Breaking Bad Premiere Was Dedicated to Teen Fan Who Died of Cancer

Entertainment Aug. 13, 2013 AT 2:30PM
Skyler White (Anna Gunn) and Walter White (Bryan Cranston) Anna Gunn, Bryan Cranston and other Breaking Bad cast and crew met with teen fan Kevin Cordasco before he died of cancer. Credit: Lewis Jacobs/AMC

For most viewers, Breaking Bad's mid-season premiere on Sunday, Aug. 11 was an intense episode, to say the least. But for the Cordascos of Calabasas, CA, the episode was also heartbreaking. The show was dedicated to their 16-year-old son Kevin Cordasco, a huge fan of the series who succumbed to neuroblastoma in March after a long battle with the rare cancer.

The hour ended with the words "Dedicated to our friend Kevin Cordasco." According to Los Angeles Daily News, the teen met lead actor Bryan Cranston (who plays Walter White) and his wife, Robin Dearden, last September when they visited him for three hours at the hospital. (Kevin's godmother has connections in the entertainment industry.)

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Kevin "loved Bryan because he was real," Kevin's mom, Melodie Cordasco, told the newspaper. "Meeting him, you don't think 'Oh my gosh, he's larger than life.' He's normal. He's loving and kind. He was just a great guy to Kevin. Every time Kevin would email him, Bryan Cranston within half an hour would respond back to Kevin."

Cranston then persuaded series creator Vince Gilligan and stars Anna Gunn (who plays Walter's wife, Skyler, on the show) and Bob Odenkirk (who plays attorney Saul Goodman) to meet Kevin. The young fan, who family members described as preternaturally wise, even got to speak with the show's writers for about five hours.

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"It meant the world to him; they have no idea how they impacted my son," Melodie said. "He talked about it all the time...He had a bucket list; one of (his wishes) was to meet Breaking Bad."

Turns out he also had quite an impact on the Breaking Bad team. Gilligan was "devastated" when he learned of Kevin's death, co-excecutive producer Melissa Bernstein told the paper. "[He] thought he was such a smart, thoughtful young man and thought he had truly interesting insights on the show." At one point, Kevin brought up a question to Gilligan about a group of characters on the show he found intriguing. "Ultimately, the writers thought about it and I think they found a way to address his question," Bernstein said. "I don't want to go any further than that because it would be a spoiler. Kevin truly had an impact on the way the story played out in the final eight (episodes.)"

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Kevin was invited to Albuquerque, NM in February to watch the filming, but he was too sick to go. He was even offered a copy of the last episode's script, but he declined, his mom shared. "He said, 'Mom, I want to see it myself and I don't trust myself -- I might tell people.' "

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