Taylor Cranston, daughter of Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston, is proving the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree with great performances of her own.
Taylor Cranston Guest Starred on Bryan Cranston’s Show, Breaking Bad
Fans of Breaking Bad know that Bryan Cranston portrayed the type of father you wouldn’t want any children to follow in the footsteps of. Walter White was a formidable anti-hero, spiraling out of control and ruining his family’s life in the process. In real life, however, Bryan Cranston is a humble and charismatic actor and family man who has won multiple Emmy awards and was even nominated for an Oscar. So we can certainly understand why his real-life daughter would want to head down that same path. There’s plenty of evidence that Taylor Cranston is a talent in her own right, but it helps to have connections. Her very first role was in the 2010 Breaking Bad episode “No Más” in which she was credited as “Sad-Faced Girl”. Along with being the show’s lead, Bryan Cranston also happened to direct that season’s premiere episode so there’s no way his daughter wasn’t getting the part, right? Directing an episode of his hit series wasn’t unusual for Bryan Cranston who wrote and directed a small budget film named Chance in 1999 and directed several episodes of Malcolm in the Middle as well. Since Breaking Bad, Bryan Cranston has gone behind the camera for episodes of Modern Family and the Amazon series Sneaky Pete, which he also created.
Bryan Cranston, His Wife, and Daughter, Taylor Cranston
Let’s go back to the beginning; a TV show that almost no one remembers even existing turned out to be an unforgettable experience for Bryan Cranston and Robin Dearden who both had small parts in an episode together. Despite him having to hold a gun to her head for most of the filming, she said he was the funniest man she’d ever met and was immediately interested in him…despite having a boyfriend at the time. The show that staged this meet-cute was a 1986 CBS series called Airwolf. Bryan Cranston once recalled the encounter, saying, “It was 30 years ago that we met on that terrible TV show. It changed both of our lives.”
So after a tumultuous first marriage, Bryan Cranston married Robin Dearden in 1989 at the age of 33 and in 1993, they welcomed the birth of their daughter, Taylor. It’s clear that this is a close-knit family and Bryan Cranston often speaks of them with a lot of affection. In fact, he once said in an interview that he used his love for his daughter, Taylor Cranston, as motivation in a particularly challenging scene. In a season two episode of Breaking Bad, Walter lets Jesse Pinkman’s junkie girlfriend (played by Krysten Ritter) die of a drug overdose. Bryan Cranston said picturing his daughter’s face helped him conjure up the tortured emotions needed in that moment. Bryan Cranston had a difficult life growing up, with his father abandoning him and his siblings and his mother becoming an alcoholic. He’s spoken publicly about how painful that was and it’s driven him to be a more dedicated father.
Taylor Cranston Launches Her Own Acting Career
Following her breakout role of “Sad-Faced Girl” in Breaking Bad, there was no stopping Taylor Cranston from blazing her own path in the world of acting. Taylor Cranston was a theatre studies major at the University of Southern California. She spent 2013 and 2014 really getting her start as an actress with the role of McKenzie on the web series 101 Ways To Get Rejected. The series was created, produced, and written by Taylor’s USC classmate, Susie Yankou. Taylor Cranston introduced herself to a larger audience with the role of Ophelia in the MTV series Sweet/Vicious which premiered in 2016. For ten episodes, Taylor Cranston starred alongside Eliza Bennett as vigilante college students taking down rapists on their campus. Despite critical acclaim and a cult following, MTV decided not to renew Sweet/Vicious for a second season. Still, the show launched many important discussions and Taylor has become an outspoken advocate for victims of sexual assault. It may be early in her career, but Taylor’s performance on Sweet/Vicious definitely suggests that Bryan Cranston may have passed down some of his top-notch acting genes to his daughter. Bryan Cranston is known for his versatility that has had him playing incredibly silly and hilarious roles like Hal in Malcolm in the Middle to the dark, menacing character of Walter White in Breaking Bad. Similarly, Taylor Cranston seems adept at playing roles at both ends of the spectrum. Sweet/Vicious was a darkly funny show that dealt with some pretty heavy subject matter and as a breakout character, Ophelia, Taylor was able to be both incredibly funny while also transitioning to scenes full of fear or heartbreak. Family connections aside, it’s impossible to watch five minutes of Taylor Cranston as Ophelia and not get excited about what she has to offer as an actress.
Fast Facts and the Future of Taylor Cranston
One of the first things you’ll notice when you watch Sweet/Vicious or anything else Taylor Cranston works on in the future is that she’s not credited as Taylor Cranston. She has chosen to professionally go by her mother’s maiden name, Dearden, which also happens to be her middle name. So when you’re following her career on IMDB, you’ll want to search Taylor Dearden. Taylor was born in Los Angeles, California on February 12, 1993 where she was raised by her father, Bryan Cranston, and mother, Robin Dearden, before attending USC. She graduated with her BA in theater in 2015. Besides participating in the web series 101 Ways to Get Rejected while attending USC, Taylor Cranston also made a number of appearances in short films. There have been many enthusiastic fan campaigns in support of Sweet/Vicious but as of now, MTV has still not greenlit a second season and no other outlet has picked it up. Taylor Cranston, her co-star Eliza Bennett, and show creator Jennifer Kaytin Robinson have all said that they would be on board for another season. In the meantime, Taylor can next be seen in the 2017 film, The Last Champion, opposite Cole Hauser who plays ex-Olympic cyclist John Wright. And who knows? Could Bryan Cranston reunite on-screen with his daughter for the first time since their brief scene together in Breaking Bad? Taylor Cranston looks to be finding success on her own but with so much talent between this father/daughter duo, it would be pretty cool to see Bryan Cranston and Taylor Cranston team up for a project sometime in the future.