Bryan Cranston, Reluctantly Famous

October 9, 2012
Photo: The Howard Stern Show

Bryan Cranston stopped by to promote his new film, ‘Argo,’ and surprised Howard showing up without his bald ‘Breaking Bad’ look: “It’s so weird to see you with hair.” Asked if the success of ‘Breaking Bad’ has him set for life, Bryan said he’d learned from watching other actors’ mistakes: “You could see the struggle. And what I learned from that is: steady as she goes. If you make some money, save it. And I’m still that way. … I was set up after ‘Malcolm in the Middle.'” ‘Breaking Bad’ has, however, made it difficult for Bryan to remain anonymous in public: “I’d rather have that than fame. I’m the other way. I will pick a chair that faces a wall.” Still, there are benefits: “The people you want noticing [your work] are the people who you respect in the business…that you’d want to work with. So the fame has done wonders to open up the doors for more opportunities.”

Heisenberg in Hollywood

Bryan said he’d also learned not to let his work as an actor–the dogged pursuit of his character’s wants and needs–bleed into his real life. Overlap turns a lot of actors into sad TMZ fodder: “It’s ridiculous. They don’t know how to separate it.” But the Hollywood machine isn’t all bad. Bryan met his wife, Robin, on the set of ‘Airwolf,’ and formed a tight bond with Tom Hanks: “He’s been a very good friend to me.” When Tom visits with his wife, Rita Wilson, “We get out the good cheese.”

He Can Cook in Real Life

Before he left, Bryan revealed the unique research that informed his ‘Breaking Bad’ work: “We were taught how to make meth. DEA chemists were consultants on the show.” Howard had a feeling the lesson might’ve been more hands-on than Bryan let on, but he just smiled: “Maybe. … I made one [batch] with and one without nuts. I was a pretty good chef.”

On the Final Season of ‘Breaking Bad’

“Well, Hank will finish taking a shit…