The one who knocks is also the one who sobs. In an exclusive sneak peek clip from Wednesday’s Inside the Actors Studio, Bryan Cranston gets emotional when explaining his thought process behind a pivotal Breaking Bad scene.
On the James Lipton-hosted Bravo show, Cranston, 59, watches a clip of his character, Walter White, choosing not to help save Jesse Pinkman’s (Aaron Paul) girlfriend Jane (Krysten Ritter), instead letting her choke on her own vomit. According to Cranston, shooting the scene was surprisingly tough on him.
“What civilians don’t understand, that we do, is that actors need to be willing to pay a price for it — it’s an emotional price that you need to be willing to pay,” the Trumbo star tells the audience of acting students about making dramatic choices.
He breaks down in tears while explaining to Lipton that he suddenly saw the face of his real-life daughter Taylor Dearden, now 22, in place of Ritter’s during the Breaking Bad shoot.
“At one point, I saw my daughter’s face instead of hers, and that was the moment that it choked me up, and it was like, ‘Oh, my God,'” continues Cranston, who earned four Emmys for Lead Actor in a Drama Series for his role on the AMC drama. “And I guess that’s why I closed my eyes — I’m not sure. You don’t remember the specifics because you’re there.”
However, his character’s hardened mindset quickly kicked in and prevented the actor from getting overly devastated.
“Then, the picture of my daughter went away, and now I was trying to get some control back,” Cranston says.
To find out what Cranston told himself during the scene to toughen up, watch the clip above.
Inside the Actors Studio airs Wednesday, Nov. 25, at 8 p.m. ET on Bravo.