Breaking Bad has been off the air for almost five years, after running for five seasons from 2008-2013. But, in that time, fans have seemed to become only more passionate for the beloved drama.
For those who don’t know, BB follows the story of high school chemistry teacher Walter White who is abruptly diagnosed with lung cancer. In an effort to find a way to pay for his treatments and take care of his family, White decides to begin manufacturing crystal in partnership with his former student, Jesse Pinkman. As you can well imagine, White and his friends get into a whole slew of trouble as they get more involved in the criminal world. And soon it becomes less about White making money for his family, and more about him needing to prove something for himself.
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Due to the show’s success, it inspired the spin-off show Better Call Saul, which follows the stories of a variety of BB characters before they crossed paths with Walter White. We highly recommend you binge watch all the Breaking Bad seasons and get caught up with Better Call Saul because this is some quality programming.
Now that the show has been wrapped up for some time, many fans are curious as to what happened to the cast. Check out what the stars of BB have been up to since saying goodbye to the iconic show. Whose career trajectory surprised you the most?
15 Bryan Cranston as Walter White
Bryan Cranston already had a solid acting career before signing onto playing Mr. White, thanks to his recurring role as dimwitted dad Hal in the sitcom Malcolm in the Middle. But his career reached all new heights when he took on the role as the chemistry-teacher-turned-drug-kingpin. Cranston earned a Golden Globe and several Emmy’s for his work in Breaking Bad.
Since the show came to a close, Cranston has continued branching out into new acting roles. He’s made a variety of television appearances in shows like Robot Chicken and Sneaky Pete. He’s also tried his hand at Blockbuster films, including the Oscar-nominated flick Trumbo. Most recently, Cranston gained notoriety for starring in Amazon’s Electric Dreams. He will also be lending his voice to the upcoming animated film Isle of Dogs.
14 Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman
Aaron Paul became a household name thanks to portraying Walter White’s sidekick Jesse Pinkman, who quickly became a fan favourite. This was by far the actor’s break-out role, having only made small appearances in shows like Big Love, Point Pleasant, and Veronica Mars.
RELATED: Aaron Paul Welcomes First Child
Things have only been looking up for Paul since Breaking Bad came to a end. Shortly after, he signed on to play the voice of Todd on BoJack Horseman. He’s also appeared in movies like Need For Speed, Exodus: Gods and Kings, Triple 9, and Central Intelligence.
Currently, Paul is starring as the lead in the new drama The Path, which follows the story of man who joins a controversial religious group after a midlife crisis. Paul has also been having success in his personal life. He and his wife Lauren Parsekian recently announced they’re expecting their first child, a daughter.
13 Bob Odenkirk as Saul Goodman
Bob Odenkirk probably had the best career trajectory after wrapping up Breaking Bad, considering that the producers let him have his own spin-off show and all. Fans were first introduced to Odenkirk when he played lawyer Saul Goodman, who was always trying to help Walter White escape trouble.
Nowadays, most Breaking Bad fans are still keeping up with Odenkirk on his show Better Call Saul. The show follows the life of Saul before he meets up with Walter, and explains how he became a dirty lawyer. However, the show is known to flash forward to the present at times, and also makes plenty of references to Breaking Bad characters. We wouldn’t be surprised if Walter White one day makes an appearance, too.
Other than the BB spin-off show, Odenkirk has had roles in the TV series Fargo and Drunk History. He’ll also be lending his voice to the upcoming animated sequel Incredibles 2.
12 Jonathan Banks as Mike Ehrmantraut
Mike Ehrmantraut was arguably one of the greatest characters of Breaking Bad. Jonathan Banks did an impeccable job playing the hit-man Grandpa, whose only motivation in getting caught up in Walter White’s scheme was to provide for his granddaughter.
Banks was a veteran in Hollywood when he signed on to BB, having been working in the industry since the ‘80s. Previously, had had roles in Gremlins, Beverly Hills Cop, and Armed and Dangerous. Likewise, he’s made tons of TV appearances, including on shows like Modern Family, Lie to me, CSI, Cold Case, and more.
Since BB ended, Banks has made a variety of TV and movie appearances. Most notable, he had recurring roles on Community and Better Call Saul. Likewise, he’s dabbled in voice acting and other TV guest appearances.
11 Anna Gunn as Skyler White
Like many Breaking Bad stars, Anna Gunn wasn’t very well-known to mainstream audiences before taking on the role. Fans had mixed feelings about Walter White’s wife Skyler, who many thought was too complicit in her husband’s illegal dealings. Despite the criticism, it helped Gunn score two Emmy’s during her time portraying the character.
After leaving the role, Gunn immediately signed on to play Detective Ellie Miller on Gracepoint (the American version of the British murder mystery Broadchurch), though the show was soon cancelled. However, she again found work on the TV series Shade of Blue playing Julia Ayres. Gunn has also appeared in movies like Sully and Equity, and also made appearances on shows including Robot Chicken, The Mindy Project, and Criminal Minds.
10 RJ Mitte as Walter White Jr.
RJ Mitte played the lead character’s son, Walter White Jr., on Breaking Bad. Mitte suffers from a mild case of cerebral palsy- the same condition that Walter Jr. had in the show. Mitte said he put did a lot of research before taking on the role to ensure he’d be portraying the condition as realistically as possible, which has since earned him critical acclaim.
Mitte’s acting career is still looking brighter than ever. Aside from Breaking Bad, he’s also become known for his role as Campbell Bingman on the teen drama Switched At Birth. He’s starred in a handful of films, including Time Share, Who’s Driving Doug, Dixieland, and The Recall. Likewise, Mitte has also had brief roles in several TV shows, like On Hiatus With Monty Geer and Robot Chicken.
9 Giancarlo Esposito (as Gus Fring)
Gus Fring was another character from Breaking Bad that was only supposed to have a supporting role, but ended up becoming a fan favourite. Giancarlo Esposito portrayed the kingpin, who surprisingly had somewhat of a moral compass. Due to fan reception, Fring was invited to resume his role as Fring on the spin-off show Better Call Saul, which takes a look at how Fring got started in the business.
Esposito has been keeping busy aside from his work on Better Call Saul. In recent years, he’s made appearances in movies like Maze Runner, Okja, The Jungle Book, and The Show. He’s also had recurring roles on shows like Once Upon A Time, Dear White People, The Get Down, and Allegiance. In the future, expect to see Esposito in flicks like The Long Home and The Gift.
8 Betsy Brandt as Marie Schrader
Betsy Brandt’s character Marie may have been branded as “annoying” by Breaking Bad fans, but the actress still managed to give a solid performance as Walter White’s sister-in-law. Before scoring the breakthrough role, Betsy had previously studied at Harvard University's Institute For Advanced Theater Training, and made appearances in Magic Mike and Without A Trace.
The mother-of-two continues to keep herself busy with various acting roles. After Breaking Bad ended, Brandt had a variety of stints on TV shows. She played Annie Henry in The Michael J. Fox Show, Barbara Sanderson in Masters of Sex, and Sandy in Parenthood. Since 2015, Brandt has been starring as Heather in the TV series Life in Pieces. Likewise, she’s had roles in numerous movies in recent years, including Claire in Motion, Between Us, and Quest.
7 Dean Norris as Hank Schrader
What would Breaking Bad be without Hank? Dean Norris portrayed Walter White’s DEA special agent brother-in-law, who was determined to end the drug smuggling in his town (though little did he know the culprit was under his nose the entire time).
Norris certainly hasn’t had a hard time finding work in Hollywood since saying goodbye to the hit show. The father-of-five has had several recurring roles on TV shows, including as Jay in Girlboss, Uncle Daddy in Claws, Fenton Glackland in Scandal, and Colonel Richard Williams in The Big Bang Theory.
He also portrayed James ‘Big Jim’ Rennie in Under The Dome from 2013- 2015. Norris has also starred in a variety of films, such as Beirut, Death Wish, The Book Of Henry, and Fist Fight.
6 Krysten Ritter as Jane Margolis
Most fans still aren’t over the way Krysten Ritter died on Breaking Bad. She and Jesse were totally meant to be! But one thing that didn’t die when Ritter left BB was her career, which has been on the up-and-up ever since.
Ritter was no stranger to Hollywood when she signed on to play troubled Jane Margolis in the drama. She previously had roles in movies like Mona Lisa Smile, Confessions of a Shopaholic, and She’s Out Of My League. She also made appearances on TV shows including Law & Order, Veronica Mars, and Gilmore Girls.
Since BB ended, Ritter has been taking on even more acting gigs. From 2012-2013, she starred as the lead in the sitcom Don’t Trust the B- in Apartment 23. Later, she snagged the role of Jessica Jones in The Defenders, and eventually resumed the role in her own TV series, Jessica Jones.
5 Mark Margolis as Hector Salamanca
Fans were immediately curious about Hector Salamanca- portrayed by Mark Margolis- when he first appeared on Breaking Bad. The handicap kingpin was obviously powerful back in his day, and fans were immediately curious to learn his backstory. It’s no wonder that Margolis has since been invited to resume his role on Better Call Saul so fans can learn more about Salamanca’s history.
Aside from portraying Salamanca, Margolis has taken on a variety of roles in recent years. He’s had recurring roles on TV shows like The Affair, and Gotham. Margolis has likewise starred in a handful of films, including My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, One Fall, Valley of Bones, Person of Interest, and more.
Prior to his work on Breaking Bad, Margolis appeared in shows like Law & Order SVU, S*x and the City, and Ace Ventura.
4 Steven Michael Quezada as Steven Gomez
Steven Michael Quezada portrayed a character with the same name as his in Breaking Bad. Unlike many of his co-stars, Quezada didn’t have much experience in the acting industry before scoring the breakout role. He had a handful of roles in TV series like Wildfire, In Plain Sight, and Almost Americans. Likewise, he also played parts in movies such as Beerfest, First Snow, and Three Wise Guys.
The actor has stayed relevant with a variety of TV and movie appearances since BB wrapped up. His recent list of movie credits include: Kepler’s Dream, Girlfriend’s Day, Furthest Witness, Kreep, Fender Bender, Outlaws and Angels, Element, and The Night Before. In the future, he will be making appearances in flicks such as Aurora’s Law, Flexx, Wish Man, and Duke City.
3 Jesse Plemons as Todd
Jesse Plemons earned himself a hilarious nickname while starring as Todd on Breaking Bad. Fans began referring to him as ‘Meth Damon’ for his uncanny resemblance to Matt Damon, and the fact that he was working as a dealer for Jesse. As such, he’s one of the most memorable faces from Breaking Bad, even though he had a relatively minor role.
Plemons has had a variety of high-profile roles since BB ended. In 2015, he had a recurring role on Fargo as Ed Blumquist. He’s also had small roles in other TV shows, including Drunk History, Black Mirror, and No Activity. In recent years, Plemons has acted in films such as Game Night, The Post, Hostiles, and Bridge of Spies. His soon-to-be released flicks include The Irishman and The Bell Jar.
2 Charles Baker as Skinny Pete
We all remember Skinny Pete as one of Jesse Pinkman’s cronies who would do his dirty work. Actor Charles Baker got a pretty good fan following after portraying the character in the hit drama. He’s since gone on to work on a variety of notable projects.
From 2013-2017, Baker had a recurring role on The Blacklist and, in 2014, he had a stable role on Murder in The First. He also made appearances in other TV shows, including Colony, The Crossroads Of History. Likewise, Baker has appeared in films such as The Neon Demon, Approaching The Unknown, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Grimm, and Lethal Weapon.
Baker is currently working on a variety of projects, including the movies First Person, Eleven Eleven, and You Can’t Win, and the TV show Driving Test.
1 Christopher Cousins as Ted Beneke
Breaking Bad fans will remember Christopher Cousins as Ted Beneke, the man who Walter White’s wife Skylar is having an affair with. But this is hardly the only role Cousins is known for!
Prior to BB, Cousins had recurring roles on One Life to Live, Vanished, and Lipstick Jungle. He had also appeared in shows like Cane and Supernatural. Likewise, he also had a variety of high-profile movies under his belt, including The Grudge 2, Wicker Park, and For Love of the Game.
Cousins went on to snag even more TV roles after BB. He’s had roles on Twisted, Revolution, Matador, Glee, The Vampire Diaries, Bosch, Drop Dead Diva, The Mentalist, Chicago Fire, The Exorcist, and more. That’s quite the acting resume if you ask us!