Count Anthony Hopkins among the legions of Breaking Bad fans who couldn’t get enough of the show.
Just over two weeks after the AMC drama aired its series finale, a letter surfaced that Hopkins wrote to star Bryan Cranston, in which he gushes over the actor's performance. Hopkins says he just finished watching a marathon of all five seasons of the show (he refers to a sixth season, but the fifth season was actually split into two).
"A total of two weeks (addictive) viewing," he writes. "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."
Hopkins also goes on to praise the rest of the cast as well, and asks Cranston to "pass on my admiration to everyone."
"Everyone gave master classes of performance," he writes.
He also praises the Vince Gilligan-created show's overall arc and storytelling.
"From what started as a black comedy, descended into a labyrinth of blood, destruction and hell," he writes. "It was like a great Jacobean, Shakespearian [sic] or Greek Tragedy."
The letter first surfaced over the weekend on Breaking Bad co-star Steven Michael Quezada's Facebook page, according to Gawker, but the post has since been deleted, as has a tweet he wrote about the letter. But The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed that Hopkins is indeed the author and that the letter is authentic.
The Breaking Bad series finale aired Sept. 29, drawing a record 10.3 million viewers.
While many in Hollywood tweeted their enthusiasm for the show and especially the series finale, Oliver Stone and Britney Spears recently expressed their displeasure with the events of the final episode.
Read Hopkins' full letter below.
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.