Subscribe To El Camino's Aaron Paul Shares Details Behind Those Huge Breaking Bad Cameos Updates
Spoilers below for anyone who hasn't yet watched El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie.
El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie released on Netflix over the weekend, and in some ways, it was as if the six years since Breaking Bad's finale hadn't passed at all. The TV movie, written and helmed by show creator Vince Gilligan, did an arguably masterful job laying out the immediate aftermath of Jesse Pinkman's escape from his neo-Nazi prison. To accomplish such a feat, Gilligan did exactly what fans were hoping he would by delivering a variety of highly welcomed cameos, including one from Walter "Heisenberg" White himself, Bryan Cranston.
Let's go over Aaron Paul's reaction to both of those cameos below.
Bryan Cranston as Walter White
Lots of moments during El Camino's production threw Aaron Paul for a loop, putting him back into the mindset he stayed in during Breaking Bad's five-season run. To say the least, the secrecy concerns were a major piece of the puzzle, with Bryan Cranston's appearance being the most complicated. Here's what Paul had to say:
Understandably, Aaron Paul agreed when asked by EW if the project felt like an undercover mission at that point. The few times that Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston were in the same area of the country together, fans went wild with El Camino speculation, even though their team-up was only to launch a brand of Mezcal, and had nothing to do with Breaking Bad. Plus, the movie had apparently already filmed by the time those videos came out.
Not only was it a big ordeal to get Bryan Cranston to and from the set of El Camino, but it was also a pretty big undertaking to film the actual scene itself. After all, even a single random passerby would potentially have the power to completely ruin the secretly crafted return of Walter White.
How did they make it happen? Well for one, none of the extras in Walt and Jesse's diner scene were randomly cast. Here's how Aaron Paul explained it:
I can't imagine how amazing that must have been, both for longtime crew members and for those just entering this universe with El Camino. Even though Cranston was playing the more physically diminished version of Walt from Season 2's timeline, the character is still an intimidating force to be reckoned with.
Plus, that sounds like the smartest way to handle a scene in the most spoiler-free way possible. Assuming, of course, that everyone involved would be trusted with such highly explosive information. That's definitely not always a given in Hollywood these days.
Krysten Ritter as Jane Margolis
Coming as late as it did in El Camino, Bryan Cranston's appearance as Walter White initially appeared to be the final big payoff for Breaking Bad fans; an emotional climax beyond the narrative's climax. But Vince Gilligan had another whopper packed in, with Krysten Ritter returning to the franchise for the first time since Season 3's "Abiquiu."
As one might have imagined, Aaron Paul was very much behind the idea of Krysten Ritter's Jane appearing as a source of mental comfort for Jesse. In his words:
Jane's thoughts about doing things for oneself, as opposed to waiting for the universe to sort things out, had already been put into motion by Jesse when he killed Neil for that $1,800 (and change). But that didn't make her words any less important or necessary for him to recall in those moments as he set out on his own in Alaska.
As it turns out, El Camino viewers only got to see an abbreviated version of the scene that Vince Gilligan shot with Aaron Paul and Krysten Ritter. When asked what he remembered about shooting the longer bit, here's what the actor said:
While it might have been great to spend a lot more time with Jane and Jesse during their road trip, it ultimately wouldn't have added anything further to the end of El Camino. Her death was so important to Jesse and his crumbling relationship with Walt that using her for a longer scene might have felt too maudlin and melancholy. Instead, though, the short burst of Jane is refreshing and doesn't wear out its heartfelt welcome.
El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie is currently available to stream on Netflix, with a debut coming to AMC at some point down the line. Let us know what you guys thought about these cameos, and the rest, in the comments below!