OnlyOnAOL: Don't mess with formidable 'Breaking Bad' star Anna Gunn

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Anna Gunn, Meera Menon, Sarah Megan Thomas, Alysia Reiner & Amy Fox On "Equity"

By: Donna Freydkin

Anna Gunn won two Emmys for playing the hard-wired wife of Walter White in AMC's acclaimed "Breaking Bad." She treasures the experience, make no mistake, especially being the on-screen spouse of Bryan Cranston.

"He was our captain and he told us at the beginning: 'This kind of material doesn't come around very often. Let's keep the drama in front of the camera. Let's live in the present and savor the moment.' So we all did," she says.

Now, Gunn is making a mint in "Equity," as Naomi Bishop, a Wall Street powerhouse who's in charge of a dubious IPO. She's held to different standards from the men around her. And it doesn't sit well with the unflappable Naomi, who's told by a smirking boss that perhaps this isn't her lucky year after all.

AOL Build Presents Meera Menon, Anna Gunn, Sarah Megan Thomas, Alysia Reiner And Amy Fox Discussing Their New Film "Equity""It enraged me the way he was looking at me, to be talked to the way he was talking to me. That's where Naomi and I crossed over. The humiliation of being told that the perception is, you rub people the wrong way. She deserves that damn promotion," says Gunn.

The Northwestern University graduate met with women working in finance to prep for the role. And yes, Naomi rubbed off on her in terms of her confidence, her poise, and her panache. "She wore heels and power dresses and power suits and power dresses. While I was playing her, I started to feel that way," says Gunn.

Being in a film that deals with real-life issues, like income disparity in the workplace and the tenuous balance between the office and the home, "was delicious. The focus of these women is on their professional lives, and their wit and intellect and how they move ahead in the world."

Gunn is passionate about the pay gap, and says it's a topic that should be front of mind.

Sure, she's famous. As is Patricia Arquette, who made it the centerpiece of her Oscar acceptance speech. But it's applicable to everyone.

"We're fortunate but we're talking about every woman. Every woman deserves this," says Gunn. "Women have to keep going in and knocking on that door. You have to go after it. We have to keep bringing it up and shining a light on it. And vote. Put your beliefs into the voting booth."

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Anna Gunn at AOL Build. 
Anna Gunn at AOL Build on July 28. 
Gunn at the premiere of 'Equity.' 
Gunn promotes 'Equity' at the Tribeca Film Festival. 
Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn and Bryan Cranston at the 66th Emmy Awards Governors Ball in 2014. 
Gunn and Cranston in 2014. 
FILE - This image released by AMC shows Bob Odenkirk in a scene from the final season of "Breaking Bad." AMC and Sony Pictures Television confirmed that Odenkirk, who plays Saul Goodman, will star in a one-hour prequel tentatively titled "Better Call Saul." (AP Photo/AMC, Ursula Coyote, file)
Betsy Brandt, left, and Bryan Cranston, cast members in "Breaking Bad," pose together at the 30th Annual Television Critics Association Awards Show at the Beverly Hilton on Saturday, July 19, 2014 in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Bryan Cranston, left, star of the television series "Breaking Bad," accepts the Program of the Year award as the show's creator and executive producer Vince Gilligan, center, and cast member Aaron Paul look on at the 30th Annual Television Critics Association Awards Show at the Beverly Hilton on Saturday, July 19, 2014 in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Actors Bryan Cranston, from left, Betsy Brandt and RJ Mitte from the television show "Breaking Bad" attend the 73rd Annual George Foster Peabody Awards at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel on Monday, May 19, 2014, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Aaron Paul with the International Award for Breaking Bad at the Arqiva BAFTA Television Awards at The Theatre Royal in London on Sunday, May 18, 2014. (Photo by Jon Furniss/Invision /AP Images)
FILE - In this Jan. 12, 2014 file photo, Bryan Cranston poses in the press room with the award for best TV series - drama for "Breaking Bad" and best actor in a TV series - drama for "Breaking Bad" at the 71st annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, in Beverly Hills, Calif. The award-winning actor, known for his role as Walter White in “Breaking Bad,” has a deal with Scribner for what is described as a “deeply candid” memoir. Scribner announced Thursday, April 3, 2014, the book is due out in the fall of 2015. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, file)
From Left, Steven Michael Quezada, Bryan Cranston and Dean Norris pose in the press room with their awards for outstanding performance by an ensemble in a drama series for "Breaking Bad" at the 20th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium on Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)
From left, Lavell Crawford, show creator and executive producer Vince Gilligan, Bryan Cranston, Dean Norris, RJ Mitte, and Bob Odenkirk are seen at the U.S. premiere of the revealing new feature-length documentary NO HALF MEASURES: CREATING THE FINAL SEASON OF BREAKING BAD, on Monday, Nov. 25, 2013 at the Pacific Theatre at the Grove in Los Angeles. The event celebrated two releases from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment: the Blu-ray™ of Breaking Bad: The Complete Series and the Blu-ray/DVD of Breaking Bad: The Final Season. The documentary is exclusive to the Complete Series. Q & A followed the screening, after which stars signed Blu-ray and DVD copies at nearby Barnes & Noble. (Photo by John Shearer/Invision for Sony Pictures Entertainment Television/AP Images)
From left, Bryan Cranston, show creator and executive producer Vince Giligan, and Dean Norris arrive at the U.S. premiere of the revealing new feature-length documentary NO HALF MEASURES: CREATING THE FINAL SEASON OF BREAKING BAD, on Monday, Nov. 25, 2013 at the Pacific Theatre at the Grove in Los Angeles. The event celebrated two releases from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment: the Blu-ray™ of Breaking Bad: The Complete Series and the Blu-ray/DVD of Breaking Bad: The Final Season. The documentary is exclusive to the Complete Series. Q & A followed the screening, after which stars signed Blu-ray and DVD copies at nearby Barnes & Noble. (Photo by John Shearer/Invision for Sony Pictures Entertainment Television/AP Images)
Bryan Cranston, left, and Dean Norris arrive at the U.S. premiere of the revealing new feature-length documentary NO HALF MEASURES: CREATING THE FINAL SEASON OF BREAKING BAD, on Monday, Nov. 25, 2013 at the Pacific Theatre at the Grove in Los Angeles. The event celebrated two releases from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment: the Blu-ray™ of Breaking Bad: The Complete Series and the Blu-ray/DVD of Breaking Bad: The Final Season. The documentary is exclusive to the Complete Series. Q & A followed the screening, after which stars signed Blu-ray and DVD copies at nearby Barnes & Noble. (Photo by John Shearer/Invision for Sony Pictures Entertainment Television/AP Images)
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