According to Jonathan Banks, the main thing that sealed the deal for his return as Mike Ehrmantraut on Better Call Saul was being able to explore his inner demons surrounding the death of his cop son, Matty, which was largely touched upon in Season 1. Banks sat down with Decider in April 2020 and discussed the motivation behind the return.
“So the years went by and Peter Gould called me and said you were with Better Call Saul,” Banks recalled. “He said you remember when you were talking about your son and I said, ‘Yes.’ Well in better call saul season 1 episode 5 it was revealed that mike is responsible for the death of his son i mean that pretty much sealed it for me i loved the character anyway but i thought so , we’re going to get into his backstory and where Mike is from and some of the backstories I’ve been into.
Speaking to The Washington Post in a July 2022 interview, Banks described how Mike is a complicated character that he’s always enjoyed playing, even if his actions are sometimes violent and morally wrong. “Well, I love this character. That broken, broken character,” Banks said, noting how some of the themes and situations Mike went through in “Better Call Saul” and “Breaking Bad” were also recognized in his own life. “You know, you wake up in the middle of the night and you regret things you did, you know, in junior high school, for goodness sake, or before — a lifetime and you can’t change it,” Banks described then sees himself as a “hypocrite” for trying to get ahead in life, especially when it comes to certain things he knows he can’t change.