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Q&A – Anna Gunn (Skyler White)

Anna Gunn, who plays Skyler White on AMC’s Breaking Bad, talks about what it’s really like to eat dinner with Aaron Paul and a blooper that made it into an episode’s final cut. 

Q: How are you feeling now that Breaking Bad is down to its final episodes?

A: It’s kind of crazy because we’ve been together for the last few weeks. I still have the strange sensation that it’s not quite over, that we’ll see each other again in a few weeks. But it’s not really true. It’s pretty bittersweet.

Q: What are some things that you did to commemorate your time on Breaking Bad?

A: On everybody’s last day of filming, the producers printed out a big poster and had the cast and crew sign it. Everybody had a good cry, and we had a really nice wrap party in New Mexico where all the cast gave speeches. My particular day, Aaron (Paul) was filming something on another set, but he came by and Aaron and Vince and Bryan and I shared a group hug.

Q: Skyler’s come a long way since Season 1. Have you ever had a period in your life where you traveled a little further away from your morals than you wanted?

A: I can’t say I have. That’s what’s great about these characters. They take you to such an odd and interesting place. The whole concept is such an impossible thing to imagine, but there are parallels to everyday life. I’ve never ever been close to having that kind of situation. I can just put my imagination there.

Q: There’s been a lot of talk about how your character hasn’t gotten enough respect — particularly early on in the show’s run. Do you feel like she’s finally getting her due?

A: I think that whatever was going on in terms of Skyler being a polarizing character surprised me, Vince and the writers. We tried to figure it out: Why in the world people would be upset by her? And then she turned, and as that happened, people started to see her as a more foreign and complex being. I think that surprised people as well.

Q: Let’s flip the script. Pretend that Skyler was the one running the drug operation and Walt was more in Sklyer’s role. How do you think Skyler would fare as the kingpin?

A: I think she’d fare pretty well because she’s a smart and strong women. But in the end, I don’t think she’d be able to carry it through. There’s that scene after she walks into the pool and then they’re in the bedroom together, and he’s pursuing her around the room, and he asks her what she’s going to do. She says she doesn’t know, and that she’s not as good of a liar as him. In the end she wouldn’t have been able to fully immerse herself into that Heisenberg character, because I don’t think she has that fully in her personality. I think there’s a voice inside of her that says, “This isn’t alright. This isn’t ok.”

VIDEO: Inside Breaking Bad: Season 5 Episode 9, “Blood Money”

 Q: Can you think back to any happy accidents that occurred while filming Breaking Bad over the past six years?

A: Early on, there was a scene where Walt comes home and he’s feeling all invigorated by his criminal activities, and Skyler’s at home wearing a green facemask. Walt feels turned on, somehow, and he wants to show his wife how he feels about her. He turns and pushes me against the refrigerator door. We had a little pad that he was supposed to push me into, but I missed the pad and so I did a face-plant into the refrigerator. We kept it because it looked really good.

Q: Many people still talk about that tense dinner scene last year between Walt, Skyler and Jesse. Is eating dinner with Bryan and Aaron anything like that?

A: No! Aaron Paul doesn’t shovel green beans down his gullet, and I tend to drink wine more slowly. And we generally have a much better time and laugh and talk a lot more. That was actually one of my favorite scenes. It took a long time to shoot that scene and by the end of the night Aaron said he never wanted to eat a green bean again in his life. And I certainly never wanted to taste white grape juice again.

Click here to read an interview with Aaron Paul, who plays Jesse Pinkman on Breaking Bad.

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