Oct. 14, 2013 at 3:01 PM ET
Oscar winner Anthony Hopkins is no slouch in the acting department, but after binge-watching all six seasons of "Breaking Bad" recently, he couldn't resist writing a letter to star Bryan Cranston to tell him it was the best acting he had seen — ever.
The letter showed up Sunday on the Facebook page of actor Steven Michael Quezada, who played DEA agent Steve Gomez on the AMC hit. It was quickly picked up across the web, but on Monday the post, along with a tweet about it from Quezada, disappeared.
Arnold Robinson, a publicist for Hopkins, confirmed to TODAY on Monday that the letter was indeed real. And a source at United Talent Agency, which represents both Hopkins and Cranston, told TODAY that Hopkins wanted to write Cranston because he admired his work so much. Hopkins was complimentary of the entire cast, and the UTA source said Cranston shared it, not expecting the letter to go viral.
Hopkins writes that he was compelled to reach out after what he refers to as two weeks of "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 bull---- 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.
Hopkins is no stranger to portraying crafty monsters — he won his Academy Award for the role of Hannibal Lecter in 1991's "The Silence of the Lambs."
"Thank you," the 75-year-old actor writes. "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."
Cranston, 57, won three Emmys for his work as the high-school-teacher-turned-meth-kingpin Walter White. Last month he lost out to Jeff Daniels of HBO's "The Newsroom," but "Breaking Bad" won the Emmy for best drama series.