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Bryan Cranston angrily scolded Breaking Bad star for forgetting lines

While working on a famous episode of Breaking Bad, Bryan Cranston had an angry exchange with his co-star who was forgetting his lines.

Bryan Cranston as Walter White in Breaking Bad

Bryan Cranston had an angry response to a Breaking Bad guest actor, when he kept forgetting his lines. Breaking Bad is widely recognised as one of the best TV series of all time.


It followed Bryan Cranston’s Walter White and Aaron Paul’s Jesse Pinkman as they became increasingly caught up in the underground drug trade. The thriller series has since been followed up with a prequel series, Better Call Saul, and a Western inspired action movie, El Camino.

It looks like the Breaking Bad universe is firmly done, then. But audience who love the drama series are always keen for more anecdotes and stories from the time of Breaking Bad, and guest actor Larry Hankin (who stars as Old Joe, who helps Walter and Jesse on more than one occasion) has spoken about the time that Cranston lost his temper with him.

Speaking to Cracked, Hankin spoke about his second appearance in Breaking Bad when he helped Walt, Jesse, and Mike set up the magnet. He said, “I was explaining the magnet to them in the junkyard, and I just kept going up on my lines. I have dyslexia, so it’s not easy for me to memorize scripts.

“In this case, I just forgot them. The director said, “Cut!,” and Bryan Cranston leaned in and whispered, “Get your lines down.” Then I went up on my lines again. The director said, “Cut!” and Bryan went, “What’s the matter with you? Remember your lines.” But that doesn’t do any good — it makes it worse.”

Hankin continued, “I didn’t want to go through that a third time, so I stepped out and asked to talk to the director. I said, “Bryan’s giving me a hard time.” The director said, “Two things, Larry: First, all actors go up on their lines, it happens. The second thing is, we’re losing the light, so fuck Bryan and let’s just finish this scene.” I got back in, and I never forgot my lines again. The director scared the strength into me.

“I get it, though. Bryan’s an actor. He takes this stuff very seriously. I didn’t. I mean, it was important for me to do the job well, but I didn’t need to be an actor in the same way a lot of other guys did. That’s why it was okay for me to get out of it.”

Hankin’s experience of working with Cranston comes in contrast to other actors who have spoken about their time with him, and it sounds less-than pleasant. Perhaps Cranston was having a rough day – or perhaps he was still sticking in character as Walt – but it does give an interesting look at the tension behind the scenes of the show.

For more on TV, take a look at our guide to the best comedy series or our picks for the best sci-fi series.