Nearly three years since the series finale of Breaking Bad, some of us fans are still recovering. With Walter White’s meth career finally put to a sad, breathtaking rest, we still crave just a little more of the chemistry teacher who lost it all. There was a kind of dark beauty in the lead character’s fall from grace that kept audiences engrossed throughout its lifespan and have fans still talking about the show long after the finale aired.
Breaking Bad was a series about a high school chemistry teacher who, after finding out that he had inoperable lung cancer, decided to cook up meth with a student to make enough money for his family to live off of when died. While the character begins as a good guy with a woeful tale, the drug world eventually drags him down; he falls completely to the dark side in the final season. The show was so raw and real, it struck a chord with viewers and cast members alike. It even spawned a spin-off series, still airing on AMC.
Breaking Bad’s cast was filled with a significant number of splendid actors and some really stunning performances. The show and its crew won several awards, slipping into the hearts and minds of fans for five seasons. Most of Breaking Bad’s actors and actresses had long, stunning careers before joining the AMC classic crime drama. Even the new actors were all very talented individuals. So what is all of that incredible talent up to now?
10. Bryan Cranston – Walter White
Now that he no longer plays the 50-year-old, chemistry-teacher-gone-wrong Walter White, Bryan Cranston has been busy with a myriad of other projects. Since the series finished up in 2013, he’s been in a collection of movies and shows, including the 2014 Godzilla remake, SuperMansion as Titanium Rex, and others. The actor will be appearing in Wakefield, a movie currently filming, about a man who loses it and decides to lock himself in his attic for several months. The actor is also working on several other projects to come to theaters and stages in 2016, including a Lyndon B. Johnson Broadway play, Kung Fu Panda 3, and an unnamed project by Wes Craven. Cranston was nominated for the first time for an Oscar for his role in Trumbo. Nearly sixty, the actor spends most of his time indoors, he says; Cranston never wanted to be famous, and he tends to avoid the attention it has gotten him. Despite his protestations against the spotlight, the actor’s career doesn’t show any signs of slowing down.
9. Anna Gunn – Skyler White
Anna Gunn, who has been acting since the early 1990s, hasn’t slowed down a bit since the end of Breaking Bad. After winning a couple of awards for her role as Skyler, she starred in Equality, a Sundance film about high-powered women on Wall Street embroiled in scandal. Gunn also played Detective Ellie Miller in the American version of Broadchurch, called Gracepoint, alongside David Tennet who starred in both the American and British versions. She has an upcoming movie called Sully with Tom Hanks and a TV movie called Chuck and Bean, a comedy for ABC. The 47-year-old also recently made the news when she sold her beautiful mansion in Los Angeles for a cool $2 million, and the photos of the house are absolutely stunning. It’s amazing what success can buy you in LA!
8. Aaron Paul – Jesse Pinkman
Aaron Paul, who played Jesse in Breaking Bad, has laid aside his sidekick status for some starring roles. He plays point as Eddie Lane in the Path, a Hulu Original series about a man who ends up finding solace and danger inside of his new cult. Paul hesitated before taking to role, saying he had given up on live action TV shows (he lent his voice to the Netflix Original series BoJack Horseman without a thought, however). “I didn’t even open up to the idea of doing TV again. Not yet,” he told Entertainment Weekly. But he is ultimately happy that he changed his mind. The series premieres at the end of March 2016. He also stars in an upcoming movie called The Parts You Lose about a young boy who befriends a fugitive that is currently in post production.
7. Dean Norris – Hank Schrader
Dean Norris, who has been an actor for more than 30 years, had quite the acting career before Breaking Bad, and the show has only added to an already esteemed resume. He has two movies coming out in the next year: Book of Henry (the plot has been kept top secret) and Fist Fight (a movie about two teachers coming to blows that will be in theaters in February 2017). He’s appeared all over the map since the show ended, including the unforgettable thriller Remember and even lent his voice to Sophia the First. The golf-loving actor and his wife have five children and have been happily married since 2001.
6. Betsy Brandt – Marie Schrader
Betsy Brandt has also been busy since the end of her role as Marie on Breaking Bad. She has a big role in the CBS show Life in Pieces, a family comedy which is still in it first season. Brandt has also appeared in shows like the raunchy Masters of Sex, the short lived Michael J. Fox Show, Parenthood, and even lent her voice to an episode of American Dad. Her movie career is also booming; her movies include the upcoming, post-production comedy Between Us, the thrilling movie about an adult finally forced to grow up called Claire in Motion, and the dramatic and heartwarming Quest. Brandt says the hardest part about being on set for movies and other productions is being away from her children and her hobby of 20 years. Isn’t that just so sweet?
5. RJ Mitte – Walter White, Jr.
Since his time as Walter White Jr., this talented young actor now has a few more acting credits under his belt. This year, look for the star in the dark anti-superhero flick Adi Shankar’s Gods and Secrets, the drama Triumph, and Who’s Driving Doug (a coming of age drama in which he plays the title character). The actor has also been using his fame (and his misfortunes) for good; he did a lecture about “Overcoming Adversity: Turning a Disadvantage into an Advantage” at Ball State University in Indiana in March 2016. The lecture was part of an Excellence in Leadership series in which Mitte talked about his diagnosis of cerebral palsy at age 3. Mitte has become an excellent role model and speaker on behalf of the disabled everywhere while still maintaining quite the acting career. Bravo!
4. Bob Odenkirk – Saul Goodman
Bob Odenkirk never really gave up Breaking Bad; in the spin-off series Better Call Saul, lawyer and funny man Saul/Jimmy finally gets the spotlight. Set several years before the events of Breaking Bad, the story gives Saul more depth and background, showing everything leading up to his shady role as the man who will “fight for YOU, Albuquerque!” This talented actor has been writing and acting since the early 1990s, and is currently in post-production on a new movie called Girlfriend’s Day (which he wrote and acted in). The story is about a greeting card writer who has hit a rut in his illustrious career. Odenkirk is also looking forward to an experimental stand up show in Portland, at the Brody Theatre, which is run by close friend Tom Johnson. The show is already sold out and will be in late March 2016.
3. Steven Michael Quezada – Steven Gomez
The actor who played DEA Steven Gomez on Breaking Bad is in no less than seven movies coming out in 2016. Steven Michael Quezada is quite the busy man, balancing a busy acting career with local politics; after winning a seat on the local school board, Quezada turned his sights to be the next person to hold the Bernalillo County Commission. Quezada is currently speaking out against some blackmailers threatening to tell the press about his already very public DWI history; he claims that his record is available to the public and it won’t stop him from chasing his dreams. “I’ve made mistakes,” he said in an interview with a local news station, “but I’m not that guy anymore.” The actor will be making an appearance in fellow Breaking Bad veteran Odenkirk’s newest movie, Girlfriend’s Day.
2. Jonathan Banks – Mike Ehrmantraut
Jonathan Banks, who has been acting since the 1970s, has had quite the career. He’s been in an amazing and diverse amount of shows and films. The actor is versatile and has taken a variety of roles, including his role as Mike in Breaking Bad, a role he’s reprized in the prequel to the series Better Call Saul. Banks was also the recent recipient of an honorary degree from Indiana University, a Doctor of Humane Letters, which he will accept in April 2016. Look forward to seeing Banks in Term Life, a movie about a dead-man-walking hoping just to live long enough for his life insurance policy to kick in. You can hear his voice in the upcoming Disney TV series based on the hit animated movie Tangled in 2017.
1. Giancarlo Esposito – Gustavo ‘Gus’ Fring
Singer, actor and producer Giancarlo Esposito played Gus in Breaking Bad. Esposito’s voice will be in the new, live action version of the Jungle Book in 2016 as Akela the Wolf. Also look for him in drama The Long Home adapted from the novel by William Gay, the thriller Money Monster, the drama Stuck, and the TV series about a ragtag bunch of dancing teenagers in the 1970s called The Get Down. The actor will be featured at the Illinois State University’s Black History Cultural Dinner where he will discuss with students and staff the “collegiate student’s main nonacademic responsibility: to get to know people who are different than you.” There are some rumors that the actor might revisit the role as Gus in Better Call Saul’s season 2, but none of those have been substantiated. Guess we’ll just have to wait to find out!