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After years of making audiences laugh on shows such as Malcolm in the Middle and Seinfeld, actor Bryan Cranston landed the TV role of a lifetime as the anti-hero Walter White on Breaking Bad. Since the show's series finale, the actor has become a major Hollywood presence, but don't go thinking that Cranston is so grateful for his time as Walt that he's dying to dry the Breaking Bad well. Here's how he responded when asked if he missed the AMC hit.
Surprisingly, I don't. And I think the reason is because Vince Gilligan crafted just what I think is the perfect beginning, middle and end to a story. So because it was so complete, I had a total completion. It wasn't like, 'Oh, God, I wish we could continue and finish our story.' I don't have that feeling.
That has to feel pretty damned amazing for Bryan Cranston, having the sense that Breaking Bad was a fully-formed slice of television through and through, from its humble beginnings to the all-out madness that came during the fifth and final season. And he's definitely not the only one who believes that Vince Gilligan concocted the perfect TV drama, since Breaking Bad is widely considered one of the greatest TV series ever created, and Cranston's ascension from Walt to Heisenberg is one of the most celebrated performances by an actor in any medium.
The finale, which most certainly did not end with Walt and Jesse teaming up for a future of madcap adventures across southwestern landscapes, was not set up for any kind of a revival for which Cranston could return as Walter White (outside of a flashback or dream sequence), so there's really no reason for the actor to actively miss his former gig in a way that he'd want to return. I'm sure he misses working with Gilligan and his super-talented cast members, and probably the juvenile pranks he'd pull on set, but probably not the tortured mindset that he was dealing with in those late seasons of Breaking Bad.
Now, all this isn't to say that Bryan Cranston is against ever playing Walter White again, as he made it clear on The Rich Eisen Show that he would be more than willing to reprise the role for an episode of Better Call Saul, something that fans have wanted ever since the spinoff was announced. A huge fan of Better Call Saul, Cranston knows that Gilligan and co-creator Peter Gould are particular about the cameos they use, and that's precisely why he's into returning to the role.
If they were to call me and say, 'We have this idea, we'd like...' I would say, 'Yes, you don't have to finish the pitch. I'm there, what do you want me to do?' I'll do whatever they want because I know how careful they are and proprietary they are with those characters and storylines and it wouldn't be something, 'Oh, isn't that kind of a stunt casting kind of thing.' It would be something kind of unique and obscure and creative, and I'm all in.
Better Call Saul has been pretty perfect when it comes to how it's handled the Breaking Bad mythology, so whenever there is a place for Cranston to return as Walter White, we'll be ready for it. But I'm actually also okay with Cranston not feeling a particular urge to revisit Breaking Bad. You can check out the entire interview clip below.
Alas, we probably won't get to see very much from Walter White outside of repeat Breaking Bad binge sessions, but that's not such a terrible thing, considering how things went down. That Malcolm in the Middle revival conversation is pretty interesting, though. Let's make that one happen.