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How Breaking Bad's Dean Norris Cleverly Avoided Spoilers In The Scripts

Compared to years ago, it's definitely tougher to be a dedicated TV fan nowadays. There are countless more shows to choose from, all offered on an endless list of streaming channels. Although it's great to have a much larger selection, the over-saturation inevitably leads to a higher chance of cancellation. That's why, when a series hits it big, a new factor comes into play: spoilers. 

Gone are the days when your only worry, about having a TV episode ruined, came solely from an inconsiderate friend or loud discussions among coworkers. Now, fans are forced to take necessary steps to avoid leaked scripts, plot twists, and even stolen fully-produced episodes, just to make sure no key moments are ruined for them. And believe it or not, sometimes the actors themselves, like Dean Norris, take their own steps to avoid ruining the story of the very show they perform in.

Of course, Dean Norris played Hank on AMC's smash hit, "Breaking Bad." This bulky, tough character was hitched to Walter White's (Bryan Cranston) sister-in-law, Marie (Betsy Brandt), and ended up devoting his time to hunting down the drug kingpin Heisenberg, who ended up being Walter, himself. Fans know how tense each episode felt as Hank got closer and closer to finding out the truth, and, according to Norris, despite being the actor behind the actual character, he wanted to feel that same type of uncertainty. That's why he made sure that he didn't spoil the story for the fans — or himself.

Dean Norris stuck to his scenes only

As "Breaking Bad" got more popular, fans needed to avoid more spoilers. For Dean Norris, he had the unique conundrum of avoiding spoilers, despite having direct access to the pre-production scripts. He explained to the Bobby Bones Show that when it came to reviewing the scenes, he stuck to reading his own character's involvement. "I actually would try to not read parts of [my scripts] because I wanted to enjoy the show as a fan on Sunday nights when it aired," Norris said. "So I'd read my stuff, and then I tried to, as much as I could, avoid other stuff." That level of protection became more important as the show progressed, even past Hank's tenure on the show. Norris revealed how creator Vince Gilligan took extra steps to protect the show from spoiler leaks as the final seasons were shot, such as blacking out portions of the script and making actors read the scripts in a special room.

It's nice to know that protection from spoilers was as important to the people involved in the production as it was for the fans. That heightened level of secrecy continued for Gilligan, as the post-series "Breaking Bad" movie, "El Camino," was also kept tightly under tight wrap. Bob Odenkirk told The Hollywood Reporter that he was shocked that no one really knew the film was already in the can. "They've done an amazing job of keeping it a secret," Odenkirk said.