'Breaking Bad' actor Jonathan Banks to visit IU during homecoming week

Plans include teaching a master class and giving a public talk at IU Cinema

  • Oct. 14, 2014


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Actor Jonathan Banks will return to the Indiana University Bloomington campus this week in a visit that coincides with the 2014 homecoming celebration. He is scheduled to speak at IU Cinema on Monday, Oct. 20, about his long film and television career.

The "Breaking Bad" actor was originally scheduled to speak at the cinema in April, but illness forced a change of plans.

Banks is best known for his recent TV roles as Mike Ehrmantraut on the award-winning drama "Breaking Bad" and as professor Buzz Hickey on the NBC comedy series "Community." A veteran character actor, Banks frequently has been cast as sinister types and villains over the years, though he received critical acclaim for his role as officer Frank McPike in the 1980s television series "Wiseguy." Banks also had a role in the popular film satire “Airplane!” 

Banks attended Indiana University in the 1970s. At the time, he appeared in a production of "Threepenny Opera" with fellow alumnus Kevin Kline.

"Jonathan's main motivation to return this week is to connect with theater students, both at the graduate and undergraduate level,” said Jon Vickers, director of the IU Cinema. "He has told me several times how important his time here at IU was to him. He feels that he may be able to offer the students some wisdom collected from his 40-plus years in the business."

The actor is scheduled to conduct a private master class Oct. 20 in the Department of Theatre, Drama and Contemporary Dance within the College of Arts and Sciences. He also is expected to attend several homecoming weekend events, including the dedication ceremony for the Ernie Pyle sculpture at The Media School at 2 p.m. Friday, Oct. 17.

Jonathan Michaelsen, chair of the Department of Theatre, Drama and Contemporary Dance, will conduct a public on-stage interview with Banks starting at 3 p.m. Oct. 20 in the IU Cinema. Highlights from his film and television career will be shown, and the audience may participate in a question-and-answer session after the interview. No tickets are required for this free event, but seating is limited.

"Banks has had a long and outstanding career as an actor in both movies and television, and the students Banks will be working with on Monday will receive professional insight and knowledge of acting for the camera. This is the kind of opportunity that is invaluable for our students," Michaelsen said.

Banks' visit has been made possible by IU'Office of the President.

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Jonathan Banks

Film and TV actor Jonathan Banks will appear at IU Cinema on Oct. 20.

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Media Contacts

Jon Vickers

  • IU Cinema
  • Office 812-855-7632
  • jwvicker@indiana.edu