Brighton Magazine

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Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Tuesday 24 November 2015

Life After Breaking Bad: Jonathan Banks Interview

In heart-warming, family-drama Watercolor Postcards, actor Jonathan Banks shows his softer side as homely, small-town barkeep Ledball. The Breaking Bad star talks childhood, values and his joy at reprising the role of Mike for Better Call Saul.

"I"ll give you an example the way I was raised," begins Jonathan Banks in his trademark, measured drawl, "I was raised by a single mother who, if there was a flower trying to raise its head up through the sidewalk she always pointed it out to me. 

"And I learnt from her to take joy from the simple things and appreciate how lucky we are." 

As you would expect from a man who has been working in Hollywood for 48 years, Banks is unmoved by fame and hype. 

Unfortunately he has been unable to avoid the former since his turn as Mike in the modern day phenomenon that is Breaking Bad. 

His new film Watercolor Postcards tells the story of a precocious, young girl named Cotton who following the death of her mother comes to rely on her estranged sister and the local townsfolk for comfort and a sense of family. 

Among them is Banks' character Ledball, the local bartender and general purveyor of wisdom. 

The film was written, produced and starring ex-NFL player turned actor Conrad Goode, who Banks refers to as one of his "dearest friends in the world".

In a lot of his recent roles this sense of paternal wisdom has come through; For Cotton, Ledball becomes a grandfather figure, and when asked if he applies his own experience as a father to his roles Banks says:


"I'm a father of four and I would imagine at this stage there is a lot of instinct involved just from life lived that transfers itself. You know, you try to be kind. You try to be kind to a child."

Breaking Bad has recently been inaugurated in Washington DC"s Smithsonian Museums, something Banks considers to be a great honour, saying: 

"We have the hazmat suits, some crystal meth and a whole display about Breaking Bad. 

"The slang term, or the nickname, for the Smithsonian, which is magnificent, is 'the nation's attic', so we're in there with I Love Lucy. I'm just thrilled because I grew up in Washington."

Next year will see Better Call Saul return for season two on Netflix. 

The show has been a huge hit and was up for for seven awards at this years Emmys, including Best Supporting Actor for Banks. 

It also gave Banks and co-star Bob Odenkirk (Saul) a chance to tell the backstory of their respective Breaking Bad characters, an opportunity Bank's says he jumped at:: 

"I wanted to go back and do Better call Saul because Mike's story had not been completely told. 

"You get to back and reveal how Mike lost his soul and the terrible things that have happened to him so I was thrilled to reprise that character."

For Jonathon Banks Breaking Bad has been an unexpected revival in a long and fascinating career, so how does he feel at still being offered roles that he loves? 

"I'm lucky. Wildly lucky."

Watercolor Postcards is out now on DVD courtesy of Simply Media.

by: Mike Cobley


Steve Punt, Charlie Condou and Philip Franks are set to star as The Narrator in The Rocky Horror Show, which visits Brighton, next month.
Members of Brighton’s One Voice partnership, that brings together communities including faith groups and minorities to tackle racism and intolerance, has met following the recent Paris terrorist attacks.
It was straight down to business when Paul Weller took to the Brighton Centre stage, last Friday night (20th November 2015).
On Monday 23rd November 2015, a new weekly evening show is launched on Brighton's community radio station RadioReverb – and it's especially for Irish citizens living in the city. It's called What's The Craic?
Pic by Heather Buckley
Brighton charity Same Sky has raised a third of its £6,000 crowdfunding target, for Burning the Clocks 2015. 
Fans of Alan Partridge have reason to rejoice as Brighton resident Steve Coogan is resurrecting his legendary character in 2016. After the success of the movie Alpha: Papa and the original run of Mid-Morning Matters episodes, there is more Alan coming our way.
The Closer We Get is a powerful and exquisitely-shot autobiographical portrait of loyalty, broken dreams and redemption told by its director, reluctantly-dutiful daughter Karen Guthrie, who takes you under the skin of the household she returns to for this long goodbye.
“Take me back to dear old Blighty, Blighty is the place for me…” Blighty Brighton, the new e-book from QueenSpark Books, is a collective memory of Brighton and Hove during the First World War including posters, photographs, pictures, songs and personal recollections. 
Two British filmmakers are hoping to reverse long-held prejudices against the Islamic Republic of Iran with a new adventure film Karun, portraying their unusual journey through the country. 
He is best known for playing socially inappropriate and hopeless-in-love anti-heroes. From Gary Strang in Men Behaving Badly to the eponymous lead in Doc Martin . The real Martin Clunes however, is far more charming and lucky in love…
Esmee Drake, 14, from Brighton, was born six weeks prematurely, without an oesophagus and with a hole in her heart. She is profoundly deaf and couldn't sleep at night – too afraid of the silence in the dark.
Brighton Dome's annual season of boundary-breaking audio-visual work - earsthetic - has been awarded £3,000 by the PRS for Music Foundation, the UK's leading charitable funder of new music and talent development across all genres.
Brighton Youth Centre has launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise £20,000 to build a brand new 'state of the art' indoor skate park.
Long cherished by fans and critics alike, Thea Gilmore's 17-year career has seen her profile and audience grow with inexorable momentum since her first album, Burning Dorothy, was released when she was just 18.  

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