Information Diet: Dean Norris

'Breaking Bad' star a fan of 'The Sopranos' and 'The Wire'


Age 49

Accomplishments Stars as DEA agent Hank Schrader on AMC’s Breaking Bad; appearing in The Frozen Ground, in theaters this November; graduate of Harvard University and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London

Base San Diego, Calif.

What’s the first information you consume in the morning?

I get on the Internet, and I go to and to see what’s going on in the world. I used to get The New York Times delivered, but I’ve switched over to reading it on my iPad.

What do you read or watch or listen to at the breakfast table?

I have five kids, so I’m either talking to them or to my wife.

What occupies your mind in the car, on the subway, train or bus?

If it’s not music, I listen to 1070 AM, which is news and weather and traffic, for about half an hour.

Are you a TV junkie or on an airtime-restricted diet?

I watch sports, news and certain shows, but I wouldn’t say that I watch a lot of TV. My favorite show this year was Homeland, and my favorite comedy—I’m glad it’s coming back—is Eastbound & Down. And there’s a new show on Comedy Central that I’m obsessed with, Key and Peele. I can’t wait to get more episodes. I don’t watch many of the late-night shows, but I watch Bill Maher whenever he’s on.

Before bed, do you bite into a novel, graze on Twitter or fast until morning?

I do some reading and try to catch up on old TV shows. For instance, I didn’t watch The Wire or The Sopranos in real time, so I’m finishing up the second seasons of both of those. I’ll watch them on Netflix or download them onto my iPad.

Which is more nutritious: print or Web?

Well, print is great, but I mostly stopped doing print because I’m traveling a lot. Whenever I’m staying in a hotel, I love to grab The New York Times, but when I’m in Albuquerque [shooting Breaking Bad], I’m in an apartment. So I don’t really have access to the news unless I get it on my iPad.

Give us the skinny on your favorite app.

I’m not crazy about apps…My wife plays games and all that, but I use my iPad and iPhone mainly for communication and reading. I do use the ESPN app to follow my favorite sports teams, the L.A. Dodgers and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

With such a bloated media universe, how do you cut out the fat?

I don’t think I’ve added anything in terms of news media. I’ve just gone from The New York Times to the New York Times online. I don’t do Twitter, and I don’t really read blogs…I think at some point it’s going to be cooler to be the guy not on Twitter. I don’t know that I want to follow anyone’s 140-character thoughts, nor do I think that I can reduce anything important I have to say into that small of a space.