Before Bryan Cranston was Breaking all that Bad and spending a disappointingly short amount of time punching the shit out of Godzilla, he was Hal Wilkerson from Malcolm in the Middle. During his tenure on show, Cranston earned the respect of all of the show’s writers for his near-superhuman inability to give what us Earth folk know simply as “fucks”.
Writers first noticed that Cranston had little to no shame when they wrote a scene calling for him to dance around in a presumably poop-stain covered pair of tighty-whiteys with a t-shirt on his head. Initially they were worried Cranston wouldn’t want to embarrass himself in front of the rest of the cast and crew but were amazed when he, without any shred of hesitation, tore off his clothes, nailed the scene in one take and then casually walked off set to grab a cup of coffee, still not wearing any pants.
The writers were so impressed they actually began specifically writing more scenes of Hal in his underwear doing random shit just to see what Cranston was willing to do and because they found the image of him stood in a pair of giant, baggy tighty-whiteys infinitely hilarious.
They even wrote a little song for Cranston to sing about how fat he was and how jiggly his nipples were, Cranston did it in one take while the crew were off camera laughing their asses off.
We’re honestly surprised they let Cranston film that many scenes in his underwear around children because we can’t understand how his truck-sized testicles fit inside of that underwear so snugly. Cranston’s confidence in strutting around in his underwear inspired a contest of sorts between the writers to try and figure out something the actor wouldn’t be comfortable doing. One writer suggested writing a scene that involved Hal stripping dick-naked, covering himself in paint and then flying sex-planting a giant easel. Cranston loved the idea, even offering to do additional takes so that they could get the best possible shot of him morphing into a Blue Man.
Another writer, suggested an episode where Hal becomes a race walker and embarks on a Rocky-like montage to prepare himself for an event, only instead of just drinking raw eggs, he puts some raw meat, protein powder and orange juice in for good measure. The writers, spectacularly underestimating how much of a method actor Cranston is, fully expected him to throw up and figured they’d need to cleverly cut the scene so he could drink something that wasn’t as filled with raw ground up cow-flesh. Cranston downed the mixture like a drunk college girl trying Jägermeister and the entire scene ended up being filmed in a single shot.
Yet another writer suggested they try making Cranston do something more strenuous to test the limits of his willingness to commit to the role and penned an episode that revealed Hal used to be a roller disco champion. Upon being told about the episode, Cranston merely asked “when do we film?” after being told he had two weeks, he taught himself to roller-skate to a near-professional level, self-admittedly practising for “hundreds” of hours. The crew were stunned when Cranston was able to perform almost the entire dance routine they choreographed for him, only having to hire a professional stand-in to perform a Salchow and a cartwheel, something he’d have presumably taught himself if he’d been given more time than none at fucking all.
Finally, in a fit of frustration the writers all got together and decided to think of something they all agreed Cranston categorically would not do, when someone suggested “How about we cover him in bees?” prompting replies of “Yes, of course, BEES!“. The writers, after calming down, gleefully called in Cranston to see the look on his face when they ran the idea past him, only to be shocked into blank, gormless stares when his only response to the question “Would you mind being covered in thousands of bees?” – which wouldn’t seem out of place in fucking a Saw movie – was, “Absolutely“.
The writers were so sure that Cranston would refuse that they hadn’t actually given any thought about how they’d even justify Hal being covered in bees in the context of a Malcolm in the Middle episode. So they all sat down and literally wrote an entire episode for a single sight gag. Bryan Cranston covered in bees.