Anna Gunn almost didn’t audition for Breaking Bad. She had given birth to her second child just four months before and was down with a bad cold, which led her to cancel several meetings with casting director Sharon Bialy. When Bialy finally tracked her down by phone, Gunn recalls, “I said, ‘I’m exhausted, I’m a new mom again, I’m overloaded.’ ”
“Take an echinacea and read the script,” Bialy replied. “You won’t be sorry.”
Gunn tore through the pilot in a single sitting. “It was one of the best scripts I’d read,” she says. “I called Sharon back and said, ‘I’ll be in tomorrow.’ ”
As the 10 million–plus viewers of the AMC award-showered hit (accolades include this year’s Golden Globe for Best TV Drama) well know, Gunn was Breaking Bad’s formidable Skyler White, the wife of Walt, a chemistry teacher turned methamphetamine cook played by Bryan Cranston. Through five seasons that ended in September, Gunn negotiated a rocky, Emmy-winning ride of discovery, outrage, complicity and alienation, all within the context of what seemed to be a model suburban marriage and family. Breaking Bad was disturbing, riveting and bleakly funny. But Gunn, 45, left the heaviness behind at the end of the day. “You go on a journey with these characters. . . and [when one of them] has a trait that’s inspiring or fascinating, you get to take that with you. The other stuff you leave on the shelf,” she says.
Read the rest of Anna Gunn's story in the March issue of More, on newsstands February 25!
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