is the star of acclaimed crime drama in Breaking Bad, but Walter White had nothing on the loose cannon that was Hal in Malcolm in The Middle.
The American actor, 67, is best known to audiences for being drug kingpin Walter White, but in the criminally underrated sitcom.
Malcolm in the Middle began in 2000 and followed the domestic misadventures of a working class family trying to make ends meet, with actor in the titular role.
Playing a lovable but comically clumsy father, Cranston was often required to do his own stunts, which included everything from rollerblading to wearing a suit of bees.
And it seems it started to take its toll on Cranston, who revealed The Graham Norton Show that, after doing things like painting himself blue or drinking a horrid raw protein mixture, he started to break down.
‘They started to think, “What can we write that he won’t do?” I was strapped on a moving bus, I had 60,000 stinging bees on me, and I did a thing where my character was covered from head to toe in blue paint.’
He continued, adding that sometimes the stunts were more dangerous than you’d think: ‘[It] wasn’t safe. I started to physically shut down, so they threw me in the shower. It was weird.’
Fans of the sitcom, which ran for seven seasons and produced over 150 episodes, have noted in the past that Cranston’s stunts only got more extreme because the Breaking Bad actor kept agreeing to them.
A viewer said: ‘The reason Hal’s antics got more extreme was because the crew tried to find something Cranston wasn’t willing to do himself, but he just accepted whatever they threw at him.’
In 2023, Bryan confirmed he at some point.
‘I love that show. To me, it was the comedic flip side to Breaking Bad because of the quality of the writing,’ he said.
‘[Malcolm in the Middle creator] Linwood Boomer is really considering it. And he said — just like [Breaking Bad creator] Vince Gilligan would say — if there was a great idea that everybody got excited about, he would really consider doing it.’
‘To be able to slip into Hal again, at this age, all those years ago, [would be] phenomenal…. I’m thrilled at the prospect of it,’ he told .
Cranston will be accompanied on Graham Norton’s famous red sofa on Friday by The Tree of Life actress Jessica Chastain, Get Out actor Daniel Kaluuya, and comedian Kevin Bridges.
Graham Norton airs Friday on BBC One at 10.50pm