The University’s 16th annual DisAbility Conference sparked interest in many this year, as beloved, former “Breaking Bad” actor RJ Mitte spoke and inspired listeners with his story.
Mitte, who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at age 3, is best known for his role on the hit show as Walter “Flynn” White Jr., who also lives with cerebral palsy.
Students and fans of the AMC show packed the McIlhenny Ballroom Thursday to hear his message of perseverance and hope.
“Don’t believe if people tell you who you are as an individual. What you believe in yourself is the most important thing,” Mitte said during his presentation.
In an interview moments before he took the stage, Mitte explained what he hopes the audience will take away from his message. He discussed the importance of stepping outside of comfort zones and not being manipulated by fear.
“We all have adversity. We all have things that will push on us and challenge us,” Mitte said. “We all have things that will break us but it’s OK. It’s OK to be broken. It’s OK to have these things that we don’t always necessarily want, but we need.”
Mitte went on to express his gratitude for “Breaking Bad” and the platform the show has given him to do what he is passionate about.
“Being able to do the jobs that I care about and that I want to present myself with…. ‘Breaking Bad’ allows me to do that. It’s allowing me to continue to have an impact in the community and it’s something that I’m always lucky to have,” Mitte said.
The star concluded that he is not a stranger to the Scranton area, and hopes to return to The University sometime in the future
“This University has been my favorite part so far. It’s been amazing, the people have been great and we’ve definitely had a good time here,” Mitte said with a smile. “I hope everyone enjoys what I have to present and hopefully I will be back.”