‘Breaking Bad’ Star Bryan Cranston Reveals the Hardest Scene to Shoot — ‘I’m a Weeping Mess’

Walter White was a despicable man.

The antihero of Breaking Bad takes a journey that turns him “from Mr. Chips into Scarface,” just as show creator Vince Gilligan intended. The story of Walt becoming Heisenberg, a drug kingpin who justifies every evil deed and will stop at nothing on his quest for power, is truly a tale of a man losing his soul.

However, actor Bryan Cranston has little in common with the character he played on the series. Though he won the Emmy for Best Leading Actor in a Drama Series for his depiction of Walt, deep down Cranston was horrified by the actions he was doing on-screen. This includes one pivotal scene that fans will never forget.

Walter White lets Jane Margolis die on purpose

Jesse, Walt and Jane
Jesse Pinkman, Jane Margolis, and Walter White | Lewis Jacobs/AMC

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Jesse Pinkman’s girlfriend Jane isn’t the first victim of Walt’s selfishness. But her death still resonated as one of the worst things Walt ever did, especially since she wasn’t part of the drug game.

The scene in question occurs during season 2 episode 12, “Phoenix.” Jane had decided to blackmail Walt for Jesse’s share of the meth profits and worked on convincing him to leave the partnership and run away with her. Later, Walt goes over to Jesse’s house to confront him and finds both him and Jane passed out in bed. Drug paraphernalia on the nightstand confirms they’re high on drugs.

Walt witnesses Jane overdosing on heroin and choking on her own vomit. His first instinct is to save her life but, thinking of what he could gain by her death, Walt instead watched her die and doesn’t intervene. He leaves the apartment and lets Jesse wake up next to his girlfriend’s corpse.

To make matters worse, Walt’s actions indirectly cause a plane crash. Jane’s father Donald is an air traffic controller who has a mental breakdown at work after his daughter’s death, causing two planes to collide midair and killing everyone on board.

Bryan Cranston had a hard time filming Jane’s death scene

Cranston at that point was a veteran actor who had done plenty of dramatic scenes. But Jane’s death affected him on a personal level. He later told IndieWire that he pictured Krysten Ritter, who played Jane, as his own daughter.

“In a split second [Krysten’s] face lost all characteristics, and out of that came the face of my real daughter choking to death,” Cranston said.

After the director yelled cut, Cranston let his emotions out. “I’m a weeping mess,” he recalled. “Fortunately, you have your family around you, and I went to Anna Gunn [Skyler White] and she held me.”

Fans still can’t get over the scene where Jane died

After Jane’s death, Walter White would go on to commit plenty of heinous acts, from poisoning a child to murdering his adversary with the assistance of a suicide bomber. Still, Jane’s death continued to serve as a turning point on Walt’s journey to evil.

It proved that he was willing to do anything to get what he wanted and destroy Jesse’s life in the process. When Walt finally admitted to Jesse that he killed Jane right after ordering Jack to kill him, Walt’s true depth of depravity is finally exposed for all to see.