‘Better Call Saul’ Star Jonathan Banks on Breaking Records and 5 Other Emmy Nominee Questions

“Mike has been Mike for a long time,” actor tells TheWrap about character he originated on “Breaking Bad”

better call saul mike
Jonathan Banks as Mike Ehrmantraut – Better Call Saul _ Season 1, Episdoe 9 – Photo Credit: Ursula Coyote/AMC

Jonathan Banks has received a Best Supporting Actor Emmy nomination for playing Mike Ehrmantraut on two different shows, “Breaking Bad” and spinoff “Better Call Saul,” but the actor hopes that’s where the character’s journey stops.

Kelsey Grammer holds the record for nominations as the same character on three different shows — Frasier Crane on “Cheers,” “Frasier” and “Wings” — and Banks has no aspirations to compete with his friend.

“I hope I don’t play the same character on three different shows!” the actor said, laughing. “Kelsey’s wonderful, Kelsey’s a friend and more power to him.”

On the way to begin filming Season 2 of “Better Call Saul,” Banks talked to TheWrap about which of his co-stars he thinks was snubbed in this year’s race, what his victory song is and what to expect for Mike in the future.

Who do you think got snubbed, either on your show or otherwise?
Michael McKean was pretty darn good. I’m sure if we run another season, Michael will be there. He’s doing a great job.

Did you have any naysayers when you were first coming up whom you want to rub all this success in the face of?
Do I? Probably. Is it a useless exercise? It is. What was I thinking of the other day: when you first wake up and you’re half-awake and you’re thinking, who am I angry with over the course of a lifetime? And you just think, ‘It’s not worth it.’ You just forgive. You just forgive.

If you win, what would your victory song be when you’re walking up to the stage?
My victory song … Bunny Berigan’s “I Can’t Get Started.”

Kelsey Grammar was nominated for playing Frasier on three different shows. To match him you have to play Mike on one more show. Which show would you like to see him on?
I hope I don’t play the same character on three different shows! [laughs] Kelsey’s wonderful, Kelsey’s a friend and more power to him. But I’ll tell you, nobody in the history of 67 years, has been nominated for Best Supporting Actor for two different shows, but I’ve been nominated for Best Supporting Actor for three different shows. A bit of trivia, but still kind of fun.

Better Call Saul is tonally a bit different from Breaking Bad — have you played him differently?
Mike has been Mike for a long time. He was formed a long time ago. Probably in the prequel to the prequel, Mike was already pretty hard.

What can you say about what’s coming in Season 2? Any chance of Walter or Jesse returning?
You know I can’t tell you anything! [laughs] What can I tell you? There will be more reveals about Mike. I’ll just speak for my character. We learn a little more and a little more.