Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad

Breaking Bad kicks off its second season Sunday (9 pm, AMC) with Bryan Cranston returning to his Emmy-award winning role as Walter White — and taking the character to even darker places.

A struggling high school chemistry teacher, White started making crystal meth last season to provide for his family when he was diagnosed with cancer. As the second season begins, he worries that a crazed business associate may kill him before he can die from the Big C — a development typical of the show's darkly comic tone.

In this interview, Cranston tells us about White's mind-blowing character arc, and why his frequently pantsless character gets to wear even less this season.