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Creator / Bryan Cranston

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"Thank God I hadn't seen a billion episodes of Breaking Bad like everyone else, otherwise I would have been too intimidated to walk to work [on Godzilla (2014)] with Bryan. I had seen him in a few, but the real reason I wanted Bryan was because of Malcolm in the Middle - and an episode of Airwolf from 1986."

Bryan Lee Cranston (born March 7, 1956 in Los Angeles, California) is an American actor.

He's most famous for his Emmy Award-winning role as the morally gray, cancer-stricken chemistry teacher turned meth kingpin Walter White in Breaking Bad,note  and for his earlier role as hapless suburban husband and father Hal in Malcolm in the Middle. During his youth, Cranston started acting in theaters such as the Granada Theater, though he stopped for a bit until the late '80s since his show business parents weren't too keen on Cranston being in the acting business.

Cranston has also done work as a voice actor, providing voices in English dubs for Japanese anime such as Macross Plus and Armitage III (sometimes going under the pseudonym "Lee Stone"), though he isn't exactly a big name in the anime industry and he considers his early dubbing work an Old Shame. His more recent involvements with voice acting were in the animated movie adaptation of Batman: Year One and Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted. He also won a Tony award for his debut Broadway performance as President Lyndon Johnson in All the Way, and he reprised the role in an HBO movie based on the play.

Filmography on TV Tropes:

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    Film roles 

    Television roles 

    Voice acting roles 

Associated Tropes

  • The Cameo: He reprised his role of Walter White for a scene in El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie.
  • The Cast Showoff: Cranston was willing to do whatever crazy thing the writers of Malcolm in the Middle came up with — to the point that the game the writers had doing this had its name changed from "What Will Bryan Cranston Do?" to "What Won't Bryan Cranston Do?" after he allowed himself to be covered with bees.
  • Celebrity Resemblance: With his full head of hair, no goatee and wide smile, he is this to Darren McGavin of Kolchak: The Night Stalker, especially with their penchant to capture both humor and seriousness in their acting performances.
  • Directed by Cast Member: He directed seven episodes of Malcolm in the Middle, most notably the fifth season premiere, as well as three of the season premieres on Breaking Bad (specifically 2, 3, and 5B).
  • Large Ham: He can be quite the scenery chewer when he wants to be, as Malcolm in the Middle and some moments on Breaking Bad often illustrated.
  • No Stunt Double: A lot of the stuff Hal did in Malcolm in the Middle was really Cranston himself, including the handstand, the cartwheel, and being covered with bees (and only one stung him).
  • One of Us: He was offered a chance to direct an episode of Better Call Saul, but he turned it down because he enjoys being an unspoiled fan of the show like the rest of us.
  • Playing with Character Type: Breaking Bad is essentially taking Cranston's previously most famous work, Bumbling Dad Hal, and twisting it completely on its head.
  • Romance on the Set: Cranston met his wife, Robin Dearden, when they guest-starred together in Airwolf.
  • Running Gag: If something has Bryan Cranston in it, there is a huge chance he will lose at least most of his clothes at some point.
  • Star-Making Role: His performance as Hal Wilkerson in Malcolm in the Middle made him famous, but it was his role as Walter White in Breaking Bad that truly made him a household name.
  • Tom Hanks Syndrome: He began appearing mostly in comedies and first achieved major success with Malcolm in the Middle but reinvented himself as a major dramatic star with Breaking Bad and is now mostly known for more serious roles, though he still does comedy on occasion.