I’m currently watching the second season of Breaking Bad. (I know! I’m horribly behind!) And I’m hooked. This is the role of Bryan Cranston‘s career. His years of playing the neutered husband and father on Malcolm in the Middle were all a set-up to seeing him as meek Walter White, a seeming continuation of these ineffectual family men… who, thanks to cancer and a not-fucking-around understanding of chemistry, becomes something else entirely. Because I’m only on season 2 but am an entertainment blogger, I have that nagging suspicion that there is so much more to come in the intervening seasons of Breaking Bad. I’m really psyched to experience it all with minimal spoilers.
But today’s post is not about the season 5 premiere this Sunday. Or rather, it is, but it’s a non-spoilery treat for my fellow Breaking Bad fans, wherever they may be in their viewings. Because last year, Bryan appeared on a low-rent talk show hosted by his co-star Steven Michael Quezada. He played Gomez on the show — don’t tell me anything about his character! – and obviously he and Bryan struck up a friendship, if the star did him the favor of coming to his small studio and doing an awesome interview.
The interview is so fun because instead of just talk about playing this now-iconic character, Bryan actually shows us. He brings out his hair and makeup crew and, right before our eyes, transforms into Walter White. We’re talking getting his head shaved and goatee applied — yeah, it’s a prosthetic — while the audience cheers and stares on in wide-eyed wonder. (Side note: It’s fascinating that Bryan didn’t even grow out the goatee, that he wanted to keep himself that separate from his TV character when not shooting.)
But that’s not the whole of it! Less than sixty seconds after gleefully tossing handfuls of his hair into the audience and saying, “eBay, anyone?”, Bryan completes the transformation. See, it’s not just enough to look like Walter White—the final step is becoming Walter’s alter ego, Heisenberg. Even though it’s totally planned with the music cue, the moment his voice turns all gravelly and dangerous, you’ll nearly shit yourself.