When asked at the end of a recent phone interview what he had for breakfast, RJ Mitte says he had leftover steak – and if you were a fan of “Breaking Bad,” you get the joke.
But there’s a whole lot more to the actor than those many scenes of him using crutches to amble to and from the breakfast table on the award-winning series, in which he played the son of a chemistry teacher-turned-meth dealer during the show’s five-year run on AMC.
In fact, the cerebral palsy sufferer is quite serious about using his celebrity to promote a cause important to him: Shriners Hospitals for Children. Doctors there diagnosed his disorder at age 3 and treated him with therapies that greatly improved his speech and mobility over the years.
Mitte, 21, is at uptown Charlotte’s Alive After Five on Thursday to hang with fans on behalf of the charity, then in Mooresville on Friday to work with drama students at Lake Norman High School. He spoke with the Observer about his disability, how it fits in Hollywood and why viewers are often surprised when they meet him in person.