…And according to those in attendance, it was awesome:
Jason Reitman’s ‘Breaking Bad’ Live Read Featured Sharp Writing and Deleted Scenes From The Pilot Episode
by Germain Lussier
“If you’re a writer tonight, you might want to hide your knives,” said Jason Reitman at Tuesday night’s special summer live read. “This script is so good you’ll never want to write again. You f***er, Vince.”
The script Reitman was referring to, the script that could get the writer/director to come back and do a live read in July when he’s not scheduled to come back until October, was the pilot of AMC’s Breaking Bad. The “Vince” is creator Vince Gilligan. And as fantastic the first episode of Breaking Bad is to watch, to hear it read reveals another level of brilliance. If you were to travel back in time, sit down with Gilligan in 2007 and ask him to describe what happens in the show over a few beers, that’s what his writing sounds like. It’s perfectly, brilliantly descriptive with a language that’s filled with vulgarity and humor. It has a conversational, culturally current tone that pops off the page.
The latest live read at the Los Angeles Country Museum of Art, presented by Film Independent, revealed not only this fantastic writing, but some fun interpretations by great actors, appearances by the original actors, deleted scenes and more. Read about it below.
The night began with Reitman coming out and acknowledging that while most of the time they scripts they do are so old, the people in them are dead, this time most of the cast was in attendance. Sitting just a few rows in front of me were writer/creator Vince Gilligan as well as stars Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, RJ Mitte and Anna Gunn. Each would be portrayed by someone different here tonight. Before the cast was announced though, Reitman thanked them all for “the fly, the pool, the plane, the train, the flower, bacon and the bell. Ding.”
Here was Tuesday’s cast:
- Rainn Wilson as Walter White, originated by Bryan Cranston
- Mae Whitman as Jesse Pinkman, originated by Aaron Paul
- Annie Mumolo as Skyler White, originated by Anna Gunn
- Chi McBride as Hank Schrader, originated by Dean Morris
- Ellie Kemper as Marie Schrader, originated by Betsy Brandt
- Paul Rust as Walter White Jr., originated by RJ Mitte