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23rd Apr 2024

Breaking Bad actress says people finally understand and appreciate Skyler White

Nina McLaughlin

“People come up to me now and say, ‘You were the linchpin for me. You were the conscience of the show. You were what pulled me into the show.'”

Skyler White from Breaking Bad was voted one of the most hated TV characters of all time last year, but the actress who played her has spoken out about how the tide is turning.

Anna Gunn played Skyler for all 5 seasons of the beloved show, but her character failed to be a hit with viewers.

Now starring in the new Apple+ series Sugar, Gunn opened up to The Hollywood Reporter about how she found dealing with the hatred from viewers, explaining that at first she avoided social media.

However, once the show blew up, she had a look at what people were saying about Skyler, and said that it was “probably a mistake” to do so.

“But it’s a mistake that led to a great deal of soul searching and me thinking, ‘Well, is it me?’ And I think the writers went through the same thing: ‘Is it the way we’ve written her?’ [Series creator Vince Gilligant] would sometimes say, ‘My gosh, no matter what we do with Walt, no matter how bad he breaks, people are still going, ‘Yay!’ They’re still in his corner and they’re still behind him,” she said.

Gunn went on to say that the hatred of Skyler was “frankly, misogynistic,” and that she “just had to go through that ring of fire.”

“A lot of it was the way that female characters were treated, and I think we’ve come a long way since then. If I may call them my sisters, I’m really proud of all the actresses who’ve spoken up and continued to pave the way and created their own antihero characters for themselves.

“So I really felt the need to say something about it at the time, because I have two daughters, and it was important for me that they know. They were very young at that point, and to my knowledge, they were not watching the show. “

This is in reference to the op-ed for The New York Times that Gunn wrote in 2013 about her character, addressing the vitriol that she had faced.

“Nobody ever came up to me in person and said, “Oh my God, I hate you!” People don’t do that,” Gunn told THR.

“They save that stuff for the internet because, for the reasons that we all know, it’s anonymous and it’s hidden and people can let it fly. So they say things that they would never say to a human being’s face, but it did become upsetting at times. And it did become alarming when it turned violent.

“Sometimes, the comments could turn threatening or violent, and that concerned me. So I just didn’t want to feel bullied by all that, and I felt that it was my responsibility to stand up and answer to it, which is what I did.”

Gunn went on to explain that things have changed, though, and she feels attitudes towards Skyler have changed.

“When people come up to me, it’s incredibly different because of all the seismic changes that have happened,” she said.

“There’s still a long way to go, but we really have made seismic changes since then. So people come up to me now and say, “You were the linchpin for me. You were the conscience of the show. You were what pulled me into the show.”

“Or they say, “The first time I watched it, I hated that character. But the second time I watched it, I realised, ‘Oh my God, that poor woman.’”

Related links:

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