Bryan Cranston recalls scoring the ultimate win during his audition for the role of Tim Whatley on Seinfeld. Long before he became known as Walter White on Breaking Bad, Cranston was known for playing the lovably Hal on Malcolm in the Middle. Before that, however, Cranston appeared as a guest star on five episodes of Seinfeld, playing Jerry’s dentist and, briefly, a love interest for Elaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus).
In a recent career retrospective interview with GQ, Cranston details his audition process for Seinfeld and the major achievement he scored involving Jerry himself.
The actor explains that, during a later audition in which Seinfeld was actually in the room, he actually made the comedian laugh, which ended up working out well for his character and his career. Check out Cranston’s full recollection of the Seinfeld audition process below:
“Seinfeld was great. Did [my audition] first for the casting director, Meg Lieberman, and then for the callback, Jerry was in the room. And the goal of any actor is to, ‘Man, if I can get him to laugh, that’s the thing.’ And I got him. [Doing Seinfeld impression] ‘That was funny!’ And then they called me back and they called me back and again and again and again and again. And pretty soon you have a recurring role on that.”
A Lot Of Seinfeld Guest Stars Would Become Big Actors
Cranston may have appeared in supporting capacities across a variety of TV shows and small movies throughout the 1980s and ’90s, but he would go on to become a very recognizable star after appearing in Malcolm in the Middle and Breaking Bad. In addition to Cranston, though, Seinfeld actually featured a number of guest stars who would go on to enjoy successful careers. In fact, Cranston’s Breaking Bad co-star, Anna Gunn, who stars as his wife in the show, appeared in one episode of Seinfeld as a character named Amy.
Courteney Cox, who iconically starred as Monica in Friends, actually appeared in one episode of Seinfeld before taking on her starring role in the equally-beloved sitcom. Other actors who guest-starred on Seinfeld include Patton Oswalt, Jon Favreau, Jeremy Piven, Jon Lovitz, Denise Richards, James Spader, and Teri Hatcher, among a host of others. Notably, one of Cranston’s other screen partners in the Breaking Bad universe would also appear on the sitcom, with Better Call Saul‘s Bob Odenkirk playing Ben, a doctor who dates Elaine.
While his role as Tom on Seinfeld may not be the most memorable character of his long career, the actor’s role on the sitcom and his story regarding his audition is further proof that Cranston is one of the most talented actors working today. In addition to capturing the severity and seriousness of Walt in Breaking Bad, Cranston was just as capable of making even the funniest of comedians laugh in a more lighthearted role.
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