Anna Gunn

Photography Giulio Marcochi

The actress breaks out with Breaking Bad

Many actors would be envious of Anna Gunn’s resume. She has graced both the stage and the screen in a variety of forms throughout her career, and has appeared in the role of Martha Bullock on HBO’s much-lauded series Deadwood in addition to appearing in several feature films.

Growing up in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Gunn was exposed to the art of stage acting at a very young age. She explains, “It was a great place to grow up. They had a summer theater festival there, so I got introduced to theater.” When asked if getting her early training in theater is something that affected the development of her process as an actor, Gunn affirms, “I think that it’s interesting because all acting really comes from the same place, but they’re two different disciplines really and when you’re on a stage, you have to use a kind of different set of tools to get across what you’re trying to get across. When you’re acting in front of a camera it reads everything that’s going in with you, and if you’re thinking something, the camera picks it up…it taught me a lot about storytelling.”

Currently, Gunn is immersed in the role of Skyler White on AMC’s sleeper hit, Breaking Bad which is currently filming its highly anticipated third season. Skyler, whose husband Walter (played by Brian Cranston) is a brilliant high school chemistry teacher who has been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer and can’t afford to make ends meet. Walt decides to apply his knowledge of chemical reactions to the production of methamphetamine to bolster the family’s income. While many viewers might focus on the illicit aspect of the show’s plot, the true essence of the storyline is derived from the struggles facing many American families today. The Whites have a teenage son born with cerebral palsy, financial troubles, massive medical bills, and a newborn daughter. Gunn’s portrayal of a woman immersed in seemingly perpetual financial, family and personal crises mirrors the amalgamation of stresses that have brought the American Dream to a screeching halt. She says, “When we started the show, the landscape of the environment in this country wasn’t quite what it is now, and it’s really kind of eerie in the way that it’s mirroring a lot of people’s experience.”

– Omar Almufti