Breaking Bad’s Mitte breaks barriers

Almost three years have passed since the finale of the Emmy winning AMC drama Breaking Bad where R.J. Mitte portrayed Walt Jr., the son of the cancer stricken science teacher turned drug manufacturer.

Like his character on the show, Mitte has cerebral palsy although a milder form of the disability. Since the end of the show Mitte, 23, has kept a busy schedule acting, traveling, lecturing, modeling, being a DJ and producing.

He was in town Tuesday as part of the Lamar State College Port Arthur Distinguished Lecture Series.

His disability is a reason he was chosen for the role on Breaking Bad and he uses that as a platform to spread awareness of equality and diversity.

“I work every day, all day and I must in my position, not because of my disability but because it’s my career choice,” Mitte said. “I don’t hope and wait for the next job.”

Mitte is the youth spokesperson for the National Disability Institute’s Real Economic Impact Tour which works to improve the financial situation of low-income persons with disabilities and is a spokesperson for “I AM PWD,” the tri-union campaign that advocates for actors with disabilities. In 2011, Mitte became a Celebrity Youth Ambassador for United Cerebral Palsy.

Perseverance is a strong point for Mitte.

A person’s greatest weakness can be their greatest strength, he said.

“You don’t learn b winning, you learn from losing,” he said. “Life is not meant to be easy. This world isn’t a fairy tale. There’s a lot of darkness and light in this world. You can have self-pity, that’s a liability, or you can turn it around to an asset, a tool.”

Bullying is another big topic for Mitte.

“Everyone at some point in life has been both a bully and bullied. You can’t go through life without being bullied at some point,” he said. “We’re not going to get rid of bullying, it’s impossible. If we could, there’d be world peace.”

On a more personal note, Mitte is in a busy season with lecturers and is also filming a movie in Mexico. He couldn’t give details of the film but said it’s a Mexican production movie and that he has a scene in which he speaks Spanish — a language he hadn’t spoke since he was a child.

Mitte also has family in Texas and Louisiana and has traveled Interstate 10 through Beaumont many times in his life.

“I come back to Texas about four times a year,” he said.

During his downtime, where there is some, he catches up on his sleep and plays video games, he added.

Charles Gongre, chairperson of the distinguished lecture services committee, was pleased to have Mitte on campus and announced LSCPA has resumed the lecture series which will take place once a year.

E-mail: mary.meaux@panews.com

Twitter: MaryMeauxPANews

 

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