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Jonathan Banks Really Wants 'Better Call Saul' To Reveal Mike's Back Story

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JONATHAN BANKS BREAKING BAD
Jonathan Banks Really Wants 'Better Call Saul' To Reveal Mike's Back Story | AMC

We had to part ways with "Breaking Bad" last year, but there are still a few characters we don't have to bid farewell to just yet.

(Spoiler Alert if you haven't finished "Breaking Bad")

Jonathan Banks' character Mike Ehrmantraut might have died (we're still mad at Walt about it), but we'll get to see more of him in the upcoming prequel spinoff, "Better Call Saul."

HuffPost TV caught up with Banks, who has recently partnered with MillerCoors for the new hard cider beverage Smith & Forge. Banks shared fond memories of scaring Aaron Paul, what he hopes "Better Call Saul" will reveal about Mike's son (not daughter!), and where he imagines Mike would be now if he had lived.

“Breaking Bad” fans are still having withdrawals from the series. Do you have withdrawals too?
Absolutely. I’ve done it now, I’m going into my 47th year since I got my first paycheck, and I’ve had my union card since 1968, ‘69, and “Breaking Bad” was just the highlight of a career. It was, in many ways, not only in the quality of what was on the screen, but the people that worked together. It’s absolutely true, it was just a wonderful, wonderful experience.

What do you miss most about the show?
Hmm, well, selfishly, I miss Mike. I’m really like Mike as well. What a wonderful antihero. It was such an honor to be able to play him.

What’s your favorite memory from the set?
That’s a tough one, because I’m telling you, we had a good time. We had a really, really good time. I must say though, because he’s about to go and do this movie [“Need For Speed”], Aaron [Paul] and I were out in the desert together in my old car. I would drive and I took great joy in scaring Aaron and throwing the car around in the desert and spinning it. One time the kid said to me, “You know you have a very heavy foot,” which made me only have a heavier foot. But Aaron and I had such a good time, and we laughed and we laughed and we laughed. I love Aaron, he’s just the best.

Would you say you taught him any driving tricks for “Need for Speed”?
No way, nothing. [laughs] No, I’m not a good teacher. I may be a good scarer, but not a very good teacher.

If Mike had gotten away in “Breaking Bad,” where do you think he’d be right now?
Mike would be now, on Costa Blanca in Spain, in a town called Javia, with a beautiful Spanish woman. In the summer he would go to places where he could listen to jazz at 2 o’clock in the morning and the Mediterranean lapping off the rocks just about fifty feet away.

Why did you decide to join “Better Call Saul” and play Mike again?
Well, when Peter Gould talked to me and, you know, it’s Vince [Gilligan] and Peter Gould’s creation, and we’re gonna have the same writers. You know, you just couldn’t be in better hands. And so, for all the guys, let’s go and whatever happens, let’s have a good time.

Will we find out how Mike and Saul met?
I suspect. You know as much as I do at this point. I am not one before something starts, or even during, to ask for a script. I know that the first two outlines came out. So I’ll look at ‘em sometime this week. I enjoy that first script, I enjoy being surprised, without any preconceptions about what I might want to think. I mean I do know what I want. I do want them to reveal something about Mike’s son. Back when I let my granddaughter out of the car with balloons, and I said to her, “Go to your mom.” Vince Gilligan was directing that week and I said to Vince, “That may be her mom, but that is not my daughter.” Because I have a feeling that one of the reasons Mike’s dark side is, is that it has to do with his son. We’ll see if Peter or Vince or the rest of the writers will write to that, I don’t know. If I had a choice I think I’d kinda like to see that, but that’s the only thing.

Mike went through so much and saw so much in “Breaking Bad.” What do you think it will be like to return to that character before all of that happened?
I don’t know, I just don’t know. I know that we better get back there pretty damn quick, because I ain’t getting any younger. [laughs] You’re gonna go, Mike look’s a little older, it’s supposed to be, you know -- so I better not drink too much, I better not smoke, I’ll eat my blueberries. What can I tell ya?

Vince Gilligan has said he wants to get as much of the “Breaking Bad” cast back as possible for “Saul.” Any updates on who else will return?
I honestly don’t.

There just has to be a Walt cameo, doesn’t there? Maybe Mike needs to get his car washed …
Yeah. And my guess is, all of us, we would do anything for Vince. We’ll maybe not anything, but pretty close to it. So, yeah, that wouldn’t surprise me at all.

Netflix plans to stream the series once it airs on TV, which means there’s going to be a ton of binge-watching. Do you binge-watch much?
I do. The first thing that comes to mind -- I’m a big “Boardwalk Empire” fan. I also watch “The Tudors” that way too, which historically sometimes, they just make me angry, but I did enjoy it. There’s so many good things out there now that I have on my list to watch. I think it’s a great way to watch and you get to watch three, four hours at a time.

You’ve had cameos on so many TV shows, from “Castle” to “Modern Family” to “Parks and Rec.” What’s your dream show to guest star on?
Umm, well I want more than a cameo, cameos aren’t much -- I want to take over the whole show! No, I really do like “Boardwalk Empire.” Some of those guys, Shae [Wigham] and Michael [Shannon/Pitt], that whole group, what great actors they are.

What led you to partner with MillerCoors for their Smith & Forge hard cider?
First of all it was a phone call, and then the product itself. You gotta try it, it’s good stuff.

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