Anna Gunn has directly addressed the critics of herBreaking Bad character, Skyler, and looked back on the reasons why the intense reaction from fans has become surprisingly personal.
“At some point on the message boards, the character of Skyler seemed to drop out of the conversation, and people transferred their negative feelings directly to me,” wrote the Breaking Bad actress in a Sunday op-ed in The New York Times.
Her character, the wife of protaganist Walter White (Bryan Cranston) in the hit AMC series, has endured her fair share of hate on social media as the show became popular, she writes. She relates the fan-feedback that reaction to those of other supporting female actresses in popular series such as January Jones‘ Betty Draper in Mad Men and Edie Falco‘s Carmela Soprano in The Sopranos.
“Male characters don’t seem to inspire this kind of public venting and vitriol,” she wrote. Gunn went on to explain why she thinks the character has drawn so much hate.
“As an actress, I realize that viewers are entitled to have whatever feelings they want about the characters they watch. But as a human being, I’m concerned that so many people react to Skyler with such venom,” Gun wrote. She added: “Because Skyler didn’t conform to a comfortable ideal of the archetypical female, she had become a kind of Rorschach test for society, a measure of our attitudes toward gender.”
We think that the fan’s reaction towards ‘Skyler’ is meaningful. It means that the audience felt so connected to her acting that they actually responded. I would not see the negative response as something utterly bad but, something positive. It demonstrates that Anna Gunn has the acting skills to not only make the fellow actors react, but the audience as well….(cough) Something many shows are unable to do…