Breaking Bad lives up to its name. By the end of five seasons, Walter White transforms from a mild-mannered high school chemistry teacher to a murderous meth kingpin. Though the character commits his most heinous crimes later in the show, Bryan Cranston said he was most shaken up by a moment from season 2, Screen Rant reports.
On a recent episode of The Kelly Clarkson Show (as seen below), the Breaking Bad star recounted the scene that nearly broke him as an actor. In the episode, titled “Phoenix,” Walt checks on his drug-dealing partner Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul), who has recently become addicted to heroin. He finds Jesse in bed with his girlfriend Jane (played by Krysten Ritter), and what follows is what many fans consider Walter White’s first turn from antihero to villain. (Obvious spoilers for anyone who hasn’t gotten around to watching Breaking Bad in the past 15 years.)
“I did a scene on Breaking Bad where I was watching a woman die in the second season,” he told Clarkson. “All of a sudden, her face left and the face of my real daughter showed up, and I was watching my real daughter die. It choked me. I’m even getting a little choked up now.”
Though his character would later commit much more direct acts of violence, that was the moment that sticks with him so many years later. “It is an emotional risk that actors go through; we have to put ourselves in a position of vulnerability for that to possibly happen, because you’re willing to go into the unknown,” he said.
Cranston reportedly spent 15 minutes crying after filming the scene. He wasn’t the only member of the cast impacted by Jane’s death. In a Reddit AMA, Paul said shooting it also affected him on a personal level. He wrote, “Looking at Jane through Jesse’s eyes that day was very hard and emotional for all of us. When that day was over, I couldn’t be happier that it was over because I really, truly felt I was living those tortured moments with Jesse.”
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[h/t Screen Rant]