Breaking Bad's 'Most Harrowing' Scene Made Bryan Cranston Live Out His Own Nightmare

Breaking Bad's 'Most Harrowing' Scene Made Bryan Cranston Live Out His Own Nightmare
Image credit: AMC

The Breaking Bad star found himself in the darkest place during the most torturous scene when he realized he wasn’t in-character anymore.

Bryan Cranston was rightfully considered a top-notch comedy actor back in the day — and when it was first announced he was cast as Walter White, some fans thought it was a terrible idea. Season 1 of Breaking Bad immediately destroyed all skepticism: despite his background, Cranston proved to be a phenomenal dramatic actor.

As years went by, the show kept developing, and Breaking Bad introduced more and more unhinged and brutal scenes — but for the lead star, it was different. Bryan Cranston admitted that the most painful scene for him took place in season 2 when Walter watched as Jesse’s girlfriend Jane was dying from a drug overdose.

What happened to Cranston was likely the result of his utter exhaustion: he went through 13 hours of filming every day in the insufferable heat of New Mexico. Either way, when he was looking at the dying Jane through the eyes of Walter White, her face slowly transformed into that of the actor’s daughter, which proved… torturous.

“I’d put everything, everything into that scene — all the things I was and all the things I might have been. <...> I was murderous, and I was capable of great love. I was a victim lured by my circumstances, and I was the danger. I was Walter White — but I was never more myself,” the actor shared with The Guardian.

The sudden inability to distance himself from the scene and his daughter’s face haunting him turned that filming session into “the most harrowing” experience Cranston ever had on the set of Breaking Bad. Even the latter seasons failed to introduce something that would be more taxing to the actor’s psyche.

The next time you rewatch Breaking Bad, keep in mind that the raw emotions you see on Bryan Cranston’s face during Jane’s dying scene are what he actually felt at the moment. Haunted and exhausted, the actor gave his all to this sequence — and while it took him to the darkest place, he delivered a unique performance.

Source: The Guardian