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Bryan back in director's chair for Breaking Bad VIOLENCE: Bryan Cranston in dark US drug drama Breaking Bad

BRYAN Cranston will sit in the director's chair one last time for his cable TV drama Breaking Bad.

Cranston said he will direct the ninth episode of the show's fifth and final season, which begins July 15 and will air split over two summers. That break in filming gives the actor time to put on his directing hat before the second half airs in 2013.

"As an actor on the show it's really, really difficult -- if you're in it a lot obviously -- to be able to prep so I take opportunities before we're in production shooting," he said.

Cranston, who won three back-to-back Emmys for Breaking Bad, also directed the first episodes of seasons two and three of the dark series about chemistry teacher Walter White, who turns to cooking meth to help support his family after he's diagnosed with terminal lung cancer.

The actor also directed an episode of Modern Family and seven of comedy Malcolm In The Middle.

Cranston says in season five viewers will see an increasingly remorseless Walter White complete his journey from a hapless high school teacher to a full-fledged drug lord.

"He's feeling very basic things: control, power, dominance.

"Those things and those ugly factors have come to the surface."

Co-star Aaron Paul plays Jesse Pinkman, a former student and meth dealer White teamed up with to help start his drug operation.

hnews@herald.ie