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That Time Bryan Cranston Covered Himself In Blue Paint For A Malcolm In The Middle Stunt And His Body Began To ‘Shut Down’

 Bryan Cranston as Hal in Malcolm in the Middle.
Bryan Cranston as Hal in Malcolm in the Middle.

Bryan Cranston earned accolades for his dramatic works like Breaking Bad and Your Honor. However, he played everyone’s favorite lovable and inept dad Hal on the Fox sitcom Malcolm in the Middle for seven seasons. Much like his over-the-top character, Cranston is known for doing stunts in his roles. For one Malcolm in the Middle stunt, he discovered that being covered in blue paint is very bad for the body.

The Your Honor star opened up about the near-deadly stunt on The Graham Norton Show (via EW). He revealed that the moment played out when the TV patriarch poured a bucket of blue paint on himself during the Season 2 episode “Hal Quits.” The character became a painter after quitting his job, leading to Cranston dousing himself in paint. The Oscar-nominated actor explained how the stunt was supposed to go, saying:

One time, I did a thing where my character was in a depression, and he started painting, and I was completely covered in blue paint. Completely, head to toe, in blue paint. … It’s not safe, because your body can’t regulate the heat if you're covering up all your pores.

It seems that the Malcolm in the Middle team wasn’t aware of this fact before Cranston performed the pivotal scene. Of course, the scene played into Hal’s chaotic nature, but it appeared the writers didn’t know about the risks before the Breaking Bad star and the crew got on set. Unfortunately, that backfired when the actor went all-in on the joke. Cranston said:

As you shoot, you’re moving around, and then there was a part of me, at one point, I was like starting to shut down the circuits. And they went boom, and they grabbed me, and they threw me in the shower and they just… It was weird.

Thankfully, the crew was able to help the Malcolm in the Middle alum before the situation caused permanent damage. Pores must be clear to regulate body temperature. Bryan Cranston’s ordeal was reminiscent of the rumor about iconic Goldfinger Bond girl Shirley Eaton dying from suffocation due to the gold body paint. (Born in 1937, the former Bond actress is still alive today.)

While Bryan Cranston has come a long way from Malcolm in the Middle, he still loves his time as a sitcom dad, having spearheaded a potential revival. While there hasn’t been any word on the Fox sitcom reboot in a while, it appears the Emmy winner is ready to return to the comedy. In the meantime, you can catch up on the show by streaming it through a Hulu subscription. If you're looking for some coming up sooner rather than later, follow up the Malcolm revisit by checking out our 2024 TV schedule.