Michael McKean Recalls How Bryan Cranston Advised Him to Take 'Better Call Saul' Role

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Michael McKean attends the Build Series at Build Studio on April 10, 2017 in New York City.

Michael McKean says he got the offer to star in the Breaking Bad prequel Better Call Saul while he was working with the original show's star Bryan Cranston in the stage play All the Way.

"I was drawn to the part because [show creators] Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould asked me to do it," McKean told UPI in a recent phone interview.

"I was already a Breaking Bad fan. I knew Vince from years ago on The X-Files, so, of course, I was going to do it. [Breaking Bad] was one of the most highly regarded TV series of all time and it was just ending when I was working with Bryan Cranston in Cambridge, Mass. We did All the Way where he played Lyndon B. Johnson. We did that in Cambridge and then later in New York and, when we were doing it in New York, that's when the Better Call Saul... the news about that show following Breaking Bad came up and Bryan was actually the one who kind of told me about it. He said, 'You know, they're going to call you and you should really do it.' And even without him saying that, I would have done it anyway."

6 'Breaking Bad' Characters We Want to See on 'Better Call Saul' (Besides Gus Fring)

6 'Breaking Bad' Characters We Want to See on 'Better Call Saul' (Besides Gus Fring)

As 'Better Call Saul' enters Season 3, we are taking a look at some of our favorite 'Breaking Bad' characters we want to appear on the drama along with Gus Fring.

The series follows Bob Odenkirk's struggling, New Mexico lawyer Jimmy McGill, who has a strained and complicated relationship with his brilliant, older brother Chuck, played by McKean.

"We tried to create a real pair of brothers -- a real sibling rivalry that wasn't a cliché, that was complex and was about parental acceptance. It was about individual ambition," the 69-year-old explained. "It was about jealousy and it was about barely sublimated rage and when you get a couple of lawyers dealing with family trouble, they invariably get into their profession. They get elbow-deep in the kind of open-air hostility that it's not just casual anymore. It's not just every Thanksgiving we have this argument. It's every, single day is about deflect and attack and parry and thrust."

Co-starring Jonathan Banks, Mark Margolis and Rhea Seehorn, Season 3 of Better Call Saul starts Monday night on AMC.

Giancarlo Esposito and 'Better Call Saul' Castmates on How They Kept Gus Fring's Role a Secret

Giancarlo Esposito and 'Better Call Saul' Castmates on How They Kept Gus Fring's Role a Secret

Despite his efforts to go incognito while filming in Albuquerque, Giancarlo Esposito was recognized a few times.

Breaking Bad, featuring Cranston as chemistry-teacher-turned-drug-kingpin Walter White, ran for five seasons 2008-13. Odenkirk played White's lawyer.

By Karen Butler

Originally published in UPI Entertainment News.

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