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Critical acclaim, a legion of fans, Emmy Awards: there are a lot of perks to being the star of Breaking Bad.
One downside? Being, as Bryan Cranston calls himself, “The Face of Meth.”
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter at an event for his new film, Argo, in which he plays a CIA officer helping to free Americans hiding from Iranian revolutionaries, Cranston joked about how his TV role lands him some unexpected column inches and web real estate. Thanks to his character Walter White, who is an ever-more-gruesome meth cooker, any time someone is arrested for possessing or deal crystal meth, it’s Cranston’s photo that ends up slapped on the article.
PHOTOS: Cooking Up Season 5 of ‘Breaking Bad’ on Set with Bryan Cranston, Vince Gilligan
“It’s not exactly how I want to be known, but it is what it is,” he sighed, laughing. “In fact, there’s the real Walter White, who was a meth dealer, and it’s like, oh, great.”
The White he refers to is an Alabama man who made headlines in August when he violated his parole for a meth-cooking arrest from 2008. And, as expected, Cranston’s face indeed appeared in many of the stories about the criminal.
“Maybe I should have Heisenberg pay him a visit in prison,” he joked, nodding to his character’s dealer code name. “I have a way of getting rid of people I don’t want around.”
Still, Cranston doesn’t expect the meth conotations to follow him forever.
“I think what’s going to be good for me, by a lucky, fortunate set of circumstances, I had to shave my head because the character was going through chemotherapy,” he said. “And by doing so, it gave me a specific look, and now, as you see, it grows back and it helps to change my look. So for an actor, I look for the opportunity to change and mix it up.”
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