For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of watching AMC smash hit Breaking Bad–or remembering the days of FOX’s Malcolm in the Middle–you may not know of the actor Bryan Cranston (or understand the Breaking Bad reference in the title of this post).
Cranston made headlines the past few years due to his groundbreaking portrayal of Walter White on Breaking Bad. The show came to a successful close in 2013, marking the completion of a damn good era. Fans were crushed. However, it was time for creator Vince Gilligan to finish off his masterpiece, and what arguably remains the peak of Cranston’s career.
Cranston is unstoppable. His acting performances have received numerous accolades. He’s got some Emmys, Golden Globes, and even a Tony under his belt (in 2014)—oh my!
Since I hopped on the Breaking Bad bandwagon quite late, my fascination with Cranston and his career didn’t happen until recently. The show already ended the year before I decided to binge-watch on Netflix. Embarrassingly enough, I watched the entire series over my two-week winter break. Yes, you read that right: I finished all five seasons in a mere two weeks. I couldn’t stop! The show became my addiction, but what really triggered my investment in it was Cranston’s shifted portrayal of Walter White. The dire choices that he, as an actor, made for his character—from the start of season one to the intense series finale in season five—were very realistic, and made Walter seem incredibly three-dimensional.
Viewing episodes of Breaking Bad on a continuous loop, I witnessed a man become so unsure of his decisions that he later finds himself consistently lying to the people who love him most. Throughout the series, Cranston painted Walt as someone who started out as a modest, shy, and seemingly good-hearted teacher, father, and husband. Eventually, he developed into a selfish, unrecognizable, mechanical version of himself with whom no one wanted to associate—now that’s good acting!
I always find it difficult to believe that the actor who played good-natured, wacky Hal on Malcolm in the Middle is the same man who acted as mild-mannered high school Chemistry teacher Walter White turned selfish meth kingpin “Heisenberg.” Cranston is proficient of portraying a broad range of characters, and his capability of avoiding the inevitable typecasting is impressive to those who watch and enjoy his work.
Stay awesome, Bryan Cranston! I look forward to what you will accomplish next, even as you continue to make great strides within the different facets of entertainment.
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