The Transition From Good Guy To Bad Guy

film reviews | movies | features | BRWC The Transition From Good Guy To Bad Guy

Anyone who has been solidly addicted to AMC’s Breaking Bad for the last few years will be well aware of Walter White’s famous transition from good guy to anti-hero, to bad guy to thoroughly dislikable drug king.

Having instigated a pretty major life overhaul at the age of fifty, Walter is the all too close to home vehicle for the message that anyone – even well-adjusted high school chemistry teachers – can rapidly transform into unhinged, power hungry Bad Guys.

There’s a notable difference in Walt’s physical appearance. The biggest and most obvious change is Walt’s skinhead. The chemotherapy was the catalyst in this change, although it was Walt’s pending confrontation with the psychotic and generally unpleasant drug dealer Tuco that prompted him to shave his head rather than wait for it to fall out.



Having a skinhead was the first in a series of changes for Walt’s tough guy, which instantly changed his appearance from soft-faced chemistry teacher to no-nonsense meth cook. The second noticeable change was Walt’s transformation from generic dad wardrobe to more sombre getups. Sadly, Walt’s tight whiteys have remained a permanent fixture throughout the series.

Accompanying the skinhead is Walt’s goatee. Acting as a replacement for the soft dad moustache, Walt’s new facial hair gives him a more rugged, brooding look. Walt’s whole face has become more menacing as the series has continued.

Around the same time that Walt chose to shave his head and get a skinhead, he also decided on using a Porkpie hat when embodying his street name Heisenburg. Originally, Walt’s hat and glasses combination was wholly symbolic of the naïve way in which a suburban dad might imagine a drug dealer might look.

However, as Walt comes to embody Heisenburg, the Porkpie hat certainly has much more sinister connotations – proof that even the most questionable of style choices can be taken seriously. Eventually.

Finally, after four series driving a Pontiac, Aztec and purchasing a Dodge Challenger for Walt Jr. it was only a matter of time before Walt invested in a car more fitting for his new persona. So it was out with the chemistry teacher car and in with a black Chrysler-300.

All in all, Walt’s physical appearance has changed dramatically from nice-guy dad to Bad Guy drug lord. Everything from the hair to his wardrobe has helped transform Walt into a rougher, grittier and all-round more menacing Mr White.


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Alton loves film. He is founder and Editor In Chief of BRWC.  Some of the films he loves are Rear Window, Superman 2, The Man With The Two Brains, Clockwise, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, Trading Places, Stir Crazy and Punch-Drunk Love.

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