Anthony Hopkins binge watched Breaking Bad, sent Bryan Cranston a fan letter

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Breaking Bad fans – do you remember how you felt about the first, say two to three episodes? It was about two years ago for me, and I remember thinking that Breaking Bad was slow but deep. It took me a handful of episodes to get invested in the characters and after that I couldn’t get enough. Like most other people, I binge watched it until I was all caught up, and then I was sure to watch the new episodes as they aired. It’s also one of the few shows, well the only show I can think of, that remained consistently excellent for years. I’ve noticed that most shows start to go downhill after the second season, but not BB. There were some bizarre moments, like when Walt and Jesse spent the entire time in the lab looking for a single fly, but even that was good television. There were so many moments in that show that I’ll never forget. The methhead mom killing her boyfriend with an ATM, Walt doing nothing when Jesse’s girlfriend choked to death, Skyler walking into the pool as some kind of staged cry for help that still felt genuine, Jesse shooting at Mexican gangsters just like in the video game he played constantly.

'Breaking Bad' stills

I could go on about Breaking Bad, and how it never disappointed and always entertained me. So many other people feel the same, and we’re still getting used to the idea that it’s over. So that’s why it was so wonderful for me to read a gushing letter about BB that Anthony Hopkins just sent Bryan Cranston, via their agency. It sounds like it could be a fake letter written by a fan and just attributed to Hopkins, but it’s not! Gawker verified that Hopkins really did send this e-mail, and that he really did love Breaking Bad so much that he tried to personally reach out to Cranston.

Dear Mister Cranston.

I wanted to write you this email – so I am contacting you through Jeremy Barber – I take it we are both represented by UTA . Great agency.

I’ve just finished a marathon of watching “BREAKING BAD” – from episode one of the First Season – to the last eight episodes of the Sixth Season. (I downloaded the last season on AMAZON) A total of two weeks (addictive) viewing.

I have never watched anything like it. Brilliant!

Your performance as Walter White was the best acting I have seen – ever.

I know there is so much smoke blowing and sickening bullshit in this business, and I’ve sort of lost belief in anything really.

But this work of yours is spectacular – absolutely stunning. What is extraordinary, is the sheer power of everyone in the entire production. What was it? Five or six years in the making? How the producers (yourself being one of them), the writers, directors, cinematographers…. every department – casting etc. managed to keep the discipline and control from beginning to the end is (that over used word) awesome.

From what started as a black comedy, descended into a labyrinth of blood, destruction and hell. It was like a great Jacobean, Shakespearian or Greek Tragedy.

If you ever get a chance to – would you pass on my admiration to everyone – Anna Gunn, Dean Norris, Aaron Paul, Betsy Brandt, R.J. Mitte, Bob Odenkirk, Jonathan Banks, Steven Michael Quezada – everyone – everyone gave master classes of performance … The list is endless.

Thank you. That kind of work/artistry is rare, and when, once in a while, it occurs, as in this epic work, it restores confidence.

You and all the cast are the best actors I’ve ever seen.

That may sound like a good lung full of smoke blowing. But it is not. It’s almost midnight out here in Malibu, and I felt compelled to write this email.

Congratulations and my deepest respect. You are truly a great, great actor.

Best regards

Tony Hopkins.

[From Gawker]

That’s how you know a show is beyond good. That’s how you know it will go down as one of the best shows in history. When a legend and one of the best living actors takes the time to personally reach out to a show’s star and congratulate him. I love how Hopkins was like “it’s midnight, I’m not blowing smoke up your ass, you know all these hollywood types are phony but this is genuine.” It really came across that way. Anthony f’ing Hopkins just told Bryan Cranston that his acting was the best he’s ever seen! The dude is 75 years old and he’s been acting for over 50 years. That’s the highest praise coming from him.

I agree that everyone involved in Breaking Bad, even the minor characters, are excellent actors. More than that, I think they had a working environment and a camaraderie that brought out the best in everyone. I want to see that happen again, and more often, on television. Maybe we’ll get another chance with sleazy lawyer Saul Goodman’s spinoff. It’s also being created by Vince Gillian, who created BB, and will have the same writer-producer from BB. So we have an excellent comedy to look forward to from the same team. That’s some consolation. So is the fact that I can watch this show over again.

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'Breaking Bad' stills

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65 Responses to “Anthony Hopkins binge watched Breaking Bad, sent Bryan Cranston a fan letter”

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  1. GiGi says:

    Yes! I put off watching for so long… until last week. Now we’re watching like it’s our job, lol! Like, the kids go to bed and we watch several episodes each night. I love Anthony Hopkins and this letter just seals the whole damn deal.

    • paola says:

      after this letter i’ve just decided it’s time to watch it. I am the best at being a total sucker for tv shows ( I watched 2 series of lost in 7 days).

      • Tiffany27 says:

        Watch honey!
        It’s one of the few shows that really is as good as everyone makes it out to be.

      • GiGi says:

        Do it! I put off watching it because I usually find things people gush over to be completely underwhelming (ahem, Orange is the New Black). But Breaking Bad has to be the absolute best thing I’ve watched – ever. I’m obsessed with it!

      • paola says:

        Did any of you watch Lost? After the tragic ending (in my opinion) i felt burnt and disappointed and i promised to never love another show so much.. but i’m willing to give BB a try. I trust you guys ;)

      • Mia4S says:

        @Paola, Breaking Bad’s finale was the definition of closure, I was stunned at how satisfied I was! Don’t google this (spoilers!) but angry Lost fans spammed poor Damon Lindeloff after the BB finale because BB’s was so good. Crazy and uncalled for? Yes. Funny? Yeah kind of.

      • paola says:

        Ahaha! that sounds funny! I remember being so pissed off with Lost. Beyond imagination. Like i wasted 6 years of my life watching it. Plus there are so many unanswered questions that i consider what they did disrespectful to all the people who loyally watched the show for several years.

      • Esmom says:

        @Paola, I watched Lost (twice actually, once the first time and recently with my son) and loved it both times despite the disappointing ending and all the loose ends. Now that I’m almost through BB, I look back at Lost and it seems almost quaintly amateurish in terms of both writing and acting. Still, I thought the good outweighed the bad. The only other show I’ve loved as much as Lost or BB is Mad Men. If I had to rank them, I’d say BB comes out on top for sure, though.

      • GiGi says:

        Esmom – I agree – Lost seems so chaotic now.

        The best thing I’m finding about BB is that it is just so tight. There’s not a plotline or thread that is dropped. It makes for such a satisfying viewing experience when all the little details are woven back in to the stories.

    • johnnybadboytapia says:

      i started watching last weekend its so good. I’m almost done with season 2. i cant believe it took me so long to start watching this

    • Esmom says:

      I’m a latecomer, too, just started a couple weeks ago and am almost to the end of Season 4. On one hand I can’t wait to get through it but on the other hand I want to slow down because I know my life will feel empty once again when I’m done. :)

      It’s hard to decide who I like watching best. Every character is so well drawn, down to Mike the Cleaner, and every performance is just so solid. But if I had to choose, I think I’d pick Jesse. He breaks my heart over and over again with his mix of angry and vulnerable.

  2. Karen says:

    This might be the single best thing on the interwebs.

    • ncmagnolia says:

      You just made made entire day.

      Love Tony Hopkins, and I’m still wandering around listlessly on Sunday evenings. Breaking up with Breaking Bad is one of the toughest endings I’ve ever had with a relationship.

      Hopkins is correct. Bryan Cranston IS an acting God. Love both gentlemen immensely!

  3. Sixer says:

    That is GORGEOUS. And I can’t say or read any more in case somebody tells me what happened (can’t see it until the blu-ray).

  4. blue marie says:

    I kind of love that Anthony went a bit fan boy over the show, it’s cute. I just started watching it, no clue why I didn’t catch it before, stupidity I suppose.

  5. Zbornak Syndrome says:

    I fell like I should send someone an open letter. Keanu Reeves? Dear Keanu, you are way too hot…

  6. tifzlan says:

    Breaking Bad was a true masterpiece, but second only to The Wire! I actually tried watching it twice before i really got into. The first two times i watched just the first episode, but found it boring and stopped. I finally gave it a chance and got hooked right away! I watched the entire first season in three days, and got caught up with the rest within 3 weeks, just in time for season 4.

    • ahoyhoy says:

      Ooh…..The last 2 episodes of Season 4 would be a top-5 FILM on my personal list of favorites (if it were a film). You will not believe it, and you will not know how to feel about it. Please keep watching. I wish I could see it again for the first time!

      • tifzlan says:

        I’ve finished the series! We caught up just in time for season four and began watching it weekly until the end. It was a wonderful series, and i absolutely loved it, but NOTHING will surpass The Wire for me, and if you haven’t already watched that, i highly highly hiiighly recommend that you do :)

    • frivolity says:

      Agreed. Breaking Bad was a masterpiece through and through. It was a modern day tragedy that could easily fit into a literature curriculum right among the great classic tragedies.

      However, I think it was the second best drama ever on television. The Wire will always remain number one. It was so overlooked when it first aired and it is an significant piece of historical fiction that depicts the reality of the American empire as experienced by the people on the ground.

      • tifzlan says:

        I still don’t understand how The Wire was never recognized for the magnum opus that it was. I am a huge television junkie, which i owe to LOST, but The Wire was like nothing i had ever watched before and it’s such a shame that it failed to win all of the awards that it deserved. Season 4 is in a league of its own, in my opinion, and not even the entirety of Breaking Bad can come close to what Season 4 of The Wire was to television.

    • Debbie says:

      Truer words never spoken! Breaking Bad was flawless and had the wire note exsisted it would be the best show ever on tv. But the wire did exsist and nothing will ever touch it.

      Season 4 was with out a doubt the best work of acting writing and production Hollywood has ever produced. I’m still not over that season closer and probably never will be.

      This was a great and well deserved letter. What I love about breaking bad and the wire is they built the show slowly and forced the audience to pay attention invest and care. They took their time and built the story and evolved the characters. Both shows did it right, they didn’t worry about focus groups or ratings they worried about the story.

      • tifzlan says:


        As i said in the comment above, Season 4 alone is something that all of Breaking Bad can never touch. I could watch that season over and over and over again and i will have the same emotions that i had when i first watched it.

        What’s so amazing about The Wire to me is how cleverly interwoven the stories and arcs are, and how much i care about every single character, major or minor and good or bad (except McNulty, i really dislike him). It is such a travesty that it never won any major awards. I’ve never understood how/why that was so…

      • Mia4S says:

        @Tifzlan, the Emmys in particular are notorious for missing the boat. Breaking Bad’s wins and acknowledgement are something of a miracle.

        From a catching on standpoint, I think Breaking Bad benefitted from a more focused scope. Rather than following a whole city, it was about two guys. Plus BB had two INSANELY appealing and funny lead actors for the interview circuit. None of this has anything to do with which show was better, but it can make a difference in drawing in a wider audience (of viewers and award voters).

      • tifzlan says:

        @mia4s I do agree that The Wire could get quite depressing at times, especially when i think about the fact that plenty of the people who wrote for the show and acted on it said that a lot of what happens on the show mirrors the reality of Baltimore. I understand personal preference, but for the critics to ignore it for FIVE seasons?! SO ABSURD!

  7. LB says:

    I started watching after Bryan Cranston won his first Emmy and never looked back. I spent the next few years convincing everyone I know to watch (annoying them into watching, in fact). No one has regretted it.

    Now I’m trying to get them all to watch The Wire.

  8. Helen says:

    Yeah bitch, magnets! This was the single most awesome thing I’ve read online in a very long time. BB rules and Anthony Hopkins is an amazing human being.

  9. Mia4S says:

    Preach it Mister Hopkins. I love this! I’m sorely tempted to buy the complete Bluray set in November but I may never leave the house again!

    I hope we will see everyone on one more round of awards show but with Cranston heading for Broadway (I love it!) and Paul off filming a Ridley Scott epic with Christian Bale (I love it!!!), they might be too busy!

  10. sarah says:

    If I was an actor/actress and Anthony Hopkins wrote me a letter like this…I’d probably have a heart attack. That is awesome (over used word).

  11. Maria says:

    he writes it himself it comes across as blowing smoke but why on earth should a guy like Hopkins do this if he wasnt really feeling like it? he has nothing to prove and he doesnt need to suck up to people to get acting gigs.

    nice compliment.

  12. Monkey Towz says:

    Love Anthony Hopkins. Love BB. I miss calling my ex every Monday to discuss the latest episode. Impossible to hate the ex when discussing such a quality show. Thanks BB for helping not be an epic Bitch!

  13. Deb says:

    Yeah bitch – if Anthony Hopkins is your fanboy you are doing something right.

  14. Kit says:

    I remember hearing about Breaking Bad in 2008 and thinking at the time “It’s about crystal meth? Whatever, I’m not watching that bullsh*t.” Sat down to see the first episode on Netflix this past summer and then promptly watched everything available within two weeks. Amazing series!!

    Hopkins’ letter is wonderful :)

  15. Faye says:

    I read this on the Internet last night and just grinned like crazy. Anthony Hopkins fangurling over “Breaking Bad” and taking the time to write about is just very sweet.

    I just joined the “Breaking Bad” cult recently myself! I held out for so long because 1) I didn’t have the time for another show and 2) it was so hyped, I felt like it had to be overrated.

    Well, I started watching it a few weeks ago, and this was the progression of my fandom:

    Season 1, first few eps -”This is really good! Great acting, good central conceit -but I won’t call it an addiction yet.”

    Season 1, last episode -”This was REALLY good! I want to know what happens next!”

    Season 2, early episodes -”Aw, dagnabbit. I’m addicted.”

    I’m currently mid-way through Season 2, and it’s the only thing I want to watch at this point. I only wish I had seen it while I was airing so I could discuss it with people. Oh well. I’ll just have to cosign on Sir Anthony’s letter.

    And I am now very excited that Cranston will be reprising his “Hammond Druthers” cameo on “How I Met Your Mother” this season.

  16. Leah says:

    This is awesome!! I I think the only other show i have seen that was as consistently brilliant was the wire.

  17. Jo says:

    This is a wonderful letter – I’m just sorry he left out Giancarlo Esposito. I too always wondered how a show about a high school teacher turned meth dealer could be good. I started watching it on Netflix the day after the final episode and was hooked. It is as brilliant a show as everyone says. One of the actors recently was quoted as saying the boxed set due out later this year will include outtakes. Now that is something I have to see. Bryan Cranston was apparently quite the prankster on set.

  18. Jennifer says:

    So glad it’s on Netflix so I can watch it over and over and over and over….

    Never heard of Bryan Cranston before BB, but now I’ve been watching Malcolm in the Middle. Excellent comedy relief after BB and still get to see the excellent acting that is Bryan Cranston!

    • frivolity says:

      Can I just say that Malcolm in the Middle was a fabulous show? =)

      Plus, Bryan was great as Tim Whatley on Seinfeld, and he had a great guest-starring role on the X-Files years ago.

      I initially found Breaking Bad because I was looking for something to watch and noticed that Bryan was starring in a new show. And the rest is history … =)

  19. Lucy Goosey says:

    Quite an amazing compliment coming from an actor like Anthony Hopkins!

  20. Shannon1972 says:

    This absolutely made my day – thank you so much for this post. I love them both as actors, and to see one legend sincerely praise another is just (that overused word) awesome.

  21. Mandy says:

    OMG, that kind of made me want to cry! I already miss this show so much. I binge watched the first few seasons on Netflix, too. I’m going to wait a year then go back and watch everything again from the beginning to the end.

  22. Elodie says:

    I was watching Malcolm in Middle last week and I’m still stunned that Hal and Walter White are played by the same actor; his acting range is amazing!

    And Bryan, better frame he sh!t out of that letter and have it hanging on top of your chimney. Then people ask “what’s this?” you just said “oh nothing…just a fan letter from Anthony Hopkins you know…”

  23. campbell says:

    Aw, that’s sweet. I feel exactly the same way about Bryan Cranston : )

  24. holly hobby says:

    I actually read that whole letter in Anthony Hopkins’ voice (yes Hannibal Lector’s voice!). Really cool email and I bet Bryan Cranston was over the moon!

    Bryan Cranston used to be on some soap opera years ago, Loving?

    BTW, that’s Sir Anthony Hopkins to you.

    • Esmom says:

      Haha, I thought I was one of the only people in the world who remembered him from Loving. Half hour soap that aired right before AMC, I must have been in high school or college or maybe right after when it was on.

      I had a tiny black and white TV that I watched it on. What a journey for Mr. Cranston…I love hearing stories of soap actors hitting the big time.

  25. bettyrose says:

    Well, Hopkins is the master of the complex evil genius. I feel much better about the fact that I’m already rewatching the series. It’s like I’m kickin’ back with Sir Tony wwatching Masterpiece Theatre.

  26. logan says:

    I never watched one episode of Breaking Bad until the marathon was on. I just kept thinking of all the bad t.v I have watched during the running of this fantastic show. Can’t wait to see what Bryan Cranston does next.
    From Hal to Walter, quite a range.
    Too bad Mr. Hopkins couldn’t have done a cameo on the show.

  27. Thiajoka says:

    I saw this yesterday on another gossip site and was delighted that Sir Anthony heartily endorses my favorite show. In addition, he really impressed me by complimenting the entire cast and crew.

    I also remember that night, what, maybe six, seven years ago? A Sunday night and I was bored and channel surfing. A show was just coming on that had the periodic table as part of the opening. I stopped and watched. And never stopped watching, started recommending the show to certain people I knew would love it. I’m so glad I was bored that Sunday night.

    • Thiajoka says:

      Replying to myself just to agree with something that was mentioned upthread about practically forcing people I know to watch the show. I did this to my cousin and her husband–kept telling them about it and they’d just, “Oh yeah, that show. Again. We’ll try to check it out one day.” So I bought the husband the first season on DVD for his birthday and it got them hooked. I knew they’d like it, so I just kept pushing it until they took the bait.

  28. anais says:

    Breaking Bad is the King of All Beers. Cranston was born to act.

  29. Alita says:

    I used to love that guy in Malcolm ;)

    Like many of you have said, I go the multi-series marathons when I’m on holidays. Got up to series two last time, and all this is making me hanker for the next marathon!!

    And to those mentioning Lost – what a crapsastic ending, like Battlestar Galactic (gahh) thanks for the head’s up that this is … better :)