Bryan Cranston Once Played The Devil In A Mini-Series No One Watched 

By Chris Snellgrove | Updated

The Fallen

These days, Bryan Cranston is best known for portraying meth magnate Walter White on the legendary AMC drama Breaking Bad. However, the veteran actor had a complex and sometimes baffling career before his big breakout, and that included a time when he broke so bad that he played Satan himself.

Back in 2006, Cranston portrayed Lucifer on the ABC Family miniseries The Fallen, and he was the singularly best part of a religious show that, to its credit, really did make us feel like we were transported to Hell.

If you’ve never watched or even heard of The Fallen, well…we can’t exactly blame you. 

Bryan Cranston played Lucifer in The Fallen, an ABC Family miniseries based on a young adult book series.

The miniseries was broken up into three movie-length presentations over the course of a year, but these days, it can’t be streamed unless you have Spectrum, and the only other way to watch it is to buy it via Amazon or Apple TV. As you might expect, Bryan Cranston’s portrayal of Lucifer was the best part of this miniseries, and that’s in large part because of how the miniseries deviated from the books it was based on.

The Fallen miniseries was based on a book series of the same name written by Thomas Sniegoski. In those books, the Lucifer character is distinct from Satan, and Lucifer actually feels so bad about his rebellion against God that he’s willing to make a very Jesus-like sacrifice in order to redeem himself.

By comparison, the miniseries makes Lucifer an unambiguously evil and unrepentant character, and this gives Bryan Cranston all the excuse he needs to become a mustache-twirling Big Bad of biblical proportions.

Bryan Cranston in Fallen

If it’s weird to imagine Bryan Cranston playing the devil in a bad religious miniseries nobody has ever heard of, it’s worth remembering what an eclectic Hollywood career he had: before effectively breaking out with the popular series Malcolm in the Middle, Cranston played roles such as a sleazy bad guy in an X-Files episode and a schmaltzy dentist on Seinfeld.

Bryan Cranston had a long and varied career before Breaking Bad, bringing the same level of professionalism to each role, no matter how odd it may have been on paper

Somewhat ironically, he even played Jesus on an episode of Chicago Hope, so like his It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia costar Rob McElhenney, Cranston clearly likes to play both sides so that he always comes out on top.

And while “on top” is certainly how we’d describe Bryan Cranston these days, he didn’t feel that way back in 2006, when The Fallen first came out. That was the same year that Malcolm In the Middle ended, and since that was a breakout show for Cranston, it’s no surprise that he went right back to starring in the weird character roles that formed the bulk of his career.

The Fallen

Fortunately, Breaking Bad came out in 2008, and Cranston’s leading role in the powerful series transformed him into one of the most highly-sought actors in all of Hollywood.

For Bryan Cranston fans that want to watch The Fallen, it can be purchased on Amazon, Apple TV, and streamed through Spectrum.

Bryan Cranston’s career has been so impressive, in fact, that we wish it was easier to watch The Fallen so that more fans could see how much he has grown as a performer. Then again, Cranston might not want fans of his modern career to know about this embarrassing miniseries, which is probably why he never brings it up in any of his any interviews.

Ultimately, it’s true what they say: the greatest trick Bryan Cranston ever played was convincing the world his Lucifer never existed.