When Your Honor launched in 2020, it marked Bryan Cranston’s first TV leading role since his iconic performance as Walter White in Breaking Bad.
Now on its second season, the drama series follows the story of Michael Desiato, a sensible, law-abiding judge who finds himself breaking the rules – and the law – to protect his family after his son Adam is involved in a fatal hit-and-run and the victim turns out to be the son of a vindictive mob boss.
“What really got me interested in playing Michael Desiato initially was the concept of ‘What would you do to save the life of your child?’,” Cranston explains in an exclusive interview with Digital Spy.
“Any loving parent that I know would do anything, and I would too – I would lay down my life to save the life of my child. Would you become a criminal if that meant you would save the life of your child? And the answer would be yes, I would.”
Your Honor was originally intended to be a 10-episode mini series, and it ended in a devastating way, with Adam shot dead in front of Michael. Cranston and writer/creator Peter Moffat felt there was more story to be told, however, and an idea for a second (and final) season was put forward.
“The first season ended in a tragic way that was very compelling, very appropriate,” says Cranston. “I thought I loved the way it ended. I didn’t realise or didn’t conceive that there was a way to really get another season out of it.”
“But then Peter Moffat pitched an idea and I thought, that’s pretty good. And so we went with it. It was basically the idea of the first season. My character Michael Desiato compromises his principles, he loses his soul – really his understanding of what’s right and wrong. So the second season then explores the idea, can a person who does lose their soul be redeemed? Can a person be forgiven?”
“I personally believe it is a strength of the human experience to ask for forgiveness, and to grant forgiveness. It’s something that I think our greater society on this planet is lacking right now. Empathy, understanding, decency, patience – these are qualities that I think should be admired and respected as opposed to being perceived as soft or weak.”
Season two introduces us to a very different Michael than the one we met in the first season, and to begin with he isn’t looking for forgiveness, or anything else. He’s lost everything – his son, his job, his way of life – and he even looks different with wild hair and a bushy beard, an indication that he no longer cares to take care of himself or even wants to go on any more.
“He’s lost his sense of place in the community and the honour that he has,” Cranston explains.
“The first season, we put the audience through the wringer, we really did, and this season we explore grief and despair in a way that I think a lot of people who are feeling those feelings will relate to, as well as being very entertained.”
So can he tease anything about how Your Honor will end? “I think it’s going to end in the opposite direction of where the first series ended. In a very honest, authentic but perhaps hopeful way. An ending that’s for everybody – well, maybe not for everybody, but for a few people,” he laughs.
This season’s 10 episodes are the final ones in Michael’s story and there are currently no plans for a third season, but would Cranston return to the role if the right story came along?
“Never say never,” he says. “If someone comes to me and says we want to do a third series of Your Honor, I’d be willing and open to hear it. But it would have to be a really good reason, just like the reason to do anything.”
Meanwhile, Breaking Bad fans can rejoice as Cranston is revisiting his most iconic role, Walter White, on February 12 – in a Super Bowl commercial for popcorn chips, alongside co-star Aaron Paul. The pair are recreating one of the series’ most famous scenes in Walt and Jesse’s RV meth lab, from the season-two episode ‘4 Days Out’.
So, is it a joy for Cranston to pop on the famous black pork pie hat and glasses and play everyone’s favourite crystal meth-cooking science teacher once more?
“I went back as Walter White in the series Better Call Saul because it was appropriate, and I thought it would be fun to go back and see all the people and to wear those shoes and those glasses and the bald cap again,” he says. “I was like, ‘yeah, I’ll do that.’ And then now we have a Super Bowl commercial for PopCorners, and it was so much fun to do.”
“You know, in shooting a drama like that you don’t have a lot of opportunities just to have fun. And to be able to get back together with Aaron and Vince [Gilligan, Breaking Bad’s creator] and the whole crew from Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul to make this commercial was so much fun to do.”
“Instead of crystal meth, we’re baking these PopCorners [in the RV], and you know – it’s a very tasty snack,” he adds, laughing.
Вижте тази публикация в Instagram.
Breaking Bad fans have been going wild over the images of Cranston back in character as Walter, but would Cranston revisit any other roles from his career, such as dad Hal from Malcolm In The Middle?
“You know there is that saying, ‘never say never’? Right now in my position I would consider anything,” he says. “I’m open to hearing anything. So who knows?”
Your Honor season 2 launches on February 3 with episodes 1-3, then one episode weekly, exclusively on Paramount+ in the UK. The series airs on Showtime in the US.