The groundbreaking television hit “Breaking Bad” ceased filming in New Mexico more than three years ago, but the show’s star, Bryan Cranston, still has lots of love for the state.
Cranston, who won four Emmy awards for his brilliant portrayal of high school chemistry teacher turned meth kingpin Walter White, was one of the biggest stars at Saturday night’s White House Correspondents Dinner in Washington.
On the way out of the Hilton ballroom after dinner, Cranston took a moment to chat with this Washington correspondent about his ongoing affection for New Mexico and Albuquerque, in particular.
“I loved it,” Cranston told me about his experience filming in Albuquerque. “I still live there – I still have a house there. It’s a great place and we’ll always be tied.”
Cranston, who is creating major Hollywood buzz again for his coming portrayal of former President Lyndon Johnson on HBO, said he returns to New Mexico often.
“I may come back in a month or two,” he said. “I like to come back and visit, and pop in and pop out, and pop back in.”
The now-iconic actor, whose primary residence is in California, also spoke fondly of his experience last year recording a voice-over for a New Mexico Tourism Department ad that featured prose from celebrated author Cormac McCarthy.
Cranston told me that Saturday marked his first time attending the White House Correspondents Dinner.
“I had a lot of fun,” he said.
EL BERN: A night earlier, on Friday, Voto Latino – a Washington, D.C.-based group that encourages Hispanic political participation – hosted a correspondents dinner pre-party on the rooftop of the swanky Hay-Adams hotel overlooking the White House.
Actress Rosario Dawson, an enthusiastic supporter of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and a founder of Voto Latino, told me the Hispanic population is growing in the United States, but has yet to realize its full political potential. And the best way to make that happen is to vote, she said. Dawson seemed interested in the fact that New Mexico has the largest percentage of Hispanics of any state in the country.
“We need everybody to participate,” said the actress, who is of Cuban and Puerto Rican descent. “So often when you look at the media, we’re only portrayed as criminals – if at all. Voting is really critical. You’ve got to be registered and you’ve got to be willing to vote. There are so many causes and issues, and your voice really does matter, but it’s not going to matter if it’s only used over the kitchen table to complain about things. You’ve got to show up. I really hope people take advantage of that opportunity.”
Michael Coleman: firstname.lastname@example.org