Cranston spent the night in shelters, and Aaron Paul almost died. How the actors started "Breaking Bad"

The crime drama became a real hit and won 16 Emmy awards, two Golden Globes, as well as awards from the Screen Actors Guild, Screenwriters, Directors and Producers of the United States. But have all the Breaking Bad stars taken their careers to the next level?

Project showrunner Vince Gilligan participated in the creation of The X-Files, but always dreamed of releasing a series in which the positive character gradually turns into an antagonist. Such was the simple chemistry teacher Walter White, who decided to radically change his life after learning about a fatal diagnosis.

Together with former student Jesse Pinkman, Walter creates a mobile laboratory where he manufactures high-quality and expensive illicit drugs. By the way, the idea of ​​a motor home was born by chance: Gilligan chatted with a friend Thomas Schnauz about unemployment, and they joked that the production of drugs would help them make a fortune. Fortunately, in the end, it was not crime that brought millions to the producer, but just the Breaking Bad series, which was released on January 20, 2008. 14 years have passed, and it's time to find out what happened to the actors who played in the famous project.

Bryan Cranston - Walter White

It would be strange to call Brian lucky: he started filming at 25, became recognizable at 44, when the TV series Malcolm in the Middle was released, for which the actor received three Emmy nominations. Breaking Bad burst into the life of the 52-year-old artist suddenly: while filming episodes, he crossed paths with Vince Gilligan, and he saw potential in Cranston.

It was a real gift of fate, which did not spoil Brian in his youth: his parents lived in poverty, his father left the family at 11, and his mother began to drink too much. Difficulties hardened the guy, and already at 16 he managed to earn extra money both in a cafe and as an ordained priest. At 21, Cranston and his brother got on motorcycles and set off on a trip to America penniless. They mopped floors, raked leaves and picked up trash to feed themselves, and slept in homeless shelters.

Everything changed when the brothers took shelter from the rain in the picnic area: Brian discovered the play “Hedda Gabler” in the corner and vowed to do everything so that the same passions raged in his life as on the pages of the book. Therefore, the guy began to go to auditions, agree to shoot commercials and episodes in Baywatch.

But enough to plunge into the past, because we are primarily interested in how the life of Bryan Cranston has changed after five seasons of Breaking Bad. Let's start with the fact that in parallel with the series, the actor starred in the neo-noir thriller Drive, Operation Argo and John Carter. In 2015, the artist got the main role in the biopic Trumbo, then there were Undercover Scam, the vulgar comedy Why Him? and the non-banal drama "The raccoon is to blame for everything."

Then Brian was suddenly drawn to science fiction: Power Rangers, Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams. In 2020, the actor began acting in the TV series Your Honor about a judge who faced a moral dilemma - quite in the spirit of Walter White.

Cranston's career slowly but surely moved forward, but his personal life remained stable. The artist's youthful marriage broke up rather quickly, but the union with Robin Dearden has been going on for more than 35 years. They met on the set of "Air Wolf", when both were not free, but the spark that arose a year later flared up into a huge fire of love. The couple have a daughter, Taylor, who also acts in films.

Aaron Paul - Jesse Pinkman

Jesse threatened to stay in the project for only one season, but Aaron Paul managed to fit into the tandem with Bryan Cranston so well that the importance of his character grew exponentially. But at the start of filming, the artist almost died: a huge boulder landed on the spot where Paul had just stood. Superstitious fans might conclude that this is a sign - they say, Aaron was destined to work all five seasons.

Pinkman appeared before the audience as a drug addict trying to improve, and a hero who knows how to sympathize, and a careless guy who could ruin a business more than once. For Walter-Heisenberg, he turned either into a student, then into a named son who needs to be saved, then into an enemy and a burden.

Prior to the success of the series, Aaron appeared in music videos and commercials for vanilla cola. Small roles in "Beverly Hills, 90210", "Planet Ka-Peks" and "ER" did not bring him fame, but the television picture "Big Love" was the first step to fame.

However, if you look at Paul's filmography, it is obvious that it was after Breaking Bad that he began to be actively invited to shoot: the horror film The Last House on the Left, the drama about alcoholic spouses Into the Trash, the film adaptation of the video games Need for Speed: Thirst speed”, serial “Way”.

A gift for the fans was the neo-western The Way: Breaking Bad. The film, where the main line, due to the events of the last episode of the series, was no longer given to Bryan Cranston, but to Aaron Paul. The artist's benefit performance delighted critics, which cannot be said about the numerous thrillers and action films with his participation that failed at the box office. The experts issued a tough verdict: they say, Aaron remained an actor in one role. Nevertheless, Paul is diligently trying to get out of the shackles of Jesse: he appeared in the Wild West World and Games of Destiny.

n matters of the heart, Aaron is certainly not copying Jesse, whose love story ended in tragedy. At the Coachella festival, the artist met Lauren Parsekian, whom he got engaged to in 2012. A year later, the couple played a wedding, but in 2018, the 38-year-old actor became a dad.

Anna Gunn - Skyler White

Anna Gunn started acting at the dawn of the 90s, but small roles in the series Seinfeld, NYPD Blue and ER did not make her a star. The first big success for Anna was "Deadwood", where she played the wife of Sheriff Seth Bullock. So Gunn came to the drama "Breaking Bad" already with the US Screen Actors Guild Award.

Skyler White, played by Anna, evoked strong emotions in the audience, in particular, irritation, because the actress brilliantly played the eternally dissatisfied, demanding and selfish wife of Walter. It is not surprising that the actress received two Emmy awards for this reincarnation.

But did the crime series restart the career of an actress? After "Breaking Bad," the star again hung around on episodes: "Lie to Me," "The Mindy Project." She received a regular role in the detective "Gracepoint", the transformation into a doctor in "Miracle on the Hudson" turned out to be successful. In addition, Anna returned to her usual role, starring in the film Deadwood: The Movie.

Gilligan's series did not positively affect the amorous affairs of Gunn. And could it, if especially impressionable fans sent threatening letters to the actress? After all, Skyler sought to destroy the business, and the life of her husband, who turned to crime ... But seriously, Anna gave birth to two daughters from Neil Duncan, but divorced in 2009. Since then, the personal star prefers not to spread.

Krysten Ritter - Jane

The actress appeared only in a few episodes of the second season of Breaking Bad, but managed to win the sympathy of the audience, so we simply cannot not mention her. From 15 to 20, Kristen built a career as a model, shooting for stores in New York and Tokyo. Smoothly, the girl retrained as an artist, appearing in the films “Flirting with the Beast” and “Mona Lisa Smile”.

With such a flamboyant appearance, like Ritter, it was difficult to avoid invitations to the movies. Kristen starred in the youth drama "Veronica Mars", "Gilmore Girls", played the best friends of the main characters in "Shopaholic" and "Too Cool for You". Well, the girl began to get darker images just after the role of drug addict Jane in the movie hit Breaking Bad. So, she reincarnated as Jessica Jones in the series of the same name and as a witch from the Night Notes.

No matter how Breaking Bad fans would like to see Aaron Paul and Krysten Ritter as a couple, the actress had a bright love story not with her colleague, but with musician Adam Grandusiel. In 2019, the star of the series gave the guitarist a son.

Dean Norris Hank

As a child, Dean was hit by a car, leaving him with a limp. The mockery of peers did not prevent the capable boy from successfully graduating from school, and then from Harvard College with a degree in social sciences. In parallel, the young man attended the Academy of Dramatic Arts, and, as you can guess, the craving for acting eventually overpowered other interests.

Norris constantly played officers, security guards and special forces, lit up in the second "Terminator", "Evan Almighty", the TV movie "Bones". The role of Walter White's brother-in-law brought Dean the long-awaited popularity: he used to hear comments like "I saw you somewhere," now he was clearly associated with the DEA agent from Breaking Bad.

In the wake of the success of the series, the actor began to be offered bigger roles: in Men, Women and Children, The Book of Henry. In the television picture "Under the Dome", the artist got the key character - "Big Jim", in the center of the plot he was in the "United States of Al", as well as in "New Life".

Our hero grew up with four sisters and, it seems, decided to repeat the family story by marrying his beloved Bridget: the couple has five children.

Bob Odenkirk - Saul Goodman

This actor also grew up in a large family, but it is unlikely that he will be able to call her happy: his father left his wife shortly after the birth of Bob. In recent years, Odenkerk's dad drank a lot, and in the mid-90s he died of cancer. All this influenced Robert John Odenkirk a lot - unlike his characters, the artist does not drink alcohol.

While studying at Columbia College, Bob tried himself as a comedian, and since 1988 he has played various roles and wrote scripts for the show Saturday Night Live. At the time of the meeting with his future wife, Naomi Odenkirk, he appeared in episodes and was engaged in producing.

In 1998, the lovers had a son, Nathan, and two years later, a daughter, Erin. It became clear that we needed to look for new ways to make money, so Bob directed the sketches. He brilliantly succeeded in the picture "Melvin Goes to Dinner", but the projects "Let's Go to Jail" and "The Solomon Brothers" were defeated by critics.

Luckily, Bob continued to audition and landed the role of lawyer Saul Goodman, who so impressed the audience and Breaking Bad showrunner that he deserved his own Better Call Saul spin-off. By the way, the dramaturgy here has reached a new level.

The actor appeared in the films The Secret File and Little Women, and last year he abruptly changed his role, turning into a courageous and decisive Hutch in Ilya Naishuller's action movie Nobody. The action slogan was "Don't underestimate him", the same phrase applies to the talent of Bob Odenkirk.

Betsy Brandt Marie

Betsy received a Bachelor of Fine Arts, after which she entered the theater department at Harvard. As a student, she got married, and in the 2000s she gave birth to two children. Her husband did not forbid Brandt to engage in acting, so she played in the theater and flashed in episodes of the series Fair Amy, The Protector and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

As with many other actors, the role in Breaking Bad has become the most famous in Betsy's arsenal. Skyler's eccentric sister Marie, obsessed with purple and suffering from kleptomania, shows herself to be a caring wife by the middle of the story, ready for anything for Hank.

After the series ended, Betsy continued to play on TV: on The Michael J. Fox Show, Members Only and Life in the Details.

Giancarlo Esposito - Gustavo Fring

The son of a carpenter and an African-American club singer was born in Copenhagen, and at six he moved with his parents to New York. At 22, Giancarlo received his first major role in the theater, but in the cinema he was content with minor characters. Nevertheless, the characters of the series Miami Vice, Law & Order and, of course, the image of the cold-blooded drug lord Gustavo Fring from Breaking Bad brought the actor fame.

Esposito appeared in Better Call Saul, The Maze Runner: The Death Cure, and the superhero series The Boys. The artist also voiced pictures and games, was engaged in producing and directing.

The 63-year-old actor does not like to talk about his private life. It is known that he divorced his beloved Joy McManigal a long time ago, but continues to communicate with four daughters from her.

Jonathan Banks – Mike Ehrmantraut

Jonathan was born into the family of a CIA employee, but never thought to link his fate with the special services. Instead, Banks went to Indiana University, where he became friends with the now Oscar-winning Kevin Kline. Together, the guys staged the Threepenny Opera.

John did not graduate from high school, having fled on tour with the theater. Subsequently, he had to actively go to auditions to earn a living. So Banks appeared in the films 48 Hours and Beverly Hills Cop, along with Eddie Murphy.

The breakthrough role for the actor was the role of Frank in the TV series Egghead, which earned him an Emmy nomination. No less successful was the image of retired cop Mike Ehrmantraut in the drama Breaking Bad. The character appeared in the second season, and by the fifth season he turned into one of the main characters. The reasons for the transition of the former policeman to the service of the bandits are vividly described by the spin-off “Better Call Saul”.

In the late 60s, the artist was married for two years to his beloved Marnie. After the divorce, our hero decided on the next marriage only 20 years later: since 1990, the aging Banks has been accompanied by Jenner's wife at all social events.

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