Hi, I’m actor and model RJ Mitte. I played Walt Junior in Breaking Bad.

When I was three I was diagnosed with cerebral palsy but it’s never held me back. I’m here in the UK today with disability charity Scope where I’ve been talking to young Brits with disabilities about how I started my career. (photos here)

I want to challenge attitudes about people with disabilities and encourage the UK TV industry to be more diverse.

I'll be here to answer your questions from 4:30pm GMT (11:30am EST).

Ask me anything!

Proof: https://twitter.com/RjMitte/status/538350784078184448

** Update **

Thank you all so much for your questions. So sorry I couldn't get to all of you. Thank you, I hope you enjoyed what I was able to do. If you want to continue, you can follow me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook - @RJMitte. Thank you all so much. Hope everyone had a great holiday.

Comments: 2153 • Responses: 27  • Date: 

jurwin2983 karma

You and Jesse (Aaron Paul) were the only two main characters to not ever have a scene together in Breaking Bad. Were there any that got deleted?

RJ_Mitte3040 karma

No there was not, sadly enough

lmanders322935 karma

Who do you think was a better son to Bryan Cranston, you, or Frankie Muniz?

RJ_Mitte1446 karma

No one is better - very different families

AndrewZee2391 karma

A while ago on Aaron Paul's AMA, I believe he said that Cranston never wore pants in scenes that didn't require his below-the-waist parts. Is this true?

RJ_Mitte2969 karma

He had his moments from time to time, good thing for close ups!

GO_RAVENS1486 karma

One thing that I always enjoyed and admired about your character was that it wasn't based on your disability, but rather it was just a character that had a disability - it was incidental to the larger story. They could have done the lazy thing and just made every scene "look at how hard it is being disabled" or "look at how hard it is to have a disabled son" but I think they did a great job "normalizing" the character's role in the story. The disability was a part of it, but not at all the focus of the character.

This leads me to a few questions:

1) Do you think that the acting industry needs to do more to include disabled people (and other minorities for that matter) in roles that don't depend on that status? I.e. a black actor who isn't just there for the "black guy" perspective or a gay or lesbian whose entire character isn't centered on their being gay.

2) Was the role of Flynn originally intended to be a disabled character, and if so, is that why you auditioned for the part?

3) Do you worry about being unable to find roles in the future that aren't based on your disability? Do you audition for parts that don't specifically call for your disability?

RJ_Mitte1480 karma

  1. I do believe that we need to have more inclusion in all aspects of the industry, disabled and non disabled.
  2. The character was intended with a disability, it was in memory of a friend that Vince had in college.
  3. I choose to accept the roles that I am presented with - disabled or non disabled - these are decisions that I have to make

400charlotte1105 karma

Hope you dont mind me asking, do you think acting helped your disability? I have CP, always wanted to act but was turned away from drama school. I do wonder if it would have helped my CP.

RJ_Mitte1999 karma

Yes it does help, but a lot of people do not see it as an asset. Never feel discouraged about what you truly want in life

ButterNP537 karma

Any new projects that you're working on?

RJ_Mitte811 karma

Yes, I filmed a movie called "Who's driving Doug?" and a movie called "Dixieland", and I might be filming another movie soon. So we shall see what happens in the future!

Kingy_who452 karma

What difficulties has your disability brought to your acting career? Do you think it has helped or hindered you more? Any advice for young people with similar disabilities?

RJ_Mitte817 karma

It has done both helped and hindered in many ways. I wouldn't have the abilities that I have today without my disability. I believe disabilities are knowledge and we need them to understand more about ourselves and what we are able to do with our lives.

Shunshundy420 karma

I see that you are talking with young Brits about how you started your career. Can you tell us how you got your start?

RJ_Mitte471 karma

Yes, I did a Q&A for Scope this morning . I started because of my sister and I fell into this career and I was lucky to be able to be part of an amazing story.

it_was_my_raccoon346 karma

When you were first pitched the idea of the show, how many seasons did you think the show had the potential to do?

RJ_Mitte476 karma

You never know how long a show can run for. We had no idea how far the show would reach! We were very lucky to have the seasons that we had.

Sxi139279 karma

If you didnt become an actor, what do you think you would do as a job?

RJ_Mitte513 karma

I would probably be fishing with my uncle!

need_more_hours247 karma

You spoke at a local university recently and I couldn't get tickets (darn).

How do you feel about able-bodied people in most of the (very rare) roles for people who have disabilities? Do you have any thoughts about the fact that most roles for those with disabilities are acquired disabilities rather than ones you are born with?

What can we, as an audience, do to change? It feels like the producers want to please the audience, but we also have so few chances to prove that we can love and accept actors who have disabilities.

RJ_Mitte603 karma

I find that I have no problem with able bodied people playing disabled roles. As long as they do their research and understand life with that disability because with that they have a responsibility to the viewer to give honest portrayals and you the viewer have the ability to change how producers and directors cast roles through all the access we have today via social media

joshgilbert11241 karma

What is your favourite Breaking Bad episode?

Edit: Or favorite, pardon my Canadian spelling

RJ_Mitte447 karma

My favorite episode's the pilot and will always be my favorite!

Edit: always not also!

griffbuzz619218 karma

What was one lesson you learned playing Walter Jr.? Did Bryan Cranston's character teach you anything that impacted you life?

RJ_Mitte307 karma

I learned many lessons from all the cast members. I was able to take away so many aspects of each person. I was fairly new when it came to filming and everyone was very welcoming and warm. I was able to watch and learn. When it came to Walt Jr. I learnt a lot about myself and what I needed to overcome.

yours_duly178 karma

Your name according to Wiki is Roy Frank Mitte III. I am curious what is J in RJ?

RJ_Mitte287 karma

It's a nickname I've had since I was a child! Long story short - they used to call me Little Roy and it sounded like Leeroy and my mother was not too happy about that!

livsagayfish169 karma

What was it like working on Switched at Birth? Did you learn any sign language? What was your favorite memory from the set?

RJ_Mitte193 karma

I had a blast! It was such an amazing honor to be able to go from Breaking Bad to Switched at Birth almost immediately. They have an amazing cast and crew. I'm still working on my sign!

jerrylikeseggs156 karma

Hey RJ,

My nephew was born 3 months premature due to an infection. He ended up having a stage 4 brain bleed on his right side, and a stage 3 on his left. The docs told my sister he wouldn't make it and if he did, he would basically be a vegetable. He now is about to turn 4 years old, has mild cerebral palsy but is walking (with little tiny ankle braces) fairly well, talking like a 4 year old should, and has proved everyone wrong.

He always says he wants to be a basketball player when he grows up, and your story has brought a ton of hope and inspiration to our family.

Would it be possible to get a note and maybe a signature from you to give to him? His birthday is December 21st.

RJ_Mitte195 karma

The best thing you can do for him is to treat him with love and to show him he is no different to anyone else. Never let anyone tell him otherwise. There are a few at home therapies you can do. One is folding towels, another one is filling jars with noodles/rice/beans etc. and working his hands in them. Happy early birthday!

richardwrinkle141 karma

Would you say that people treat you differently now that you became a succesfull actor compared to before you made it on the big screen?

RJ_Mitte271 karma

Yes and no, I find you never really get out of high school but you always have to stand up for what you believe in and never let fear manipulate you

ksado11188 karma

How did "Breaking Bad" react to your disability? Did you feel it affected your experiences and 'fitting in' during the first stages of the show?

RJ_Mitte160 karma

Everyone apart of Breaking Bad accepted by disability, and me for who I am. It was a family dynamic on the show that I truly miss.

bookitsouth62 karma

I have heard that the effects of you disability are not as severe as the character of Walt Jr. If this is true, did it feel strange to "play up" the symptoms for a character?

I saw that you're in an upcoming movie (I'm an IMDb hound), that was written by a screenwriter with disabilities. How important is it to you to work with other disabled artists and tell that story?

Also, you're a fantastic actor and your performance in Breaking Bad, especially your scene on the phone as you deny Walt's money, just broke my heart, man.

RJ_Mitte83 karma

I didn't feel strange about my character, as for me the character was real! It was me! I think it's important to tell intricate and honest stories and that is all I can continue to hope for.

Direbrian57 karma

Hey bud,

Did you hold onto any mementos from the set? If so, what are your favorite keepsakes from your time working on the show?

RJ_Mitte104 karma

I have my crutches and the backs of my chairs!

KittyKat198646 karma

Thanks for doing this AMA. You did such a good job in Breaking Bad and I loved every episode. As heavy as the show was, can you tell us anything funny that happened on set? The whole cast seems like they would be fun.

RJ_Mitte53 karma

It was very intense, but we were enjoying what we were doing and sometime the most intense scenes were the best. We always had fun and were able to create and tell an amazing story.

Priscilla8532 karma

Hi RJ, Thanks for being such a great example and role model in promoting diversity in the industry, it is much needed. My questions are:

1) How long do you think it will take for disabled actors to be accepted as the norm in film and TV (presuming hopefully it will happen), and what would that look like for you ideally?

2) Do you think with how far TV has come in terms of the amount of critically acclaimed interesting and diverse roles being written, it is a better place at the moment for disabled people and other minorities than the film industry generally?

RJ_Mitte36 karma

1) I feel it has changed a lot in the last 5 years. There is a mindset shift in people and the more we can show disability as knowledge Vs a weakness and show that people with disabilities have a voice. They're not just generic and one dimensional characters. 2) I feel that it is. We have come very far in a short time. That is because of the viewers, and wanting honest and true roles. That can only hope to grow!

evanfish13 karma

Hi RJ!

I love your drive to create better opportunities for disabled actors. What specifically do you think needs to be done from the audience perspective to better the chances?

RJ_Mitte25 karma

I feel people need to realize the voice they have. We are in a golden age of social media and you have access more than ever to directors and producers that influence what you see and hear.

Bane103113 karma

What's a genre of movie/TV that you haven't done, that you'd be most interested in doing?

RJ_Mitte8 karma

I'm interested in doing all types of work. I'm open to so many things, and always keep my ear to the ground.

Corabal10 karma

I regret missing you at the weekend in Birmingham, have you enjoyed your time in the UK, what do you think of the country, and will you likely come back?

RJ_Mitte12 karma

I've been enjoying the UK very much. It's been fun and I intend on coming back soon!