After five years as the increasingly vicious teacher-turned-meth king Walter White, Bryan Cranston has thought long and hard about how Walter's journey should come to an end this year.
"I had notions. Like, 'What if he created this toxic world around him and, because of his actions, everybody he loved died and he had to stay alive?'" Cranston, 57, tells GQ magazine in its August issue.
"But then I'd think, 'He's wrought so much, he has to die. Doesn't he?' But if he dies, what does he die of? Maybe he dies of cancer," Cranston continued. "After all this other danger! But my true answer of how I wanted it to end, my honest answer, is this: however Vince Gilligan wants it to end."
OK, so that's kind of a copout, but it's a good and - as he says - honest one. And "Breaking Bad" creator Gilligan doesn't leave us hanging, offering something of a hint to GQ. The showrunner says that he drew inspiration for the conclusion of his AMC series, which will air its final eight episodes starting August 11, from "M.A.S.H."
"I keep coming back to M*A*S*H. From the first episode, these people sit around and say, 'All I want to do is go home,'" Gilligan tells the magazine. "So of course they all get to go home in the final episode. Sometimes the best moment in a TV show is an unpredictable moment, but sometimes it's actually being predictable."
Cranston's rise as one of TV's most eminent actors wasn't as obvious from the outset, but it's crystal clear now as he brings his evolution of Walter to a close.
"What happened to Walt is something I related to, if I'm truly honest with myself," Cranston says. "I've come to realize that I think everybody is capable of that. If you came into a condition where you were under tremendous stress. And if I knew what buttons to push that threatened you and yours... You could become an extremely dangerous person."