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Anna Gunn Reveals The Breaking Bad Scene She'll Never Forget Filming

There are television series worth remembering, and those which demand to be rewatched, revisited, and debated for all eternity. While it's been off the air for just under a decade, it's safe to say that AMC's stark crime drama Breaking Bad is decidedly of the latter category. Perhaps more than any other series released in the past two decades, Breaking Bad and its bruising depiction of modern moral duplicity and decay is the show most worthy of such study — a fact supported by the seemingly infinite shadow the drama continues to cast over the television landscape.

That shadow is cast by five pulse-pounding seasons of near-flawless small screen drama that helped make Breaking Bad, and literally everyone involved in the series, the toast of television during its five-season run. That's particularly true of the show's final season, which proved as thrilling, and utterly devastating, as any ever produced. 

That season also happened to feature arguably the single greatest episode in the vaunted Breaking Bad canon. Titled "Ozymandias," said episode served as the culmination of an entire series' worth of deceptions and devious acts enacted by Walter White (Bryan Cranston), and ultimately sealed tragic fates for pretty much every single character who ever entered his orbit. And while death and emotional destruction was the order of the day for most characters featured in "Ozymzndias," Walt's tortured wife Skyler (Anna Gunn) suffered more than most, after a bloody altercation with her desperate husband led him to kidnap their newborn daughter.

The harrowing scene is one of the most affecting in an episode full of profoundly dramatic moments. And per Gunn's account of the action in a 2014 The Hollywood Reporter interview, it was one of the most challenging she ever shot.

Shooting that Ozymandias showdown is a moment Anna Gunn will never forget

According to Gunn, several factors complicated shooting, with lousy weather, a tight schedule, and gawking onlookers playing havoc with what was already a weighty dramatic scene. 

"The part when Walter takes baby Holly and runs out to drive away, we filmed on location in a nearby residential neighborhood," she said. "The weather there [New Mexico] is always crazy in the spring, and that day it was raining and then started snowing, so we had to hold and hold and hold to shoot the exteriors because of the snow. Then there was very specific timing to the scene, and specific places for me to stop, so I had to deal with this contrast of having to give in to the emotion of the scene but also to the technical aspects of what I had to do."

Continuing to detail the ordeal, Gunn reminisced, "I remember the first time I came out of the house, it seemed like there were 100 people out there just as onlookers, which I didn't expect. Plus, we were running late and coming up on lunch for the crew. I remember feeling like, 'Oh God! This is a lot of pressure!' After the first take, the director [Rian Johnson] came over and asked if I was OK. I told him I just felt a little blocked at that moment, and he told me not to worry about anything else going on and take as much time as I needed. So my second take just exploded. It became a day that will remain at the forefront of my mind as one of the richest moments I've ever had as an actor."

Let it not be said that Anna Gunn never suffered for Breaking Bad's art, or that her work in "Ozymandias" alone wasn't worthy of her 2014 Emmy win.