Brighton Magazine

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Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Saturday 02 January 2016

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


Environmental activists placed more than two-hundred pairs of shoes outside Hove Town Hall to symbolise the numbers killed or seriously injured every year in Brighton by air pollution and road traffic accidents.

Green councillors joined Brighton residents in Hanover and Elm Grove to create a 'pop-up parklet', a temporary mini-outdoor space with chairs, cushions, a rug, plants and decorations. 

Towner International - Eastbourne's Towner's inaugural contemporary art biennial - hopes to address how artistic communities are recording and responding to the economic, political, cultural, and environmental changes that are unfolding across the world today. 

Two Brighton-born digital companies are celebrating a joint nomination for a national award in recognition of their pioneering support for local loneliness charity, TogetherCo during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A community charity campaign, launched last month to support Sussex charities, not-for-profit groups and services that have felt the devastating financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, received an incredible response from the public who nominated local charities and then voted for the winner.

Paloma Faith wrote most of the songs for her forthcoming fifth album, Infinite Things, before the Covid-19 pandemic swept the world. Then the world went into lockdown, and she ripped them all up and started afresh. 

Death was a subject that had long fascinated Tunng's Sam Genders; a preoccupation not born out of the macabre so much as a curiosity about the fundamental purpose of existence — but also a hesitancy he had noticed around others' grief; a wish to be supportive in the right way, to say the right thing in the face of loss. 

Around one hundred mums, dads, kids and grandparents took part in the colourful family-friendly “bike swarm”, which began at The Level before progressing down the Old Steine, along Madeira Drive, then west to the West Pier.
Credit Magnus Andersen

Rising Icelandic singer-songwriter and one-time Brighton resident, Axel Flóvent, calls Reykjavík home, but also the inspiration behind his upcoming full-length debut, You Stay By The Sea
Credit Pooneh Ghana

Having used the internet as their playground in pioneering ways for the last six months, Glass Animals have decided to reimagine their live show to create a one-time-only virtual gig/experience. 

A cutting-edge series of video masterclasses aimed at demystifying the process of writing music for young people has launched. 
Credit Olivia Rose

Mercury Prize 2020 shortlisted Kiwanuka looks inward and out, across widescreen sonic landscapes constructed in recording studios in London, Los Angeles and New York, and provides a showcase for the honey-poured mahogany of Michael Kiwanuka's voice.

Entrepreneurial theatre performers from Sussex could be among those to benefit from a much needed lifeline to artists whose careers have been left devastated by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Credit Jodie Canwell

"I love where I live," says Teesside-born singer-songwriter Tom Joshua. "It's a rousing group of towns to be from – these songs just wouldn't exist away from home."

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