SO, last night I watched Malcolm in the Middle for the first time post-Breaking Bad (and for the first time as a sort-of grown up, so hello focusing on the parents!) and it totally freaked me out. Like, unbelievably so. Cause, like, the dad who can't make decisions and is basically a crazy person only not in a psychopath way? He manufactures meth! And makes lots of decisions that are life threatening and scary and he's a pretty bad person, but he takes care of 4 boy children? RUN AWAY FROM HIM NOW!
Only, the thing is, the characters are so incredibly different that this was barely something that crossed my mind (other than, because I watched Malcolm in the Middle specifically because I couldn't remember Cranston in it at all, and because I wanted to compare his performance to that of Breaking Bad). And I realise that all I'm saying here is basically 'actors play different roles! The world is round! The sky is blue!' and so on, but seriously? SUCH a different role. Only it isn't, because a key factor to both characters identities is being fathers, but apart from that? It's literally like a different man plays each of them. Literally like that. Not just 'oh, he does this so well, it's so different to when he was in X' but actually like 'this isn't even the same person, and it's literally impossible that it could be'. But it is!
Hence, Bryan Cranston is the greatest actor ever. To be able to do two such incredibly different roles, and do them both so well, is something that I think he should be constantly praised and revered and all that kind of stuff for (to be fair, he has been nominated for an Emmy 7 times for both Malcolm in the Middle and Breaking Bad, so it's not like he's exactly unappreciated) because his range is ridiculous. To be able to embrace the sitcom madness and over-the-topness of Hal, as well as to literally become Walter White is a pretty impressive feat, and one that I feel like not all that many actors could accomplish. Because they're not fucking awesome.