Anna Gunn Talks Her New Film 'Equity' and 'Breaking Bad'

Gunn appeared on 'Popcorn With Peter Travers' to talk about her role in 'Equity.'
19:14 | 08/03/16

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Transcript for Anna Gunn Talks Her New Film 'Equity' and 'Breaking Bad'
32 you. What's that thing that really makes you want to get up in the morning. Well for me I guess the simplest answer is. I like money. I do I like numbers like negotiating I. Love the challenge to the union into a yes. But I really do like money I like knowing that I have. He grew up in house there was not enough. Has raised by single moms were canes. I took my first job on Wall Street so I could put my little Brothers through college. But I am not going to sit here. And tell you that I only do what I do to take care if people because it is okay to do it for ourselves. How it makes so to you. I'm so glad that explain me acceptable for women. To talk about ambition openly. It's too much money feet dirty work. We conduct. Full low everybody. Welcome to popcorn and Peter Travers and we tell you what's happening at the movies and ism. Called equity. It's a movie about. Women on Wall Street and what happens to them when they get to this man's world well if you thought. Hillary Clinton made a crack in the east he might guess Danica inequity and EC that feeling a lot. And it's just the brilliant performance in a movie that you people that's if you can't just keep watching. Superhero and need to see a movie and it's a pleasure. You could. You're two Emmys. Tuned up your body breaking bad but you don't. I think just calm but where are they are that you're behind there truck tire America. There there's something there thankfully. But tell at least at this the before I lose control. And he did say a little bit about where equity is it's just about you're character doing this women. Are the prime force behind this absolutely it was conceived by aid women produced direct dead. And in three really strong now we whirls. So it was. Enormously refreshing obviously eight that no and I tried to get into the screening is that guys. Are we don't want to unite here or there rupture and forget that we did come and watch in yes that's in the waters get. That it's okay. It's I mean that's the thing I think you could it. And these characters could have been easily email. So it's not it's not a chick flick and not a one it's not movie just for women it's it's it's a very. Human story that everybody can understand and and an important story I think that means he told right now and that it's obviously. Enormously. Timely right now as well and I just was drawn into it immediately because I read for good storytelling and when this came. Twomey. I was told it was fantastic Herat and immediately thoughtful it's so it was just so complex and juicy and who do you want who is this mutation that. She is of very successful very ambitious investment banker. And she's been in a real winning streak and she rising to that the top of her profession and I. But we encounter her when she's really come up against her first major failure. And the world's starts actually sort of crumble around her everything she's worked for for twenty plus years. And she comes up against which path to take really at a certain point and it's an enormously interesting in terms of the interplay between three women as well. And I really enjoy that too. Well the thing is that we're really is about a woman as opposed to a man of this happening to because if the guy way had this happen. He would go. It's part of that this exact you know exactly the woman. You eat you know this one failure means you're gonna screw up the rest of your life that's right here re you the. Make that next step in the go to that excellent yeah and you feel that frustration. When I did research for this film I've talked to Barbara Byrne who is saying luminaries on Wall Street and she shared so much. Wonderful. Staff with me and she said that. That. It happens all the time you don't win every time about when your woman do you feel sense of pressure a lot more. And the sense that people are sort of scrutinize who knew a lot more. And what I found so fascinating was that. Naomi is such a confident woman that she season and says okay well you know I lost that lands but I have. The seventeen wings before this I deserve a promotion yeah and goes right in and asks for it and that wind that he says to her witches you know you were perceived as ripping people the wrong way. And it is such a humiliating. I love the fact that she says nothing but there I think she's a character who's pushed. Things down she's contained. You're doing it now and I'm feeling yeah actually I mean I'm an order gonna wind up right at home and what about that and the it's but it is and you understand the rage you and Stan well where it's coming from there's a a speech not just the speech for you as an actor but a speech in the movie in the beginning that is kind of reversed Gordon Gekko. Michael Douglas Wall Street thing where your characters says. Like money now I I liked ambition right I'd like. This business that I'm it and she didn't go in and as a wide eyed innocent. This is tough race I wanna do. Absolutely and I think that. What she says is very important because. I was that it was instilled me ingrained in me by my grandmother my mother to be financially independent. Rilya. Insisted they said this is very important and you have to use and can do it. So that was repeated so much that I went forward into life with the imperative. To do that and I think Naomi has the same thing and she says it. So simply but she says union's single mother and she had four Brothers and she's the oldest and ship and through college she had to step up to plate. So it's not about greed issues actually saying. I needed to do office. And then once I started doing it I found that I really there that it and it's not just the numbers she says she likes numbers and she does. But she also likes. Putting the deal together. Which again in my research barber said. So much of it is psychological. And emotional intuition that that are really reach your client you've got to understand what they need to they need to be. Firmly guide and they need to be deemed to be charming and humorous and and disarming and and things that men don't necessarily have to worry about. And when she's told that she's ruffled feathers. I think that it's not it's the rages. It doesn't happen to men bets. You get that you have to walk that tightrope between and mine being 2 top or am I being too soft. If you are plain spoken and and confident and asserted that she is it's somehow perceived as being. Unattractive borer. And appealing horror off putting was it's like a tiny room while. It and when you when you watch the movie play out but I'm struck by what you said about your own family saying that they wanted you to be financially independent as well. And yet you choose from shouldn't. I now putting out another. But in the over it Ali all actors especially you coming out of the theater and I mean it's raining yet. You're gonna make me I think does Stewart. I know and my parents bus that morning came moments fifteen after having the light bulb moment in an acting class thing in school. And I said I'm going to be an actress and they were very nice that they didn't. Are shouting her. Aching pain. And but they did McVeigh's face we watch it and make sure that we would like it and to go to college. Conservatory. Or you know liberal arts and they want me to do then I'm very glad that it which northwestern. As people on what we do I was doing Lou Harrison's memory and yes I didn't yes. I was doing offense hurricane. Exercise and I was actually. Remembering my brother leaving for college which happened not too long before that and it's very close due to my brother and I had some I'd always been interest I'm I come from a fairly avid readers. And I was am reader and and also I felt. I wanted to be a writer actually first and he threw of short stories and ponds and you know and send them to my grandparents and but that day I actually felt. That that was my way in two story town. And that was. It it just it just felt like something opened up inside me and hope Meriden. That was. Well there you warrants signed up we go look at a clip you're. That's showed that I think is like holding of comedy yet. You're on an episode called the classes where George could stands as some think he seen you kissing another man and not care yet he's now. At a hasn't Jack very cousin Janet. And the horse or it was something and it handling of the violates the aiding and director offer to do that. But when you're honest when you get even it's a small or do you feel. I'm taking the rights that. You I I was taught early on to celebrate the victories to suck people's. And no matter if they feel like their mind you just minor steps that was that felt like a major step. But you've been doing plane in 1990 theater and and feeling like you've really invested in inmate in the that the person and in the story. That is also satisfying announced talked to take those steps and to celebrate the victories on the way because there are priced files and return. Are teachable. I think romantic epic. And you're listening to. I mean did it because we didn't see that I I remember seeing on the practice you know doing TV this is a bigger role. On another one of what it think of the seminal great shows deadwood. Here like school more humane thing. Now. And you're taking steps what's going on here is it just that I'm doing the right thing because I'm taking it one and that. It is thought he I mean sometimes it felt that way sometimes of course you one you feel like what went awry when as again break in land mines and really make the step few hours. Is the leap into what I really want to be doing and for me it really was and I think it felt like I'd worked with David's notes. And then like he'd Lou. Nine years before that he was extremely young men and brought me in for a lot of things which it was not right for. And then Brian Meehan for that role and I remember writing that stagecoach the first day. And it was like actors Disneyland and what they had built. Out at that grants the main street would. And that was my very first shot and I didn't have to do anything but actually looked up and window and just it was it was like and during that time period. And that place. How does bringing bad I heard I've heard you talk a little bit baptists audition but. I want to. Yes yes. Well. I went and to test for an end three years three other women testing as well. And we all had about ten minutes to go and learn to meet Brian and then rehearse with them and Vince was there. And just we just got on immediately Brian we just started laughing and I said you know of the AM they gave me the scene it is only. It's passing and I proves everything. I own. If you can do that scene so we had we have this like ten minutes to serve prepare mentally ill when and we are broad and when the executive's role in there. And I said Brian you know now I just don't feel comfortable with minding the in this situation. And so we pictures next street Jennings at lunch wrap on that. The armed chair a curves at ninth and well OK so why did and he pretended that it was happening down it was big comedy fast which is not rated yet again that rollicking. Also tremendously approach. I don't know given that it's that kind of rich it's true. And yet on what system on downside it's not your fault not the show's fault but you even wrote an op Ed piece for the New York Times about how. A large audience. Started to hate your care why can't they just said. And then the hate when he hit it dead. Why would they do. It was crazy it Erin. It was. As a road in the op it was something I wasn't aware of until people started timing and I said thank you very much for a truck up applauding me. That's I don't let people really aged. Man thank you. But then you know it was that thing and it was being drawn to pandora's box and I opened answered what cannon. And it was so confusing because at first I thoughts. This is my fallen my playing the character anyway and it's making people hate her hand and again that's something I really love about equity. And when AME assesses. She's thinking about you know what her boss sent to her and and why she lost the deal lynch says apparently you know. People didn't like my dress. And that was such. Obviously such a parallel to what I went through. With this. What they called the Skyler patriot team and then when I searched really examine it and thought now it's actually. The narrative is set up that way and the story Schuyler is the ones standing in Walt's way. And the audience was so attached to him and knew him from the inside out while she was a much more. We've covered person carts. Very close to the best. And she wasn't a shrinking violet and she didn't you know ringer hands and Whalen stand in the corner. She walked right up to means that I don't buy it I don't buy this story down by that you're doing for the family. And she was ultimately. Correct but. That's part of why the on insulin which we don't like her because they were rooting for him. But Vince eakins it was disturbing for him he says I didn't. I could he he couldn't understand that I there and you said even after he does. The string of awful things. Still having people root for him while she's shrewd Irish harp he. I think it says a lot of routes. Gender roles gender perceptions. And how far we stone to ago I think we're making strides. When we still have a ways to ago. When you think back on those years breaking. And just about your character is there a moment. That resonates for you especially into this many but one that's sort of says this is where I got close. In my own head to projecting. Who she is. That's a good question I mean I think the moment. There were two moments relayed the moment when I walked into pool. I think Schuyler was so paralyzed at that time and playing that sort of paralysis and understanding. You know at times in my life when I've been. In fear but obviously she was just in the state. Shocked I'm honest and walking into that pool and making that decision that was. Her taking it into her own hands and saying I can play this game is much you can. That moment and then the moment when. He. Takes baby holly and she and sirens out into the street and I just remember the instincts that she has been so strong and she tapped out right. You know for so long and yet it just came it just felt to me that back is the moment that the world falls out from underneath her that's where she fostering means. Ari the show you've first time you've been there's oh lead that. It's. It always ends in a little bit of song. It does I don't their theater person now I never got to see you do assassins or. The beggars opera or any argued that I I only saw you in sex with strangers because after kind of guy handed. I think it's that's got to see it that but you kind of occupied that stage. I don't see it often but sometimes I see an actor on stage who belongs there and. You're that person thank you so I just need anything that's in here it could be Conway if that's not. However hasn't thing in Briscoe. Latin. Is thinking. In your room. Come here have been used at hearings. It is that have there. Chong. Come into music. And didn't like is a cabaret act that you make way. Right I really is and it yankees don't thank you letter. Thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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