The winner of three consecutive best-drama-actor Emmy Awards for one of series television’s edgiest roles — teacher, cancer patient and meth maker-dealer Walter White on AMC’s “Breaking Bad” — Cranston presides over NBC’s late-night Saturday staple this weekend (Oct. 2). Having been his on-screen “wife” for seven years on the FOX sitcom “Malcolm in the Middle,” Kaczmarek knows the breadth he’s capable of.
“He’s still running around in his underwear,” she notes to Zap2it with a hearty laugh. “I don’t think I’ve ever known any actor more comfortable in his ‘tighty whiteys’ than Bryan Cranston. And you should hear him sing! The only thing he’s got left to do is that fabulous Broadway belt of his. He should do musicals.
“I loved working with him,” Kaczmarek states, “largely because I knew he had this spectacular ability. He always reminded me of Jack Lemmon. Think of ‘Days of Wine and Roses’ or ‘The Apartment’; [Lemmon] was very funny, but he also was the real thing dramatically. And Bryan is those things, too.”
Kaczmarek recalls Cranston as “the real soul of ‘Malcolm in the Middle.’ He took care of those boys, he always soothed any ruffled feathers … I used to tell him he’d be as good as a kindergarten teacher as he would be as the President of the United States. He has a skill set that is so vast, I’ve never known anyone else who was so good at so many things.”
Starring next as an abused teen’s mother in the Lifetime drama movie “Reviving Ophelia” Monday, Oct. 11, Kaczmarek knew Cranston would dig fully into “Breaking Bad” — which is expected to start its fourth season next July.
“He loves acting,” she says, “and he has to think about everything. When good things happen to someone like that, you just want to throw your hat into the air and say, ‘It couldn’t have happened to a better guy.'”
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