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Breaking Bad star Anna Gunn says she no longer receives misogynistic trolling over character

‘We have made seismic changes,’ Skyler White actor said

Lydia Spencer-Elliott
Tuesday 23 April 2024 11:39 BST
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Breaking Bad star Anna Gunn has said hostile opinions of her character, Skyler White, are finally changing – 10-and-a-half years after the show’s finale.

The 55-year-old actor starred as Skyler, the wife of Bryan Cranston’s Walter White, from 2008 to 2013, and won two Emmys for her performance.

Alongside the Breaking Bad accolades came relentless misogynistic trolling – a month after the show’s final season, Gunn wrote an op-ed for The New York Times criticising how “the hatred of Skyler blurred into loathing for me as a person”.

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter over a decade later, Gunn has revealed that opinions of Skyler have drastically changed.

According to Gunn, Breaking Bad viewers now tell her Skyler was “the linchpin” and  “conscience of the show”, which motivated them to continue watching for all five seasons.

“Now, when people come up to me, it’s incredibly different,” she said. “There’s still a long way to go, but we have made seismic changes since then.”

“[Fans] say, ‘The first time I watched [Breaking Bad], I hated that character. But the second time I watched it, I realised, ‘Oh my God that poor woman.’”

Anna Gunn and Bryan Cranston in ‘Breaking Bad’
Anna Gunn and Bryan Cranston in ‘Breaking Bad’ (Ben Leuner/AMC)

Breaking Bad creator, Vince Gilligan, previously admitted fan treatment of Skyler still haunts him years after the series’ finale.

“Back when the show first aired, Skyler was roundly disliked,” he told The New Yorker. “I can tell you it always troubled me, because Skyler, the character, did nothing to deserve that. And Anna certainly did nothing to deserve that. She played the part beautifully.”

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Gilligan added he is “still thinking” about the “animosity” towards Skyler “all these years later”. However, he understands the structure of the series could have fostered a hostile reaction to the character.

“I realise in hindsight that the show was rigged, in the sense that the storytelling was solely through Walt’s eyes,” he said.

“Even Gus [a show villain played by Giancarlo Esposito], his arch-enemy, didn’t suffer the animosity Skyler received. It’s a weird thing. I’m still thinking about it all these years later.”

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