Because we desperately, desperately needed an excuse to write about Breaking Bad again (leave us alone, we miss it), we’re reporting today on a story that is more or less in the gross “Movie Stars: They’re just like US!” department, as Anthony Hopkins has recently penned a letter to Bryan Cranston about how he binge-watched all five seasons of Breaking Bad and now thinks it’s the best thing ever…hey, just like US, you guys!
Joking aside, Hopkins was quite entranced by the series, and called Cranston’s nuanced performance as neutered chemistry teacher and cancer victim-turned-drug kingpin Walter White “the best acting I have seen—ever.” Which is high praise, coming from Hopkins (sure, he’s coasted with some clunkers over the past several years, but remember, this is guy who so brilliantly haunted films like The Silence of the Lambs and The Remains of the Day with his performances). He also notes that that the artistry of Cranston’s performance and the high quality of the show itself have rejuvenated some of his beliefs, despite all of the “smoke blowing and sickening bullshit in this business.”
The letter was leaked by Breaking Bad actor Steven Michael Quezada on Facebook:
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. [Ed note: There are in fact five seasons of Breaking Bad.] (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.
What did you think of the letter?