Breaking Bad’s Walter White will go down as one of the most popular heroes-turned-villians in television history. For five years now, White and Bryan Cranston (who plays him) have created a cult-like following among groupies – resulting in geeky forms of adulation like Walter White animated GIFs and now a lookalike contest.
BREAKING BAD’S Walter White will go down as one of the most popular heroes-turned-villians in television history. For five years now, White and Bryan Cranston (who plays him) have created a cult-like following among groupies – resulting in geeky forms of adulation like Walter White animated GIFs and now a lookalike contest.
Last week dozens of wannabes showed up in Albuquerque for the event hosted by Steven Michael Quezada, who plays DEA agent Steven Gomez on the show. Fittingly held in the city that serves as the series’ backdrop and Quezada’s hometown, the contestants came clad in everything from those now-famous opening-scene underpants to the ubiquitous yellow hazmat suit that has taken over later seasons.
“Bryan Cranston has just killed it, and that’s why he gets the props,” says Quezada. “He’s fucking kicked ass, bottom line.”
The contest was part of Quezada’s 100th episode of his late-night talk show The After After Party, and was judged by Cranston himself, who had just come into town to start shooting Breaking Bad’s final eight episodes, which will air this coming summer.
“It’s just great drama and a great story,” said contest lookalike co-winner Joe Griffenberg, 54, who lives in Albuquerque and works as a furniture salesman. “It’s definitely one of the best shows on.” The other co-winner was Michael Chandross, also of Albuquerque.
Now a familiar face to the Breaking Bad-obsessed, viewers first met Walter White back in 2008 as they watched him crash an RV meth lab filled with bodies and then make a frantic suicide goodbye video on a hand-held camera as sirens flared in the background.
Back then he was a likeable guy battling cancer and trying to protect his family. But since that first episode, viewers have been treated to one of the most compelling and well-written pieces of character deterioration we’ve seen in recent history as Walter White has turned into a ruthless and obsessed drug kingpin who alienates everyone around him. The show and its actors have become drenched in awards as critics and viewers alike have rewarded it for being like nothing else on TV – both visually and dramatically.
Quezada, whose role in Breaking Bad has elevated his career to new heights, said it was great to see a huge turnout for a show and a character that will inevitably go down in the television history books.
Cranston, who had yet to shave his head and actually looked the least like Walter White during the taping, was quizzed by the audience about how Breaking Bad ends, but he said even he was in the dark about how creator Vince Gilligan plans to wrap things up for his character.
If we follow the current arc, however, we can probably expect it to be bad.
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