Bryan Cranston is the focus of GQ’s August edition cover story for his role as Walter White in the critically acclaimed, Emmy award-winning AMC show "Breaking Bad".
The magazine highlights the idea that Cranston has done essentially anything ever asked of him on sets, no matter how ludicrous. The question ‘What won’t Bryan do?’ is something the writers of Malcolm in the Middle, on which Cranston played the father Hal, often posed.
From being covered by thousands of live bees to using his body as a giant paintbrush, the answer is clear: nothing- there is nothing he won’t or can’t do.
His two most recognizable roles, it is interesting to see how Cranston is able to be completely one and then the other despite the massive gulf between the characters’ personalities. Cranston speaks about how it feels to play Walt, who has grown over the course of the series from a pathetic graying father to drug kingpin.
“When you first start working on a character, it remains outside of you… the more you work on it, it’s like you start dating, getting to know each other, and then trusting each other, feeling confident in each other’s company, until, pretty soon, you kind of glide in.”
Cranston says that he can sympathize with Walt, and that he certainly believes in evil. “I think it’s right next to good, inside every person.”
When asked about a personal encounter with evil, Cranston describes a relationship he had with an unstable woman after his first marriage. She followed him from L.A. to New York when he came over to work on the soap opera ‘Loving’. She left threatening messages on his answering machine, and wound up one night banging on his apartment door.
"And I envisioned myself killing her. It was so clear. My apartment had a brick wall on one side, and I envisioned opening the door, grabbing her by the hair, dragging her inside, and shoving her head into that brick wall until brain matter was dripping down the sides of it. Then I shuddered and realized how clearly I saw that happening. And I called the police because I was so afraid. I was temporarily insane—capable of doing tremendous damage to her and to myself."
While the interview didn’t shed any light on the upcoming last episodes of the show, Cranston did speak a little about the last day of shooting in Albuquerque. One of the production staff happened to be a tattoo artist and had the idea of giving a commemorative tattoo to anyone that wanted one.
Cranston, whose wife Robin Dearden says is “not a tattoo guy” admitted that he did want something “that would give [him] private personal pleasure,” because “Breaking Bad changed [his] life.” So he acquiesced to the artist and on the inside of his right ring finger, he tattooed the iconic symbol of the show, the fitting periodic symbols:
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