Bryan Cranston’s Walt made Anna Gunn feel “alone, scared and angry” in certain scenes

Regardless of how vicious her husband turned out to be, new Breaking Bad fans might be surprised to learn that it was Skyler White and not Walt who got the most hate from viewers when the series first aired. The negative conversation surrounding her character was so widespread that Anna Gunn even wrote an op-ed for The New York Times in 2013, explaining why she found some viewers’ comments about Skyler so concerning.

“Right from the start I was aware that she might not be the most popular character on the show,” Gunn wrote. “But I wasn’t prepared for the scathing reaction she evoked.” After discussing how some of the negativity towards her ‘Breaking Bad’ character turned into hatred of her as a performer, Gunn added, “Finally, I got it clear that most people’s hatred of Skyler had little to do with me and a lot to do with their own perception of women and wives.”

For his part, Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan admitted in a 2022 interview with The New Yorker that, like Gunn, he too was troubled by the initial fan reaction to Skyler. “I can tell you it always bothered me because Skyler, the character, didn’t do anything that deserved it,” Gilligan said. “It’s a strange thing. I still think about it all these years later.”

Thankfully, conversations about Gunn’s character seem to have gotten more positive in the years since Breaking Bad ended, while fan opinion about Walter White only seems to get more negative. That’s arguably a good thing, considering Bryan Cranston’s performance as Walt was apparently so emotionally powerful that it elicited exactly the same nuances of concern and anger from his co-stars as it did from their characters.

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