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