John de Lancie is best known for playing Q in Star Trek, a role he began on Star Trek: The Next Generation and is expected to reprise on Star Trek: Picard. However, many TV fans might also recognize him from his arc on the hit series, Breaking Bad. de Lancie appeared in four episodes as Donald Margolis, the father of Krysten Ritter's Jane Margolis. During a recent interview with Variety, the actor spoke about appearing on the series and shared a touching story about an interaction with a fan.
"I would have loved for that character to have continued," de Lancie said when asked about the possibility of appearing on the Breaking Bad spin-off, Better Call Saul. "Through my career, I was always hired to play the very aggressive, wordsmith-y sort of character, which ironically is difficult for me because I just tend to work seemingly twice as hard as anybody else. That character allowed me to just relax a little bit, and to just feel, as opposed to trying to dominate or bulldoze. But again, you brought it up and I appreciate it and I take it as a compliment, but I just don’t think about it ever. I just can’t."
He continued, "Let me just tell you, it’s very interesting what different characters can do for somebody. In this case, just imagine a 22-year-old, shy, kind of strung-out kid who comes up to me and says, 'Hey, are you Jane’s father?' And I go, 'Uh yeah.' And he’s looking at me kind of askance, and he goes, 'Yeah, well, now I guess I know what my parents went through.' I’m sure his parents did everything to try to keep him from, you know — 'Please, you can’t keep on doing this, you’re going to ruin your life.' And he couldn’t hear any of it, but he could be affected when he saw it in a story. So I’m really happy to have played that role."
Recently, Ritter talked to PeopleTV's Couch Surfing and spoke about Jane's death on Breaking Bad. Jane overdosed on heroin while Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) was sleeping, a moment Walter White (Bryan Cranston) witnessed but did nothing to help.
"It wasn't really until we were shooting it that the whole death around the character hit me," Ritter shared. "So, I knew I was gonna die. I'm reading the script, I'm like, 'Cool, rock and roll, she dies. So fun!'" She continued, "But then you're doing it ... and you're in this death makeup; they built a cast for my chest so that Aaron Paul can really be pounding on my chest. And then Bryan, after the take, you just see him sitting quietly in the corner. It was intense, and I will never forget it." She added, "Talk about cult following ... This show really is the gift that keeps on giving."
Breaking Bad is currently streaming on Netflix.