Best known for his portrayal of Walter “Flynn” White Jr. for five riveting seasons of American Multinational Channel (AMC) Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning dramatic thriller, Breaking Bad, RJ Mitte is an actor, advocate, and philanthropist. RJ carved out his niche in Hollywood by breaking down stereotypes and changing people’s mindsets with his easy-going demeanor and positive outlook on life. As Walt Jr., RJ acted as the Cerebral Palsy-afflicted son of Walter (Bryan Cranston) and Skyler (Anna Gunn). As Walter continued his descent into drug manufacturing and trade, Walt Jr. finds himself torn between his father’s deceit, his mother’s protectiveness, and his own developing sense of independence. Walter Jr.’s Cerebral Palsy on the show was embellished; meaning RJ had to learn how to walk on crutches and slur his speech to create a more dramatic version of his own disability.
At the young age of three, Louisiana native RJ was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, though that has never deterred his drive to succeed in television and film. After moving to Los Angeles due to his sister’s chance encounter with a casting director, Mitte landed roles in various shows such as, Showtimes’, Weeds; National Broadcasting Company’s, Vegas; the CW Network, Everybody Hates Chris; and, co-starred on ABC Family’s primetime hit show, Switched at Birth. He then was casted in his life-changing role on Breaking Bad.
Concluding Breaking Bad, RJ reemerged on the big screen in Dixieland, in his first leading role that did not highlight his difference. Following this he starred opposite Wesley Snipes in “The Recall” and was also seen in Tiempo Compartido. In 2018, he starred alongside John Cusack and George Lopez in River Runs Red. Never one to shy away from an opportunity to take his talents to new avenues, RJ was thrust into the global spotlight as the celebrity face and model of GAP International’s Lived in Spring campaign. He also made his way to the catwalk, modeling in Men’s Fashion Week in Milan, Berlin, and New York City for designers Vivienne Westwood, soPopular, and Ovadia & Sons.
Throughout the years, RJ has been an inspiration to others with cerebral palsy in hopes of removing the stigma associated with disabilities. To bring awareness to his own issues with bullying and prejudice, RJ has engaged in public speaking and serves as the official Ambassador for United Cerebral Palsy and Shriners Hospitals for Children and partners with Shriners to spearhead their #CutTheBull campaign to advocate on anti-bullying for children with differences. RJ is also involved with the Screen Actors Guild - American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA), as a member of the union’s IAPWD (Performers with Disabilities Committee).
Interviewed by our Founder and President, Alexandra Nicholas, RJ discusses his life with cerebral palsy, his acting career, how his diagnosis and his career can overlap one another, and how he became an” overnight fashion sensation,” according to Dazed and Confused Magazine. Rj also shares his thoughts about actors without a difference being cast into roles that are scripted as a character with a difference and his celebrity ambassadorship for United Cerebral Palsy International Nonprofit Organization. Through RJ’s celebrity advocate status, he has proven that having a difference is more than just okay and should be celebrated, “So many people try to hide their disability. They try to lock it away because they think disability is not sexy, disability is not flattering, but that is not the case. Even though you have a disability, that does not make you disabled [in other ways]. It gives you insight. It gives you knowledge. It gives you something that someone without that will never learn.”