As audiences potentially await the final return of Breaking Bad season 5, series star Bryan Cranston has begun to reveal more about his preparation for the hit AMC series. Under the watchful eye of the government officials, Cranston learned everything he needed to know about making meth. But did Cranston goes as far as actually making it?
According to Cranston, “Maybe.” But there’s much more to his story than a one-word response. While appearing on Sirius XM’s The Howard Stern Show last week to promote Argo, Stern took some time to question Cranston about how he prepared for his Emmy award-winning role as Walter White, AKA Heisenberg.
Stern, looking to find how exactly someone gets into the role of a master meth maker, questioned Cranston about whether or not the actor actually learned anything about it beforehand. Here is Cranston’s response:
We were taught how to make meth (by) DEA chemists who were our consultants on the show. We didn’t cook it, but we were told exactly the process at that high level.
While “we didn’t cook it” should put an end to the question about Cranston’s real-life meth making adventures, Stern continued to question Cranston about it, not believing that DEA chemists would go through the trouble of teaching him out to make meth without allowing him to actually create a batch.
Cranston’s response, while not only being extremely informative, may contradict his previous statement:
I can’t tell you one way or the other. It’s extremely difficult (to cook meth). There are so many volatile components to it that at any given time, you could literally blow up. So you had to be very careful and very specific to follow this. Most of the cooks are also meth heads themselves. That’s why they get themselves in trouble and you see burn marks, or their hands are missing.
If this were any other interview, the questioning would have ended there. Fortunately, Howard Stern is known for getting information out of people that others couldn’t, and that’s exactly what he did. Stern, continuing to question Cranston about making make, ignoring any attempt by the actor to say he didn’t make it, asked him how he did at making meth in real-life. Is he as good at it as the show makes it look?
Again, Cranston’s response, though wrapped within a joke, potentially helps push his previous “maybe” towards something more definite:
Well, I made one with and one without nuts. I was a pretty good chef.
Even though it’s unlikely that Cranston will ever give a definitive “yes” to his meth-making role prep, one has to believe that, as Stern suggested, it’s highly unlikely that Cranston would go through the process of learning how to make meth without actually making it himself. Like any teacher will tell you, you can only read so much in books. Sometimes you need to get “hands on” to truly understand and appreciate the subject matter you’re studying. Or in this case, portraying.
That said, for those who live near Cranston, there’s no need worry about a potential Heisenberg popping up after Breaking Bad comes to an end (Malcolm in the Middle left its cast financially sound). But for those who love Breaking Bad, and who love watching Bryan Cranston’s wonderfully nuanced portrayal of a chemistry teacher turned drug king pin, it’s exciting to hear the lengths that he went to in order to completely understand the world that character Walter White exists in.
As for the question about whether or not Bryan Cranston actually made meth for his Breaking Bad role prep, let’s just stick with that “maybe.” Because while Cranston may have only “maybe” made meth, it’s very likely that “Heisenberg” did – if you catch my drift.
You can check out a clip of Howard Stern’s interview with Bryan Cranston below [via: Howard TV On Demand]
Breaking Bad season 5, part 2, returns Spring 2013 on AMC
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