AVC: Do you think there’s a parallel between what Walter is doing, in creating a personality that encounters the world for him, and what actors do in dealing with the attention by developing a public persona?
JF: Yeah, yeah, a survival tool. I don’t know about persona. I don’t know if that’s a direct parallel, but I do think that the beaver is a survival tool that helps him survive his childhood, it helps him survive pains that are untenable, suffering that’s untenable, that helps him feel vital and want to live again, and approaches the world in a way that he’s not capable of anymore. He would like to be remote, so he finds a beaver that is remote. He would like to be macho and blue-collar and all these things that would make him feel better about himself, and wouldn’t make him hate himself so much, so the beaver is the opposite of everything Walter hates about himself. Then when you do that, you come up with this persona that can kick ass, this is your survival-tool persona. It can win, to quote Charlie Sheen. [Laughs.] Walter is a loser, and he wants to win, so he adopts something that is bulletproof in some ways, but that survival tool will kill you. Eventually, you have to get rid of that and face who you really are, and evolve beyond needing that thing, which is hard, because that’s the thing that loves you, that’s the thing that sacrificed for you and killed for you and was there for you when nobody else was.