When we had to choose interesting characters to analyze at the beginning of this unit, I had no idea we would ever have to choose one to perform. So naturally, I chose the characters that interested me the most. One of which was Walter White, the fictional anti-hero of the TV Show “Breaking Bad.”
Generally speaking, I am not a very angry person. So one of the greatest challenges I faced was portraying the emotions of Walter White. Before doing the line-by-line of my monologue, I had emotionally invested myself very little into the character, and thus the Walter White I presented to the audience was much more senile and broken. Thus, I was only scratching the very tip of the iceberg when it came to portraying Walter White.
The GIF below is taken from an episode from the fourth season from the show
As you can see from the clip above, Walter White isn’t some kind old man who eats tapioca pudding, solves jigsaw puzzles, and waits to die. He becomes Heisenberg. The most dangerous man in all of the Midwest. Even during remission, he goes back to cooking “blue sky” (his special brew of crystal methamphetamine), as his role in the drug trade had absolutely consumed who he was.
The GIF below was taken from an episode from the final season of the show
By the fifth season, we can see that Walter White has become obsessed with his drug empire. He is even willing to kill in order to preserve it. In doing a line-by-line for my monologue, it became clear to me that Walter White wouldn’t just drone off in front of the camera, reminiscing during his confession about his days as a healthier man. He would’ve been angry. And would’ve justified everything he had done. Because he wasn’t even a bit ashamed of what he had done. He was proud of it. Of having built an empire that he saw fit to be his legacy. Thus, I tried to capture his coarse anger, and felt like I had done a much better job at portraying the emotions of the great Heisenberg. Ultimately, this experience has taught me to explore the motivations behind each character’s words and actions, as it helps deepen my personal understanding of the role. And thus, it allows me to make much more rich and bold decisions both as an actor and as a writer.