On Thursday, the show’s cast sat down with Entertainment Weekly to discuss the beloved drama 10 years after its premiere on AMC. Much of the cast is also scheduled to join series creator Vince Gilligan for a panel at San Diego Comic-Con in July to chat with an audience about the show’s legacy.
During the interview with EW, the subject of Jane Margolis (Krysten Ritter) came up. (Do we need a spoiler warning for an episode of TV that aired nine years ago? Spoiler warning, just in case.) Specifically, Jane’s unsettling death scene sent Cranston on a disturbing walk down memory lane.
“I remember that scene more than any other scene that we shot,” Cranston said. “Because while Jane was dying, I’m seeing Krysten Ritter give her all and her face kind of blends away and I saw my own daughter’s face come to light and die in front of me. It was so upsetting and you couldn’t shake it.”
In the scene, which aired during the second season, Cranston’s Walter White sees Jane vomit from a drug overdose while sleeping on her back. Jane begins to choke, and instead of turning her over so she can breathe, Walt opts to let her die next to her slumbering boyfriend, Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul), for his own personal gain.
Before filming the scene, Cranston said he was making notes to better understand what his character was going through emotionally. One that he jotted down was: “Why should I save her? Well, she could be my daughter.”
“And somewhere in my subconscious that came to the conscious level,” Cranston told EW. “And there she was. My own daughter dying in front of me, and to this day that makes my heart feel heavy.”
During the interview, the cast also revealed that this was not how the scene was originally scripted. Initially, Walt was supposed to sneak into Jane and Jesse’s bedroom, see Jane vomiting while sleeping on her side and then push her onto her back so she’d choke and die.
“Well, I thought she would be more comfortable,” Cranston quipped during the EW interview.
But according to Cranston, Sony and AMC had a conversation with Gilligan in which they all agreed that the scene was “turning Walt too quickly” into his evil alias, Heisenberg ― and that after such a move, so early on, there would be no turning back for Walt.
Instead, the scene was changed so that as Walt tries to shake Jesse awake, Jane rolls onto her back, turning the scene into the emotionally poignant one it is today. It was a choice that much of the cast agreed with.
“I think they made a good decision,” Paul said.
Well yeah, bitch.
To see the interview in full, head over to People TV.