Bryan Cranston: Pop-Culture King of the Month

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Pop-culture king of the month: Bryan Cranston



Last month, at the 2013 edition of comic con, Bryan Cranston sat contently behind the Breaking Bad panel answering questions from eager fans; an ardent soldier in the farewell promotion tour of the final eight episodes of the wildly popular series. Elevated above the crowd, Cranston was the golden goose of the event, a far cry from his past roles as low-key supporting characters in TV shows like Seinfeld, The King of Queens and Malcolm in the Middle. As he sat amongst his comrades who he has gone to war with over the shows 5 seasons, he contemplated his last time doing the Breaking Bad panel- his final battle representing the iconic Walter White and wanted to make it special for him and the fans. He wouldn’t let his last chance to showcase the series most important character go to waste.
Ever the hands-on soldier, Cranston desired to go head-on into the trenches to mingle directly with excited fans, but security risks prevented him from venturing out into the enigmatic comic-con crowd. In a moment of resourceful brilliance he discovered a latex mask of the iconic Walter White; a devilishly clever disguise that would allow him to blend in with the hoard of other costumed citizens even though he was essentially disguised as himself. The costume worked perfectly and several fans were treated to the once in a lifetime opportunity of interacting with a live version of Walter White himself, modeled by the man who portrays him. The tale of Cranston mingling with unknowing comic-con fans is one of the best pop culture stories of the summer.

-And so the legend of Bryan Cranston grows. He is the man of the moment- In case you didn’t know. If you’re unaware of Cranston’s work then you’re missing out on one of the most interesting and likeable celeb personalities we have the pleasure of watching. Mr. Cranston has been making the rounds everywhere this past month promoting Breaking Bad. He bounced from Fallon to Letterman’s couch and even made a guest appearance in Stephen Colbert’s musical middle finger to MTV after they prevented his scheduled guest, Daft Punk, from coming on his show. The video has since become an internet sensation and features Cranston delightfully roller skating with the comedian talk show host. Breaking Bad has given Cranston a much deserved mid-career renaissance. He was always a prolific actor in television, but the success of the show has elevated his career to new heights as evidenced by his crossover into supporting roles in films like Argo, Total Recall and Drive. Now that the show is wrapping up, it will be interesting to see if he will take on the challenge of being a lead in a major motion picture. The once anonymous supporting man has blossomed into one of the most recognizable and cherished actors in the business. You could say Bryan Cranston’s career is white hot. Walter White hot.

The thing that is most interesting about Bryan Cranston is that in today’s culture of overexposed, unappreciative celebrities, it seems like Cranston basks in the glow of his newfound popularity. He doesn’t seem to be bitter at all about the nagging questions surrounding Breaking Bad and is unafraid of being pigeon-holed by the show. He’s happily stated in several interviews that playing Walter White has been “the best role of my life.” For an actor that has spent most of his career out of the major spotlight he seems to realize just how lucky he is to finally get the role of a lifetime and the admiration he has worked so hard to achieve.
While most actors would be pushing the momentum of their careers forward, Cranston seems content riding the wave of success surrounding his shows final episodes and doesn’t seem worried about where his journey in acting will take him next. After all, he’s used to taking the low-key approach.
All in all, Cranston shows the world what it truly means to be a likeable celebrity. We’ve never heard bad stories about on-set antics, he doesn’t pop up in embarrassing TMZ videos and his ego seems to be inflated to the exact level it should be. Cranston represents the journeyman pop-culture figure who has long been unappreciated, but isn’t bitter when the world suddenly notices him. He focuses on making his work better and taking on new challenges rather than the opinion of fans. He seems happy every time he steps in front of a camera and willing to entertain his admirers. Bryan Cranston’s embrace of the spotlight, coupled with the immense hype surrounding his show Breaking Bad makes him the perfect king of popular culture. All hail to Bryan Cranston!

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