Stepping back into the shoes of his on-screen counterpart Walter White is no easy task. On Monday, Breaking Bad actor Bryan Cranston took to Instagram to give fans a glimpse at the process of getting into character, sharing a behind-the-scenes time-lapse video of the hours-long transformation trimmed down to less than a minute.
“I don’t know why filming takes so long, I became Walter White in less than a minute,” Cranston jokingly captioned the video.
In the clip, the 63-year-old can be seen sitting in a chair looking over a script as Cheri Montesanto, Department Head of Make Up and Special Makeup Fx, Garrett Immel, “Prosthetic Make Up Artist for Bald Cap,” and Laverne Munroe, Key Make Up Artist, get to work with applying a bald cap, mustache, and makeup, slowly transforming Cranston into his iconic meth-cooking character.
View this post on Instagram
Racking up more than 1 million likes on Instagram and 2 million views on Twitter, fans were enthralled by the process.
“This is awesome!” one fan commented.
“Why dont u just stay with that look in real life suits u really well,” another suggested.
“That’s why I didn’t recognise him. Ahahah,” another said of the drastic difference in appearance from Cranston in-character and Cranston out-of-character.
Several more asked why Cranston didn’t simply shave his head and grow out a mustache, which would drastically reduce his time in hair and makeup, though Insider reports that at the time of reprising the role, Cranston had been starring as fully-haired anchorman Howard Beale in Broadway’s “Network.”
First taking on the role of Walter, a chemistry teacher-turned-drug lord, in AMC’s Breaking Bad in 2008, Cranston reprised the role more than six years after the AMC’s series came to an end for a cameo in Netflix’s El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie.
Cranston’s character’s fate had been left in limbo when the series had concluded in 2013, with Walter, also known by his alias Heisenberg, being struck by a stray bullet in the series finale, “Felina.” Fans’ last image of Walter was of him collapsing in a meth lab after taking revenge against gang leader Jack (Michael Bowen) for the murder of DEA agent brother-in-law Hank (Dean Norris).
Debuting on the streamer on Oct. 11, El Camino followed Aaron Paul’s Jesse Pinkman, picking up where the series finale left off as he seeks the help of his friends Skinny Pete and Badger to try and escape from Albuquerque, New Mexico.
The film opened to 6.5 million viewers over its first three days, according to The Hollywood Reporter, with 2.65 million of those viewers tuning in on opening day. The film is currently available for streaming on Netflix.