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Bryan Cranston Was in a Real-Life Hollywood Poker Ring With the Disappearer

Ed (Robert Forster) and Walter White (Bryan Cranston) - Breaking Bad _ Season 5, Episode 15 - Photo Credit: Ursula Coyote/AMC
Forster as the disappearer in his “small, quiet side business.” Photo: Ursula Coyote/AMC

No one was expecting Breaking Bad to debut a somewhat new character last Sunday, and actor Robert Forster went to great lengths to ensure no one would know he was giving life to someone who had previously only lived on the other end of Saul’s phone. “I jumped on a plane to an undisclosed location,” Forster tells The Hollywood Reporter, explaining he didn’t disclose his role to anyone. “Not even my daughter, who knows everything I do and where I go.”

While he admitted that he hasn’t kept up to date with the AMC drama (though he’s seen a lot of “middle-year episodes”), the Jackie Brown alum said he “didn’t have to know much about the show truthfully” to pull off the role, describing it as “Terse and quiet and all the kinds of things that give any actor doing it the kind of credibility that he is hoping for.” He revealed that Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould reached out to him, saying “in their own private conversations they had used my name.” “They could not have been nicer to me,” said Forster. “What good guys.”

As for Bryan Cranston, they had met years ago in an utterly delightful scenario: “There’s a small actors’ poker game Wednesday. [There must be] a list of 100 actors every month. You show up with seven or eight other players and kid around and joke. So we all knew when [Bryan Cranston] started the show.” Important questions first: Where is this poker game? When do they play? How does one get on the list? Can friends come? How about in disguise? There’s literally nothing we wouldn’t do for a shot at one of Cranston’s epic hugs.

Breaking Bad’s Disappearer Speaks Out