Bryan Cranston

June 18, 2013

I am Bryan Cranston, AMA

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:

Proof: Tweet:

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.

Welcome to reddit!!

Thank you!

EDIT: Hi Bryan!

I'm thrilled that Ron Paul is so excited. I like him because the good thing about Ron Paul is that regardless of your politics, he'll tell you what he really thinks. He's not a bullshitter and it's so refreshing to have someone like that in politics.

What are your thoughts on those two infamous Cousins pulling off the Explosion in one take? (I never get tired of hearing from a 3 time Emmy winner ;)

Hi Luis, good to talk to you man. Miss you. And I'm happy to be the first person to direct you on the show. You and your brother really contributed greatly.

Welcome to Reddit! Could you please tweet out a link to this post from your account, as was discussed when the post was scheduled?

Thanks, and enjoy your AMA!

Tweet is now posted.

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.

Finally! Bryan, it is an honor to talk to you (hopefully) I have been a fan of your work since I was watching Malcom in the Middle after The Simpsons on BBC 2 whilst still in primary school.

Anyway... Question question question... Shit... Erm...

What is your personal opinion on Walt, both as a character and a person. Do ever read the script and think to yourself "i'm playing a real scumbag"?

Also, please... Does Hank flush?

First of all Mr. Pickles. Thanks for pointing out our age difference... you little shit. Speaking of that, no he doesn't flush. And further more I think Walt is just misunderstood. He's a lovely person.

If you had to choose between a bukkake party with the cast from Malcolm in the Middle or scat with Jesse from Breaking Bad which would you prefer and why?

If I could? That's the great thing about it. I don't have to, it's like Sophie's choice: which child would you like to kill? You think of hypotheticals of things that if they came to it, you'd have to pick and choose but fortunately I don't. I love the differences between the two.

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.

Why wasn't Frankie Muniz casted as Jessie?

Because he was on the road drumming for his band King's Foil.

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.

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.

Do you think, given the proper equipment, you could produce crystal meth?

That presumes I haven't already.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

You may not remember, but late last summer you went to a popular restaurant in Culver City (the one with the outside seating that’s first-come, first-serve). You pleasantly asked if you could sit at our table since there were no other seats left, and we happily obliged. After glancing at you about five times, I realized who you were. Having just completed a marathon of Breaking Bad’s entire run, I awkwardly asked if I could shake your hand, and you did!

Then my husband told you that he’s been trying to get his big brother (also sitting with us) to watch your show for months, and that he still hadn’t.

Then you said, in a menacing, methodical voice (aka Heisenberg), “Your brother’s a pussy.”

We were giddy for the next week straight. Actually, we’ve been giddy ever since and have renamed the restaurant The Bryan Cranston Experience. Aside from our wedding, I believe it stands as the greatest moment of our married life. To this day, we tell the story to anyone who will hear it. We should probably stop.

So no question, just wanted you to know how much you rock!

Did your brother finally start watching the show or does he still have a vagina?

Edit: not that having a vagina is a bad thing. It just needs to be with the appropriate person.

Dear Bryan, you're the reason I started doing meth. Thanks!

It was either that or bury yourself in a hole in Iraq somewhere. Are you writing from the after life?

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.

Hey Bryan, you've been a hero of mine for years now, so I was wondering who you're heroes are/were throughout your life.

Um... gosh. Sandy Koufax, Vin Scully, my grandfather. As far as acting heroes, Dick Van Dyke, Jack Lemmon, Rod Steiger, and Spencer Tracy.

Bryan! Huge fan and today is my birthday. Would you give us YOUR best look in to WW's mind with a line or scene that maybe most people maybe dont give enough attention to?

First of all, happy birthday. Walt says today you be the danger. There was a moment nobody ever really wrote about in the first or second season...when he was in remission from his cancer and he decided even though his hair was growing back, he decided to shave his head some more. And that was big thing for me because it made a statement that he was truly accepting this new life of his.

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.

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.

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.

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.

OH MY GOSH I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU'RE FINALLY DOING AN AMA! I've always dreamed of it. Thank you for taking your time to do such a great thing.

You seem to be such a funny person on and off set - what's it like for you to switch from doing something so funny like Malcolm in the Middle to something so deadly and serious like Breaking Bad?

(From my boyfriend) Do you think you will every top your performance in this:

Oh no, they can post those videos... wow. What I discovered is that everyone has a dark side. It might be unrealized, untapped, but if the right buttons are pushed anyone can become dangerous and I just opened up to it. Now I don't want to say that I killed people in preparation for the role... but I can't deny it either.

I have a child due in a month - what should I name him?

Edit: And the winner is Tuco. Tuco Bitch (in case it's a girl).

Heisenberg. Call him "Little Berg."

Edit: If you can't go that far, then Walter sounds nice. And if it's a boy...

Have any of you guys received any negative backlash from real cartel members?

Negative backlash from a cartel would be death. If I had I wouldn't be here answering this question. They don't reprimand or send out a cease and desist order!

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.

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've never seen Breaking Bad. Am I a bad person?

No, just uninformed.

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.

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?

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.

That might be the darkest answer I've ever seen on an AMA. I love it.


Thanks for doing an AMA, Bryan! Very quick 2 questions. Are you still in Albuquerque? If so, can I buy you a beer?

No and yes. Donate the beer money to the cause! I'll take a rain check.

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.

Dear Bryan Cranston, I "acquired" shin splints from a hike last week and have been forced to stay inactive but this gave me the opportunity to catch up on what I heard was a great show. 9 days later and I have watched the first 4 seasons and am VERY impressed with your dramatic acting! After driving cross country from New Jersey to San Diego I came up with an idea to live in an RV. If I win your contest will I get to keep the RV?

Yes. For an hour. And you can live it an hour.

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.

Hi! I'm your biggest fan from Afghanistan! I loved you in Malcolm and certainly love you in Breaking Bad (alongside your other works). I think if I see you in real life you'd also be my favorite person ever! Thanks for all the laughs, fear, and suspense!

You are the man from Afghanistan. And I am the turd they call Heisenberg.

  1. How did you become involved with NCMEC and what can we, the general public, do to help?

  2. Can you walk us through your process of directing an episode of Breaking Bad?

  1. You can start by looking at and if you have children, take lots of pictures of them because if god forbid anything happens, the picture is the most important tool to retrieving any child. Thanks for your help and support.

  2. Oy, the most important period in directing for me is the pre-production. The more work I get accomplished, the smoother the shoot is. There's no shortage of hard work. You gotta be willing to put in the time and effort.

Would you rather fight one horse-sized duck or 100 duck-sized horses?

You want to take your time with a question like that. I take this very seriously. It might be more efficient to challenge one horse-sized duck, but it would be a lot of fun to kick a lot of duck ass. I'd tie them all together and turn them into my minions. And teach them how to cook crystal meth.


What do you look like? Sorry to ask, but I am a guy. I am assuming that it was a woman asking the question but maybe not? I may have made a leap.

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.

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.

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."

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.

as a recovering meth addict, i found Breaking Bad to be incredible, and it reminded me of the craziness i resorted to to get what i wanted. (for the record Mr. NSA, i didnt cook meth or kill anyone so fuck off)

Bryan, what was your favorite moment during Breaking Bad and why?

Gosh i just want to hug you.

My favorite moment? I'll say my favorite meth moment was the teaser in season 3 where Windy was the song and they had the meth whore, Wendy, trying to score and she would give head to anyone who would drive by in order to get her fix. Juxtaposed with that bubbly song were these horrible acts where she's squatting in the alley, taking a pee. It was just nasty, nasty visuals and I thought it was brilliant.

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.

My other questions must have sucked but I've got to keep trying. Given that Google is trying to eradicate child porn from the internet (, the new season of The Killing focuses on child prostitutes, and you are sure to bring in gobs of money for the NCMEC, do you think there will be a sea change in these issues?

Hopefully, it takes a society to protect its own, not just those paid to do so. So we all have to be vigilant and look after every child.

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.

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.

My girlfriend and I are HUGE fans of Breaking Bad, and of you. If you received an honorary invitation to a wedding in some time, would you come?

What do the bridesmaids look like?

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.

Bryan, I have heard you are coming to Boston to do a play at the A.R.T. Are you excited to make the transition from film to live theatre?

Very excited. It's the perfect opportunity to venture into a different character and kind of get lost in it. Please come see it, starting in mid-September in Boston. It's called "All The Way."

Who would win a bar fight: Frankie Muniz or Aaron Paul?

Hahaha. The woman who would throw them both out of the bar.

Bryan is it because my name is poo_smudge that you won't answer any of my questions? I can explain...

Ask your stinking question!

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.

What traits of Walter White do you see in yourself?

The things that I think are common in Walt in Bryan are his villainy, his avarice, his hubris, and his love for seeing people crushed by a crane.

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.

Is Gosling's skin as soft as it looks?!

As supple as a babies ass.

Hey Bryan, I got to meet you at the 2011 Toronto Film Festival. I worked on a video for YouTube, and had you "wink" for a very famous YouTuber (he goes by "wheezy waiter"). You asked me where on YouTube it would be. It's here, and it got over 150,000 views. It's in the last 15 seconds of this:

I just wanted to thank you for giving us the best wink we've ever seen.

Thanks... my eye stayed that way.

This interview was transcribed from an "ask me anything" question and answer session with Bryan Cranston conducted on Reddit on 2013-06-18. The Reddit AMA can be found here.