Bryan Lee Cranston is an American actor, voice actor, screenwriter, director, and producer. He is known for portraying Walter White in the AMC crime drama series Breaking Bad, Hal in the Fox comedy series Malcolm in the Middle, and Dr. Tim Whatley in the NBC series Seinfeld. For Breaking Bad, he won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series four times, including three consecutive wins - for the second time in television history after Bill Cosby in I Spy during the 1960s. After becoming one of the producers of Breaking Bad in 2011, he also won the award for Outstanding Drama Series twice. Cranston was also nominated three times for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for his role in Malcolm in the Middle. His role in Breaking Bad also earned him five Golden Globe nominations and one win in 2014, nine Screen Actors Guild Awards nominations with four wins and five Saturn Award nominations with two wins. In June 2014, he won a Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play for his portrayal of Lyndon B. Johnson in the play All the Way on Broadway.
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Hey Reddit, I'm in the Breaking Bad's writer’s room answering any questions you can throw at me from 5-6 pm.
I'm also helping raise money for the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) - they're an incredible organization that has helped recover more than 183,000 missing children.
To thank you for your help, I'm offering anyone who donates the chance to fly to LA with a friend and be my guest at the final season premiere. And we're not just going to watch together, we're also going to ride up together in an RV, where we may set some sort of record for being the first people ever to show up to a premiere in a Winnebago.
Check it out here: http://omaze.com/breakingbad
Edit: I'm having a ton of fun. Thanks for all the questions so far. I've decided to send a blue ice to 5 most upvoted comments before 9 am PST tomorrow. Good luck and don't suck with your questions.
2nd edit: You guys are great and I had a great time. But I have to run and watch someone get crushed by a crane.
Update: you guys were so great that I decided to film a thank you video with my 5 favorite experiences from this AMA. Check it out.
Update #2: You guys had some great (and some ridiculous) questions and we pulled the top 5 for the blue ice rewards. Congrats to MyEvilDucky, sadam79, Shitty_Watercolour, AshleyTee, and uberkevinn (and while LuisMoncada was also top five we thought he may have had an unfair advantage). My team will PM you about where to send your blue ice. And be careful. It's habit forming.
Do you think, given the proper equipment, you could produce crystal meth?
That presumes I haven't already.
Was this whole thing just an elaborate plot by Walt to get Jesse to learn chemistry?
Ha! You know there are many ways to teach people and you just have to find your own way end to stimulate the minds of young people. This was a ruse Walt designed way back when... "someday I'll pretend to be making Crystal method, get him to be my partner. Yessss, that's it."
That might be the darkest answer I've ever seen on an AMA. I love it.
If you could do a whole new season for either Breaking Bad (a season 6) or Malcolm in the Middle (a season 8), which would you chose, and why?
By the way, thank you for giving me my two favorite shows of all time.
Wow. How about breaking in the middle? Season 15.
What's the funniest thing that's happened on set in your career?
There was a guy who was hit by a crane and killed instantly. I couldn't stop laughing.
Does Breaking Bad end the way that you wanted it to?
Breaking Bad ended the way Vince Gilligan wanted it to... which is exactly what I wanted.
How did it feel to get that pizza throw perfect on the first try?
Well, I would have patted myself on the back but I was holding a pizza. Yeah, I did it in one try. It was a real pizza (a super xtra large) and very heavy. I just got lucky and it landed in the right place on the very first try so we let it be that way.
My coworker Bob claims he is dating your niece. We live in northern California. Can you confirm or deny this?
Bob is a fucking liar. I have a job opening for him.
I'm a huge fan of Breaking Bad and I think Walter White is one of the most interesting characters on television today, so thank you for doing an AMA!
Us fans on /r/breakingbad were discussing when in the series we think Walter White officially "broke bad." My question for you is: At what point in the series do you believe Walter White officially broke bad?
My feeling is that Walt broke bad in the very first episode. It was very subtle but he did because that's when he decided to become someone that he's not in order to gain financially. He made the Faustian deal at that point and everything else was a slippery slope.
Do you have any recommendations for tighty whitey/button down combos? My Hanes don't match my Nordstrom's dress shirts. And don't even get me started on when I wear them with my Timberlands.
Haha! I wish I could comment but I'm in negotiations to represent those brands. See them in a JC Penney's catalogue soon.
Mr. Cranston, have you seen Samuel L Jackson's video where he does your "I am the danger" monologue?
What is it like finishing Breaking Bad? Are you sad to see it go, or excited to move on and do other projects?
Thank you for doing this!
How is the Stig, I wonder? I did see Sammy's monologue and I'm going to be making one of my own from one of his monologues at some point to help with the Alzheimer's research and finding the cure. I sympathize with him because my mother also had Alzheimer's and it's a horrible disease but he found a very interesting way to bring attention to it.
In a way I'm sad to see it go but in another way I'm so proud of it. To me it's like retiring after winning the Super Bowl.
How could Hammond Druthers not see that the majestic skyscraper looked like a giant penis?
Anything tall and thick looks like a penis to him.
What's it like working with Aaron Paul?
It's in the past now but that was one of the saddest things, to realize that was coming to the end. He's a great actor but an even better person.
What are you most proud of during your career as an actor?
That I was able to make a living as an actor nearly my entire adult life.
Have you ever pranked Aaron Paul on set? For some reason I think that he'd be super gullible.
Oh yeah, many times. There was one episode when where someone was giving us a problem and I told him to take care of it and he didn't know specifically what I meant by it. I said "I need you to take care of it" and I reached into my waistband and pulled out a gun and put it on the counter. He understood the message. Then during the scene where I said "I need you to take care of it" I reached into my waistband and pulled out a dildo.
Who would win a bar fight: Frankie Muniz or Aaron Paul?
Hahaha. The woman who would throw them both out of the bar.
Thanks for taking the time to do an AMA!
Do you happen to be a Steely Dan fan? I've noticed two of your characters referenced them.
Hal's old DJ name was Kid Charlemagne on Malcolm in the Middle, while Walt lectures Walt Jr. about how they're better than today's musicians on Breaking Bad.
Yeah, I am. It was my era and I would try to get tickets to see their latest tour but I'm not going to be in the city so I'll have to catch them next time.
I just have one question: Where can I buy official Bryan Cranston Dick Grapes™?
Oh my god. They're not "dick grapes," they're "crotch grapes." Keep your mind out of the gutter. That was a Conan experience so you'll have to Google that.
How involved are you with NCMEC? I've heard of it but didn't realize how many children they had recovered, I was floored by the number.
John Walsh introduced me to the charity many years ago and I just gravitated to it because my daughter was 6-years-old at the time and I felt compelled to actively get involved.
Just wanted to say, again thanks for considering making a donation to help NCMEC. Just today the FBI Most Wanted list included a former professor at USC who was making regular trips to the Orient and having sex with little boys. This is how expansive this problem is because it's not just the guy in the dirty overcoat you need to be worried about. They're very well organized and many are very well-educated. It's a huge problem not just internationally but also domestically.
They have some child pornography cases that includes not even year old children, month old children. It's sickening so every dollar that's donated really goes to help the pedophilia problem on the internet.
At certain parts in your life/career, has it ever been difficult to maintain being humble and not egotistical in certain situations?
I think if you were born without promises or come from a middle class or lower middle class environment like I was, you have a benefit of not being entitled. Therefore humility goes along with it. I realize I am very lucky to be doing what I do.
I live in Albuquerque and I love to see our city showcased as a “main character” on such a monumental show like Breaking Bad. I’m curious how you feel about our city overall? Also what were some of your favorite places to frequent while in town? Thanks for the AMA.
Albuquerque became a very important part of the show and I really enjoyed my time there. I look forward to going back at some point. You know, strolling central in Nob Hill, Church St. Cafe in Old Town, El Pinto is another place I go. And I ride for miles along the Bosque.
What is your all time favorite movie, TV show, and food?
Thanks for doing this, huge fan!
All-time favorite tv show is Breaking Bad, I don't know if you guys have heard of it before. When you say the Godfather, everybody says "oh the Godfather", but it was really remarkable. I loved the Andy Griffith show for its simplicity and warmth, but I also love Louis for its sardonic humor. My favorite food is typically what I am eating at the time. But if I had to chose one, I'd have to go Italian. How can you not love pasta?
Did working on Breaking Bad inspire you to become a drug kingpin, like it did with me?
As long as you stay of my territory, well be fine.
Welcome to reddit!
What would you be if you weren't an actor at first?
Now? I don't know. But I thought about being a police man when I was younger. I was pretty close to becoming one too but in college I took some acting classes and I found that the girls were much prettier there than in police science.
Have you ever turned down a role then later thought..... mabey I should have done that.
No. Not yet anyway. But there have been plenty the other way.
Hi, Mr. Cranston! Like everyone here I am a big fan of yours, and Breaking Bad is astoundingly good.
My question is, To what degree was the show mapped out beforehand? Everything fits together so perfectly it's hard to believe any of it was decided after the very first episode, almost. Were there any characters (ie Saul, or Mike) that were originally supposed to have smaller roles, but were expanded upon?
Thanks for doing this AMA!
Yeah, Jesse was not supposed to survive after the first year. He was a character that was need to introduce me into that world and then he was going to die. But Aaron Paul captured something in him that was so necessary to the fabric of the show that it was a no brainer to keep him. They knew in broad strokes where the character was going to go, but they kept resetting after each season.
How was it like to direct an episode of the Office?
Grueling. It was fun but tough because I thought I was going to spend 5 days in an air-conditioned building. Instead the episode had us on the road in the San Fernando Valley heat during the summer. But still damn fun.
What is the most inspirational thing that has ever happened to you?
Well the first thing that comes to mind is the birth of my child. If nothing inspires you to be a better person than to be a father, I don't know what would. And then I'd kill her with a crane... I'm on a crane kick right now. I like to see things (mostly people) get killed by cranes.
Hello Bryan, I just want to first off say I am a huge fan and you are a truly talented individual, and I read somewhere that you were a villain on the Power Rangers. If true please tell what it was like.
I'm doing action chops write now to depict that. I did voice work for the Power Rangers years and years ago. Someone once told me they named the blue Power Ranger after me, his last name was Cranston. I found out years later that was true.
Is Gosling's skin as soft as it looks?!
As supple as a babies ass.
How do you feel Walter White would have ended up had John Cusack or Matthew Broderick gotten the role instead of you?
It would have been cuter. We would had a cuter Walter White.
What brand of razor do you use to shave your head?
I use a straight razor. Every man should shave his head at some point and walk around.
Have you watched all of the series??? A lot of actors never watch their own work.
I have seen every episode at least once. But I am able to watch it with some detachment. I am not one of those actors can't watch myself or highly criticize myself. But I don't heap on praise either.
Wow, THE Mr. Bryan Cranston! Im sure you remember but in the season 4 bonus footage and the director(s), you, Giancarlo talked about the... grand fanale of season 4, and how it took 19 takes to finally get the scene. I was wondering if you have ever had similar experiences with a scene taking large number of takes?
On a side note, Giancarlo Esposito seems like such a peaceful and kind person in real life and I was wondering what it was like working with him?
Lastly all I can say is that I used to watch Malcome in the Middle every day when I came home from school and Breaking Bad is the best show I have watched. Thanks for being you!
Giancarlo is such the antithesis of his character Gus. Gus was calculating and always had an agenda to advance himself personally. And Giancarlo is an open warm loving caring man.