Before the credits of last Sunday's stellar half-season five premiere of AMC's "Breaking Bad," viewers saw the words "Dedicated to our friend Kevin Cordasco."
"It was just heartwarming," Kevin's mom, Melodie Cordasco, told the Los Angeles Daily News
about the episode dedication. "I know my son was sitting there, watching it [saying], 'Mom, Look, I made it!' It was overwhelming – the feeling, the love and support."
Cordasco, a 16-year-old from Calabasas, Calif., passed away in March after a seven-year battle with neuroblastoma
, a form of cancer. One item on his bucket list, according to his mom, was to meet the cast of "Breaking Bad" — his absolute favorite television series. With the help of his godmother, who has connections in the entertainment industry, Kevin was able to reach out to actor Bryan Cranston and set up a meeting in the hospital.
Kevin "loved Bryan because he was real," Melodie Cordasco told the News
. "He's loving and kind. He was just a great guy to Kevin. Every time Kevin would email him, Bryan Cranston within half an hour would respond back to Kevin."
Cranston returned several times, bringing costars Bob Odenkirk and Anna Gunn, some of the crew, and even series creator Vince Gilligan. He was also invited out to Albuquerque, N.M., in February to watch filming of the series. However, by then, Kevin was too sick to go. As an alternative, producers made the rare and amazing offer of letting him read a script of the series finale, providing he sign a non-disclosure agreement. But he declined, telling his parents he worried too much that he would let slip spoilers.
"From the first episode, I realized he connected with the main character. Bryan Cranston is diagnosed with what could have been a terminal illness, a cancer in the first episode," Cordasco's father, also named Kevin, said. "He then began to live his life. I think that Kevin connected with that character, moving forward and never looking back, never asking why ... (Kevin) didn't let his cancer stop him from doing anything."
Cordasco's love of the series made such a huge impression on the cast and crew that one of his character insights actually ended up influencing a plot twist in the final episodes.
"I don't want to go any further than that because it would be a spoiler," Melissa Bernstein, co-executive producer on the show said. "Kevin truly had an impact on the way the story played out in the final eight (episodes.)"
In a letter to Kevin's family following his passing, Gilligan called him a "smart, wonderful young man" who he was "lucky to have met."
"My cast and writers here feel the same way," he added. "To me, Kevin was our number one fan."
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