Oscar winner Hopkins in praise of ‘epic work’ Breaking Bad

Letter by Silence of the Lambs actor praises ‘absolutely stunning’ acting

An undated handout photo of Bryan Cranston, left, and Aaron Paul in a scene from the season five premiere of the AMC series Breaking Bad. Photograph: Ursula Coyote/AMC via The New York Times

An undated handout photo of Bryan Cranston, left, and Aaron Paul in a scene from the season five premiere of the AMC series Breaking Bad. Photograph: Ursula Coyote/AMC via The New York Times

Tue, Oct 15, 2013, 09:45

Oscar-winning British actor Anthony Hopkins liked dark US crime drama Breaking Bad to such an extent that he was moved to write a letter praising the show to lead actor Bryan Cranston.

The letter, written by the actor after viewing the entire six seasons in the space of just two weeks, first appeared on Reddit before being shared on Facebook by Breaking Bad actor Steven Michael Quezada. The letter was subsequently deleted but its contents have been widely shared on social media.

NBC reported overnight that Arnold Robinson, a publicist for Hopkins, confirmed the letter was genuine.

The Irish Times takes no responsibility for the content or availability of other websites.

Hopkins, who won an Oscar for 1991 film The Silence of the Lambs was full of praise for the series and said Cranston’s performance as schoolteacher turned meth cook Walter White was “the best acting I have ever seen.”

“From what started as a black comedy, descended into a labyrinth of blood, destruction and hell. It was like a great Jacobean, Shakespearian or Greek Tragedy,” he wrote.

The following are the contents of Hopkins’ letter:

Dear Mister Cranston.

I wanted to write you this email – so I am contacting you through Jeremy Barber – I take it we are both represented by UTA . Great agency.

I’ve just finished a marathon of watching “BREAKING BAD” – from episode one of the First Season – to the last eight episodes of the Sixth Season. (I downloaded the last season on AMAZON) A total of two weeks (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—t 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.

From what started as a black comedy, descended into a labyrinth of blood, destruction and hell. It was like a great Jacobean, Shakespearian or Greek Tragedy.

If you ever get a chance to – would you pass on my admiration to everyone – Anna Gunn, Dean Norris, Aaron Paul, Betsy Brandt, R.J. Mitte, Bob Odenkirk, Jonathan Banks, Steven Michael Quezada – everyone – everyone gave master classes of performance … The list is endless.

Thank you. 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.

That may sound like a good lung full of smoke blowing. But it is not. It’s almost midnight out here in Malibu, and I felt compelled to write this email.

Congratulations and my deepest respect. You are truly a great, great actor.

Best regards

Tony Hopkins.

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