Jonathan Banks, an actor nominated for an Emmy, portrays Mike Ehrmantraut, the stern right-hand man of Gus Fring. In an interview with the New York Times, Banks described his steps to develop this famous character and how he got the Part of Mike Ehrmantraut in Breaking Bad.
How Jonathan Banks got the part of Mike Ehrmantraut
I used, in part, people I grew up with and feared or respected. It always sounds a little too dramatic to me when someone says, “My neighborhood, I grew up this way; it was tough.” I got hit quite a bit and got a lot of punches in the mouth.
It gives you a certain amount of; I wonder if it provides you strength, but it doesn’t leave you surprised when you’re suddenly in a fight or get hit. As far as Vietnam is concerned, sniping is a part of Mike’s life – I have several close friends who have gone.
Many guys have come back that I know have been badly injured from their experience in combat. And one of my friends just walked into Arlington Cemetery about a month and a half ago. It’s something I’ve never experienced: I borrowed it from the people I’ve seen.
Banks feels very much in control of the role and thinks that playing a role in Better Call Saul and Breaking Bad has altered his personality.
Mike is mine. And the simple thing to say is, if I think about it, maybe Mike changed Johnny too. Jonathan Banks, playing Mike, has gotten quieter and less rowdy. And by silence, I think I listen a little more than I did 12 or 13 years ago.
I wouldn’t say I like to use the word witness, but that’s what comes to mind. It may have influenced me as I’m a little more patient. Perhaps this comes with age anyway.
Jonathan Banks is still upset about Mike Ehrmantraut’s scene in Breaking Bad.
The first thing that comes to mind is in Breaking Bad when Mike leaves his granddaughter in the park and runs away. There were moments when I said, “Oh, I think Mike wouldn’t do that.” But I’ve found, many times, that what the writers told me, if I deferred to them, made sense.
I still have difficulty relating to the moment Mike left his granddaughter in the park. And I was like, “No, Mikey would never leave her granddaughter .” And, of course, the reasoning is that the police department is right there in the park. They will take care of her and give her back to her mother.