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Director Rian Johnson Details Working With Bryan Cranston On Breaking Bad

Rian Johnson has emerged as one of the most bold and exciting filmmakers of the 21st century. From his debut with the neo-noir high school murder mystery "Brick" to his suspenseful time-travel thriller "Looper" (which would admittedly make a great name for a website) to his successful Benoit Blanc whodunnit franchise kicked off with "Knives Out," Johnson has become a household name for film fans.

While many "Star Wars" fans took issue with Johnson's take on the galaxy far, far away in "The Last Jedi," the filmmaker's projects are nearly all still almost universally acclaimed by critics across the board. Furthermore, as the writer-director continues to expand the "Knives Out" franchise with Netflix's "Glass Onion" while also planning out more "Star Wars" films, it would seem that the future is bright for Johnson. Still, one of the filmmaker's most memorable projects was his stint as a director on the hit AMC crime drama "Breaking Bad."

Rian Johnson says Bryan Cranston is a force of nature

Rian Johnson stopped by Marc Maron's WTF podcast to talk about his many projects with the actor and comedian, and it wasn't too long before Maron asked him what it was like working with Bryan Cranston on "Breaking Bad." The filmmaker directed a Season 3 episode of the AMC series entitled "Fly," and he spoke glowingly of his experience with the series.

"That was fun. That was really fun," Johnson recalled. "And the fact that I got to just do this concentrated, almost like a little stage play with Bryan and Aaron, I got to work so intensely with those two actors and I had the challenge of like, 'Okay how do I keep this visually interesting in this space.'" 

The tenth episode of "Breaking Bad" Season 3, "Fly" was written by Sam Catlin and Moira Walley-Beckett and is essentially a bottle episode. It follows Walt's obsessive need to kill an insect that has infiltrated his superlab. Johnson had particularly high praise for Cranston, describing the actor as "a force of nature."

Johnson went on about Cranston effusively, saying, "That dude's just incredible. He's amazing." He didn't stop there either, also marveling at the actor's process and how effective he is as a performer. "There's no, like, ramping into it," Johnson went on. "It's incredible seeing someone who is that good and who can just dial it in and turn it on like a switch. I'm sure there's more to it, but the fact that he keeps it behind the scenes and in his head, it's absolutely incredible."