RJ Mitte of ‘Breaking Bad’ on Living with Cerebral Palsy
You probably know actor RJ Mitte from his role on Breaking Bad, where he played a teenage son living with cerebral palsy.
Well, that wasn’t an act, RJ has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy since the age of 3, but he hasn’t let that stop him from accomplishing his goals, and he’s used his success to help others.
How has RJ Mitte’s experience with cerebral palsy influenced his activism work?
RJ Mitte is best known for his role as Walter White Jr., the son of the titular character in the hit TV series Breaking Bad. While his portrayal of the character is memorable, what many may not know is that he has been living with cerebral palsy since birth.
Cerebral palsy is a neurological disorder that affects movement, posture, and muscle tone. It is usually caused by brain damage that occurs before, during, or shortly after birth. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cerebral palsy affects about one in every 345 children in the United States.
Mitte was born in Lafayette, Louisiana, in 1992. His mother and sister also have cerebral palsy. Although he was diagnosed with a milder form of the disorder, it still affected his daily life. He had to do physical therapy to strengthen his muscles and improve his coordination. He also had to wear leg braces and use crutches to help him walk.
Mitte’s experience with cerebral palsy has influenced his work as an activist. He has been an ambassador for the United Cerebral Palsy organization, advocating for people with disabilities and raising awareness about the issues they face. In an interview with NPR in 2015, he spoke about the importance of representation in the media.
“I lived in a world that didn’t represent who I was or who I could be,” Mitte said. “And for me, it was always a goal to change that.”
Mitte’s role in Breaking Bad was groundbreaking in that it showed a character with a disability who was not defined by it. Walter White Jr. was a typical teenager, dealing with the struggles of adolescence like any other character on the show. Mitte’s portrayal of the character brought visibility and representation to people with disabilities, who are often overlooked in the media.
Mitte has also been open about the challenges he faced as an actor with cerebral palsy. He told The Guardian in 2014 that he had to work twice as hard as other actors to show that he could do the job. He also spoke about the physical toll that acting can take on his body.
“Every day, I go into work and I beat my body up,” Mitte said. “It’s a rough job, especially with cerebral palsy, because I have to use my muscles more than someone who doesn’t have it.”
Despite the challenges he has faced, Mitte has become an advocate for disability rights and an inspiration to people with cerebral palsy and other disabilities. His work in the entertainment industry has opened doors for more representation and inclusion of people with disabilities. Mitte has shown that having a disability does not define a person’s abilities or limit their potential.