When Walter White told us to “say my name,” it so perfectly summed up the ascent to drug-lordship he had been on since the beginning of Breaking Bad, yet the three words in and of themselves revealed almost nothing. Bryan Cranston, our Walter White, in case you were in a coma between 2008 and 2013, has established himself as an actor that can handle the most complicated characters. However, Stephen Colbert wondered on his show last night if Cranston could handle a character revealing his backstory in exposition rather than subtly dosing it out.
“Of course, I think the test of a great actor is, can you play the opposite? A poorly written character who just kind of walks in and awkwardly announces his entire backstory?” Colbert asked Cranston. “Think I was born thinking I can handle that,” Cranston answered.
“Well, that’s great to hear,” said Colbert and introduced “Too Much Exposition Theater,” in which Cranston and Colbert acted out a scene as gaudy, early 20th century British characters, complete with an eyepatch and pronounced handlebar mustache on Cranston. Their conversation was lengthy and informative, marked by their looking into the camera rather than each other.
Cranston was on The Late Show to promote his new film The Infiltrator, in which he plays a U.S. customs official who unravels one of Pablo Escobar’s money laundering schemes. Watch him play the talkative Bertram Chevalier in the clip above.