Bryan Cranston on his “Breaking Bad” character: “I wrote an extensive back story for myself”

Over the past decade, Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston has successfully made a very unlikely transition — from a goofy father of three to a former chemistry teacher who uses his scientific expertise to cook meth. In a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal, Cranston talked about first reading the Breaking Bad script and how he makes his anti-hero character so likable.

“I started reading and the first page is a pair of trousers falling from the sky over red clay dirt, an RV runs over them. And I’m going, “What? An RV? Huh?” It drives recklessly down an empty dirt road — and inside the RV, a man dressed in tighty-whitey underwear and a respirator drives frantically. Next to him is another man passed out with a respirator. Behind him are two dead men sliding up and back in a sea of chemicals and glass,” recalled Cranston. “That was the first page. It was the best drama script I’d ever read. I called my agent and said I want to meet with (creator Vince Gilligan) this week. I knew that for anyone who was lucky enough to get this role, it’s a game changer.”

It seems that Cranston’s Walter White is so endearing to audiences because of the actor’s inherent likability, not because he’s an easy subject to root for. “I don’t care about keeping him likable,” he explained. “My approach is to just keep him real… We need to know what motivates this person. We’re witnessing a metamorphosis of character, but at every step there’s a dose of humanity. Walt can kill someone one minute and lovingly caress his baby the next.”
Cranston also touched on how he came up with his Breaking Bad character’s back story. “I wrote an extensive back story for myself using the confines of what Vince has said. I came up with my own reasoning that (Walt) developed a severe panic of failing. He was a bright young man whose teachers, peers, professors and family members all told him the sky’s the limit, you can write your own ticket. If enough people tell you that it can make you vibrate a little bit in panic.”

The fourth season of Breaking Bad, which airs Sundays on AMC, began Sunday.

Leave a Reply

http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/griffin-newman-the-tick.jpg
‘The Tick’ Star Griffin Newman on Acting in a Superhero Suit
"You very quickly realize there’s a certain iconography and a power to wearing one of these suits." - Griffin Newman
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Idris-Elba-Mollys-Game.jpg
Why Idris Elba Believes His “best performance is yet to come”
"There was a time when I was a job actor and I didn’t know what I wanted to learn from it – I just wanted to get paid." - Idris Elba
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Frances-McDormand-three-billboards.jpg
Frances McDormand on “Being the Other” Actress
McDormand talks about her unique approach to her career and uses her latest acclaimed role as an example.
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/jb-smoove-curb-your-enthusiasm.jpg
J.B. Smoove Tells the Story of His Audition For ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’
"You don't know how the universe is gonna work for us. But all this plays a part in our journey" - JB Smoove
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/watch-denzel-washington-explains.jpg
Watch: Denzel Washington Explains Why He Passed on a Role Early in His Career
Washington explains why he turned down a role -- and how it worked out for the best.