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Breaking Bad's Dean Norris On That Intense Shootout Scene In Season 3

"Breaking Bad" is full of iconic moments. The AMC drama, which focuses on chemistry teacher turned meth cook Walter White (Bryan Cranston), has its share of them, including  Walt letting Jane (Krysten Ritter) die, Gus Fring's (Giancarlo Esposito) explosive death, and many more. Another one of the show's most memorable moments is the shootout between Hank (Dean Norris) and the Salamanca twins, Leonel and Marco (Daniel and Luis Moncada) in Season 3, Episode 7, "One Minute."

Looking to avenge the death of Tuco (Raymond Cruz), the Salamanca twins track down Hank in a parking lot to kill him. But Hank, having received a warning call from Gus, is prepared and spots the twins before they attack. When one of them tries to shoot Hank through the car's back window, Hank backs the car into him, trapping him between two cars. After taking the first twin's gun, Hank then faces off against the second twin. Hank gets shot several times, but ultimately makes it out alive when he shoots the second twin in the head, instantly killing him.

It's an undeniably intense scene and lasts a gripping six minutes from the time Hank gets the warning call to when he kills one of the twins. Seeing as it's such a memorable scene of the series, one can only imagine how memorable it was for Norris to film it.

Norris says the scene was challenging but fun

In July 2013, during an interview with NPR, Dean Norris discussed, at length, what it was like to shoot the ending scene of "One Minute," in which Hank faces off against the Salamanca twins. Norris began by noting that, because the scene is basically wordless, he had to rely on facial expressions to get across what his character was feeling. "It was all done by our eyes, and being worried, and being scared," Norris said. "And the director [Michelle MacLaren] literally just would talk me through the scene, would put the cameras on and say: 'Look scared, look left, look right, look really scared. Now you're relaxed a little more, now you're really, really, really scared.' It was an amazing scene to do."

Further, Norris explained that there were a lot of external elements going on that added to the intensity of shooting the film, such as the logistics of shooting a fake bullet through a car window. He also noted that a lot of pressure came with shooting this scene because of all the cameras involved and the fact that it was an expensive scene.

The actor continued, "There are all these external things that are going on, and you're just trying to stay in this character's head, so it was a really challenging and fun thing to shoot." Then, unsure how exactly the scene would all come together, Norris was positively pleased when he saw the final product. "They put that scene together in just a phenomenal way," he concluded. "Something about that scene, even if you know the ending of that scene, you can still watch it and you'll get chills right up to the end."

Director MacLaren says she was worried for the actors while shooting the scene

In an interview with the Insider podcast for "Breaking Bad," director Michelle MacLaren and Dean Norris, alongside the episode's writer Thomas Schnauz and creator Vince Gilligan, broke down the process of filming "One Minute."

MacLaren let viewers in on how they made it look like one of the Salamanca twins was stuck between two cars, explaining that the set production team built a special rig inside one of the cars so that the actor could sit inside the trunk. They then had fake legs hanging down to give the impression that he was sandwiched between the two cars.

After Gilligan noted what a crazy stunt that would be for any actor, MacLaren confessed that shooting the scene made her a bit nervous. The director said, "It looked so violent with Daniel [Moncada]. I got worried."

However, as it turns out, she had nothing to worry about. MacLaren continued, "After we cut, I ran over and said, 'Are you alright? Are you alright?' and he goes, 'Yeah, I'm fine, I'm fine.' And, still to this day, I don't know!"