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Bryan Cranston tells Sunday TODAY's Willie Geist he's 'proud' of 'Breaking Bad' role

Though he's delivered other memorable performances, Bryan Cranston acknowledges to Sunday TODAY's Willie Geist that Walter White is his defining role.
/ Source: TODAY

He played a goofy dad on “Malcolm in the Middle,” a dentist and a “re-gifter” on “Seinfeld,” and a former U.S. president in the Lyndon B. Johnson play-turned-HBO movie, “All the Way.” But when you think of Bryan Cranston, you probably think first of Walter White, his meth-dealing character on the hit AMC series “Breaking Bad.”

And he’s OK with that.

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“I think that'll be the opening line of my obituary, you know, ‘Best known for [Walter White],’ the actor told Sunday TODAY’s Willie Geist. “And that's fine with me, yeah. I mean, I'm very proud of it. I hold that experience up with such relish and glee that I had that moment, I had that time.”

Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul
You did not want to mess with Walter White (Bryan Cranston) or his sidekick, Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul), on "Breaking Bad."AF archive / Alamy Stock Photo / Alamy Stock Photo

It was an emotionally challenging role for Cranston — understandable, considering all of the wicked things White did during the course of the show’s run. (If you haven’t gotten around to binge-watching ‘Breaking Bad’ yet, let’s just say he did a lot more than manufacture drugs!)

“I didn't want to take Walter White home. I wanted to go home as Bryan,” Cranston, who won four acting Emmys for “Breaking Bad,” explained. “At the end of the day I would put a hot moist towel over my head like a turban and one over my face and I would just sit there and allow the moisture and the heat to just pull out the dirt and toxins and emotional baggage that I was carrying around that day and wipe it all off. I left him at the studio."

RELATED: Bryan Cranston reprises 'Breaking Bad' role of Walter White on 'SNL'

Watch the videos for more “Breaking Bad” talk — and for a funny story on how Cranston became an ordained minister and performed his first ceremony in a very unusual setting!

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