Bryan Cranston recalls emotional Breaking Bad scene

Bryan Cranston got emotional when discussing the difficult final scene between Walter White and Krysten Ritter’s Jane.

Breaking Bad Jane

Spoilers for Breaking Bad in case you haven’t watched one of the most brilliant shows ever.

Breaking Bad is full of memorably intense scenes, with each season holding its own moments that make viewers’ palms sweat. One of the standouts came in season two’s penultimate episode, “Phoenix,” in which Jesse Pinkman’s girlfriend, Jane, choked to death as Walter White allows it to happen. Bryan Cranston has opened up about the emotional Breaking Bad scene and its impact.

In a recent interview on The Kelly Clarkson Show, Bryan Cranston opened up about that transformative Breaking Bad scene and how it affected him not as an actor but as a father. “I did a scene on Breaking Bad where I was watching a woman die in the second season, and… all of a sudden, her face left and the face of my real daughter showed up, and I was watching my real daughter die. And it choked me. I’m even getting a little choked up now. And for about two or three seconds, I saw my daughter’s face and I… it choked me up, and that went away and Krysten Ritter’s face came back, and there she was, and it was like, ‘Oh my god!’ It is an emotional risk that actors go through. We have to put ourselves in a position of vulnerability for that to possibly happen, because you’re willing to go into the unknown.”

The scene in question is cited as a major turning point not just for the character of Jesse Pinkman but many others. Distracted by Jane’s death, her air traffic controller father inadvertently crosses flight patterns, resulting in a collision that leaves 167 dead. Jane’s death also came up in one of Breaking Bad’s best episodes, season five’s “Ozymandias,” in which Walter White revealed his involvement to Jesse Pinkman. For this episode of Breaking Bad, Bryan Cranston won the Primetime Emmy Award. Jane also appeared in a flashback in El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie, helping give Jesse some closure.

For those missing all of the drama of Breaking Bad, Bryan Cranston will reprise his role as Walter White in an upcoming Super Bowl LVII. However, we must assume that any given show episode will be far more dramatic than any bite of a PopCorners snack.

What did you think of Jane’s death on Breaking Bad? Where does it rank in the show’s most powerful moments? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.


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Mathew is an East Coast-based writer and film aficionado who has been working with periodically since 2006. When he’s not writing, you can find him on Letterboxd or at a local brewery. If he had the time, he would host the most exhaustive The Wonder Years rewatch podcast in the universe.