'Breaking Bad' Cast Finds Light Moments In Dark Material

With its focus on cooking meth and the sometimes awful repercussions of deciding to do so, AMC’s much-lauded drama “Breaking Bad” definitely isn’t a sitcom. But the members of its cast say they find ways to keep each other laughing behind the scenes.

“It’s fairly intense, but we keep it light on the set,” said Dean Norris, the actor who plays lawman Hank Schrader (and the corrupt town leader in CBS’ smash “Under the Dome”), making his way down the red carpet July 31 at New York’s Walter Reade Theater for a celebration of the series’ final season by its network, AMC and The Film Society of Lincoln Center.

Washing off the characters is important, said Anna Gunn, “I have two kids, and I can’t bring that home.” She and Bryan Cranston often take time to plot out their scenes but also to stop and joke, which keeps the on-set mood from getting too dark , she said.

The cast can be fun, said Aaron Paul. “It’s suprisingly light on set,” he quipped, citing his co-stars – “the family” – for not letting the source material weigh people down.

The actors are gathering for some of their last moments centered around the show. AMC is set to run the last eight episodes of the program. Actors said the network gave creator and executive producer Vince Gilligan the freedom to end the program on just the right note, “down to a T,” said Cranston. RJ MItte, hinted that audiences might find something to keep them going in the series finale, rather than feel they were watching the absolute end of the story.

If you need more proof violence and drug addiction can be left behind, just look at cast members Bob Odenkirk and Betsy Brandt, both of whom have moved on to comedic roles. Odenkirk said he is working on a new project for cable outlet IFC called “The Birthday Boys,” which is supposed to be a sketch-comedy showcase. Brandt is set to co-star on NBC’s new “Michael J. Fox Show.

And the party had crashers. Who turned up on the carpet just before showtime but Warren Buffett, who flung his arms around Aaron Paul. No, it wasn’t a meth-induced vision, just something funny that took place around actors who learned a lot about what can happen when you can’t stay sober.

Filed Under:

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more