Becoming Walter White for Halloween

Walter White and Walter White.
Walter White and Walter White. Graphic: AMC/Oliver Peterson

Last year I was Roger Sterling from Mad Men for Halloween as part of a group costume, and one of my friends commented, sarcastically, on a Facebook photo, “Sweet Breaking Bad costumes!”

It got me thinking. While I enjoy Mad Men, my favorite AMC show—really, my favorite show period—is Breaking Bad. So I tentatively planned back in 2012 to be the show’s protagonist Walter White for Halloween 2013. When my friend Ken agreed to go with me as Walter White’s DEA agent brother-in-law Hank, that sealed the deal. With the series coming to an end just weeks before Halloween, our costumes became even more appropriate.

I researched past Walter White Halloween costumes and cosplay and found that this costume has not been done as often as one might expect for such a popular show and character. And those who have been the character often use a cheesy looking bald cap and even fake goatees.

I decided that if I was going to do this, I would do it right.

I already had the wardrobe handy: a green button down shirt, khakis and brown shoes. Walter White’s clothing is not hard to duplicate. Starting, October 1, I began growing out a beard. In time for the first local Halloween events, I turned it into a goatee. My facial hair is rather light, so I used Just for Men Beard and Mustache to darken it. I took a buzzer to my head, then shaved it clean with a razor. I bought a pair of reading glasses, ripped off part of the frame so they would look more like Walter White’s specs, and I popped out the lenses so I could actually see when I wore them. And I also got my hands on an authentic yellow hazmat suit.

I documented the transformation in a short video:


The costume came together quite nicely, I think, and as accurate as I could get it for someone half of Walter White and actor Bryan Cranston’s age.

I wasn’t the only Dan’s Papers staffer in the Halloween spirit:

Halloween isn’t even over yet and I’m already planning what I will be next year. Perhaps I will do an AMC hat trick and be The Walker Dead‘s Rick Grimes. And I can keep my hair next year!

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