You know it’s no small nod of approval when Sir Anthony Hopkins skips the media channels and personally reaches out to vouch a TV series and an actor. Hopkins enjoyed award-winning AMC series Breaking Bad so much that he finished all five seasons in two weeks and immediately fired off a midnight email to Breaking Bad lead Bryan Cranston.
Praising his acting ability while extending his admiration to the team that made it, Hopkins said he was compelled to recognize Cranston’s portrayal of Walter White, a mild-mannered high school chemistry teacher who descends into evil eventually becoming a meth-dealing monster over the course of the series – a complexly written and performed transformation the 75-year-old Shakespearean veteran appreciated.
But aside from merely trumpeting Breaking Bad‘s already extensive accolades, the letter was a refreshingly honest and heartfelt exchange from one truly talented actor to another, an endearing connection between two generations of craft.
Here’s his letter in full:
Dear Mister Cranston.
I wanted to write you this email – so I am contacting you through Jeremy Barber – I take it we are both represented by UTA . Great agency.
I’ve just finished a marathon of watching “BREAKING BAD” – from episode one of the First Season – to the last eight episodes of the Sixth Season. (I downloaded the last season on AMAZON) A total of two weeks (addictive) viewing.
I have never watched anything like it. Brilliant!
Your performance as Walter White was the best acting I have seen – ever.
I know there is so much smoke blowing and sickening bullshit in this business, and I’ve sort of lost belief in anything really.
But this work of yours is spectacular – absolutely stunning. What is extraordinary, is the sheer power of everyone in the entire production. What was it? Five or six years in the making? How the producers (yourself being one of them), the writers, directors, cinematographers…. every department – casting etc. managed to keep the discipline and control from beginning to the end is (that over used word) awesome.
From what started as a black comedy, descended into a labyrinth of blood, destruction and hell. It was like a great Jacobean, Shakespearian or Greek Tragedy.
If you ever get a chance to – would you pass on my admiration to everyone – Anna Gunn, Dean Norris, Aaron Paul, Betsy Brandt, R.J. Mitte, Bob Odenkirk, Jonathan Banks, Steven Michael Quezada – everyone – everyone gave master classes of performance … The list is endless.
Thank you. That kind of work/artistry is rare, and when, once in a while, it occurs, as in this epic work, it restores confidence.
You and all the cast are the best actors I’ve ever seen.
That may sound like a good lung full of smoke blowing. But it is not. It’s almost midnight out here in Malibu, and I felt compelled to write this email.
Congratulations and my deepest respect. You are truly a great, great actor.