Breaking big: Miles Allen is One Man Breaking Bad
When struggling LA actor Miles Allen put his Breaking Bad impersonations on You Tube, he had no idea that it would be his lucky break. The creator of acclaimed live show One Man Breaking Bad spoke to David Roy about condensing all 60 episodes and every key character from the hit US TV series into an hour-long parodic performance that's earned him rave reviews around the world
HI MILES, how has your latest One Man Breaking Bad UK tour been going so far?
Oh it's so good to be back here, we've had really great really warm audiences everywhere we've taken the show. There's a lot of Breaking Baddicts in the UK, that's for sure.
I'm definitely a self-proclaimed Breaking Baddict. This whole show came out of me watching it with my buddies and then doing impressions of the characters. The original video clip ('Homeless Man does Breaking Bad Impressions') we made garnered over a million-and-a-half views, which is when I realised other people really enjoyed them too.
I really loved Breaking Bad and I love acting and I love comedy, so I basically decided to combine all those passions into one big meth lab.
So, did you consider touring around in an old RV for full Breaking Bad authenticity then?
You know, I did ask my producers about that but they weren't too keen for some reason.
You first performed One Man Breaking Bad in Australia at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. How did that happen?
The promoter called me. He'd seen the YouTube clip and though that there might be a full Breaking Bad show in it.
At first I thought, this must be a scam. Then, when it became clear he was legitimate, I thought 'who on Earth is going to come and see me impersonate and re-enact Breaking Bad? '
But I was blown away – and continue to be blown away – by the number of people who come out to enjoy what I do.
That's been a big confidence builder as a performer, especially as this is my first ever one-man show. I've done about 150 performances so far – it's been a crazy ride and a huge blessing.
How difficult was it to condense all the characters and plot points from across the five series into one coherent show?
Very. It was super hard, especially as I believe Breaking Bad is the greatest TV show ever to have aired. So, to look at any of it and say 'Oh, this needs to be cut' was excruciatingly painful.
Unfortunately, I don't think an audience would want to sit through a 42-hour-long re-telling of Breaking Bad, so I decided the best thing to do was to parody it and to make it very 'hammed up' so that people could relive the whole show without needing anti-depressants at the end.
The challenge was to keep the storyline of Breaking Bad while pulling out the characters that the audience love the most and the most memorable scenes, then parodying them. So, if a scene was funny, I had to make it even more funny or if it was a darker moment, I'd add something ridiculous to lighten the mood.
When we started writing, my producer and I were writing it back and forth between us. Then his little toddler daughter accidentally deleted everything, so we had to start all over again.
When I first performed it for a preview audience I had no idea what to expect – but what I got was people cracking up laughing and applauding at various points. I was so blown away by the response.
Which characters are the most difficult to impersonate?
Walt (Bryan Cranston) and Saul (Bob Odenkirk) were rather difficult, mostly because I'm a 25-year-old trying to imitate someone twice my age. It's a much lower voice, so I had to learn how to do them without sounding like I was 'trying' to do them.
Other characters like Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) came to me much more easily, but there were definitely a few voices that I had to chisel away at before I had them right for the audience.
Have you had any feedback from any of the cast or Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan?
I do know that Bob Odenkirk knows about the show, although he's yet to see it. He's reached out to my manager about coming to see it at some point so hopefully I'll get to perform it to the real Saul Goodman some day soon.
How about a One Man Better Call Saul?
Definitely! I love the show so I'd love to do it – but first Vince Gilligan just needs to write a couple more seasons to give me enough material to work with!
:: One Man Breaking Bad, Saturday November 28, The Ulster Hall, Belfast. Tickets £20 from Ulster Hall box office and online at Waterfront.co.uk.