad" Season 5 Exclusive Gallery Photo.

  • Jonathan Banks as Mike Ehrmantraut

    "Breaking Bad" Season 5 Exclusive Gallery Photo.

  • Bob Odenkirk as Saul Goodman

    "Breaking Bad" Season 5 Exclusive Gallery Photo.

  • Betsy Brandt as Marie Schrader

    "Breaking Bad" Season 5 Exclusive Gallery Photo.

  • RJ Mitte as Walter White Jr.

    "Breaking Bad" Season 5 Exclusive Gallery Photo.

  • Anna Gunn as Skyler White

    "Breaking Bad" Season 5 Exclusive Gallery Photo.

  • Bryan Cranston as Walter White

    "Breaking Bad" Season 5 Exclusive Gallery Photo.