"Breaking Bad" star Bryan Cranston doesn't play the goofy sitcom dad anymore, but he still loves to play the occasional prank.
In real life, Cranston looks more like "Malcolm in the Middle's" Hal than his "Breaking Bad" character Walter White (aka Heisenberg); he's clean-shaven, with a full head of hair. But just to mess with fans at Comic-Con this weekend, he put on a Walter White mask, complete with bald head and goatee, and roamed the halls unrecognized. (That's Cranston there, on the left.)
He even used a higher voice to conceal his identity from fans. And with all the outlandish costumes on display at Comic-Con, we can't really blame anyone for not looking twice at this getup.
Cranston walked out onstage during Sunday's "Breaking Bad" panel in the mask, too, and kept it with him while he and the rest of the cast answered questions from fans about all five seasons of their Emmy-winning AMC drama.
He and co-star Aaron Paul (Jesse) even took turns making out with the mask at one point; check out a photo from that very weird moment here, if you can stomach it:
But a mischievous stunt like this is par for the course for Cranston, according to Paul: "He's the most professional person I've ever worked with, but also the most immature man," he said during today's panel. Here are a few more nuggets from the cast and crew, as we gear up for the final eight episodes of "BB" (no!), debuting August 11:
- Want to get caught up on "Breaking Bad" in less than three minutes? You're in luck: The panel kicked off with a rapid-fire video montage from all five seasons of "BB," from Walt's initial cancer diagnosis all the way to his current status as malevolent drug lord. It's a fun watch for die-hard "Breaking Bad" fans, too, to see how far Walt and Jesse have come in such a short time. Watch it right here:
- Sometimes CGI can't beat good old-fashioned luck. One of the craziest moments in "Breaking Bad" history, when a frustrated Walt flung an entire pizza onto his roof, was done without any special effects at all. "I kind of guessed the weight of it and the trajectory, and what it would have to be," remembered Cranston. "And we just rolled. First take, bam! Up it goes. Lands on the roof; everything's perfect." So Walter White isn't just a chemist; he's a physicist, too?
- We know Walt is the one who poisoned Jesse's surrogate son Brock to win his trust back in Season 4, but we still don't know how he did it. When a fan asked how it was even possible, creator Vince Gilligan replied, "That's an excellent question… my writers and I would always tell stories to ourselves of the Evil Juicebox Man." He said Walt crushed up the lily of the valley and somehow got it into a juicebox in Brock's school lunch: "It would have been tricky timing, but he was a very motivated individual at that point."
- Cranston and Paul both responded to a question about when their characters really "broke bad" for good. Paul said it was when Jesse gunned down Gale at the end of Season 3: "He killed probably the nicest person on the show." Cranston thinks Walt deciding not to save Jane's life in Season 2 was his turning point. Originally, Walt was supposed to flip Jane on her back to make sure she died, but the studio balked, and Cranston prefers the ambiguity of the final version: "The culpable moment for Walt is when he recognizes the girl could die, and what does he do then?"
- Fans can't wait to find out what the ultimate fate of Walter White is, but it's reassuring to know that Gilligan is happy with how "BB" wraps up: "I am satisfied by the ending. I hope you will be, too. Everyone in front of the camera and behind it is very happy with it." In fact, Comic-Con fans got a very special sneak peek at the August 11 premiere's opening scene. (Spoiler-phobes, begone!) It's another flash-forward, like the Season 5 opener, with a bearded Walt returning to an ominously boarded-up White house and retrieving the ricin from behind the wall socket. Buckle up, "Breaking Bad" fans; these last eight episodes should be one crazy ride.
The final eight episodes of "Breaking Bad" premiere Sunday, 8/11 at 9 PM on AMC.