For such a complex and massively successful show, it would be expected to have a treasure trove of juicy tidbits and secrets. And there are! For instance, did you know that Bryan Cranston has a tiny Breaking Bad tattoo on his ring finger? And Aaron Paul has a matching one? Or that Samuel L. Jackson desperately wanted to be cast an as extra on the show? Or that baby Holly was named after Vince Gilligan‘s girlfriend, Holly? Or that Marius Stan who played Bogdan Wolynetz, the crabby carwash owner, is a well-respected and brilliant scientist in real life?
Okay, we’ll stop now, but you get the idea. This is the kind of show that people will go to great lengths to hunt down interesting facts and details about. Even though the show has been over for four years as of this writing, you’ll still see a few Walter White or Jesse Pinkman costumes during Halloween and there’s still a market out there for Breaking Bad memorabilia.
With so many diehard fans in existence, it makes sense that the cast and crew went to extra measures to make sure that any “show secrets”, large or small were kept under wraps to maintain the integrity of the show. But we’ve managed to uncover a baggie’s worth just for you. Read on, b****.
15. X Marks The Spot: The GPS Coordinates Where Walt Buries The Money Leads To A Filming Location
Here’s a great example of the terribly clever minds behind Breaking Bad testing to see if any fans out there were awake. Not just awake but on their game. It turns out that the coordinates of the spot where Walter buried the money, his drug-derived treasure, actually leads to the front gates of Q Studios in Albuquerque, New Mexico where the show was filmed. Well played, gentleman and ladies behind Breaking Bad. Seeing as how Cranston is quite the trickster, we can’t help but wonder if he had any part in this as well. When you think of it, having the treasure’s coordinates lead to Q Studios is very smart and true in many ways – they all made a treasure chest full of cold, hard cash by filming this series there!
14. Aaron Paul Never Took A Single Acting Class
For a character as big as Jesse Pinkman, you would think that the casting directors searched high and low until they found an actor with the experience to go toe to toe with a veteran actor like Cranston. But when Paul arrived in Los Angeles at age seventeen, he found out that Hollywood can be a fickle and cold lady. He appeared (now, famously) on The Price Is Right where he showed as much as enthusiasm as Jesse did when he and Walter managed to start up the motorhome after fearing death by dehydration. He also had tiny parts in music videos and commercials. But he wasn’t a traditional actor with loads of classes, workshops, and training under his belt.
“The only training I have is really trial and error,” Paul said in a Reddit AMA interview. “I always just thought ‘Hey, pretend like you’re being someone else, and that’s all there is to it.’ I just force myself to truly believe that I am living the situation through the character.”
13. We Were Only Supposed To See Gus Fring A Few Times
The character Gus Fring is a great example not to judge a book by its cover. He seems mild-mannered and as ordinary as the next person. No one would have guessed that fast food manager Fring was really hiding in plain sight and hiding a Mr. Hyde of his own. But this very scary drug kingpin character that we came to despise (and fear) was only supposed to appear in three episodes, four max… so how did he end up being a major character in twenty-six episodes? Plot twists, b****! During seasons two and three, Fring was doing business with the boys and not just in good standing with them but protected them from the drug cartel. But by season four, Fring is the main antagonist. Hector “Tio” Salamanca would have been the main antagonist for this period if Fring’s character didn’t last as long as he did.
12. Dean Norris (Hank) Wanted His Character Killed For Another Acting Opportunity
The story goes that Dean Norris was offered a role on a sitcom (CBS’s Under the Dome) and wanted to accept the part but it conflicted with his role as Hank on Breaking Bad. He liked playing Hank but also wanted the new role so during the filming of the first half of Breaking Bad season five, Norris suggested to creator Vince Gilligan that killing Hank off within the first eight episodes might be a pretty cool way to shake things up on the show. But Gilligan politely (we’re assuming, we weren’t actually there) reminded Norris that being an actor, he doesn’t get to call the shots and to let Gilligan worry about things like that.
“I said, ‘Would it be interesting if Hank died in the first eight?’” Norris explained. “They said, ‘No, we kind of need you for the last eight. We’ve been building that up to the for last five years’ … Obviously, I’m glad that they did.”
11. The Show Was Supposed To Shoot In California But Moved To Albuquerque For Tax Purposes
Riverside, California is conveniently sandwiched between Los Angeles (about an hour away) and San Diego (about an hour and a half away) with great weather, a bustling community, and a rich history. Riverside’s beloved historic Mission Inn has hosted some of Hollywood’s hottest movies starting in 1919 with Boots starring Dorothy Gish, 1985’s Real Genius with Val Kilmer, 1998’s The Man In The Iron Mask starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Jeremy Irons and John Malkovich and 2001’s What’s The Worst That Could Happen? with Martin Lawrence, Danny DeVito and John Leguizamo. It seems the location scouts, producers, and directors saw what so many others behind Hollywood’s shows and movies saw in Riverside but due to tax issues, they decided to choose Albuquerque, New Mexico as the official home for Breaking Bad and now we would find it strange to be located in any other place but the producers and directors probably don’t like people to know that their decision was largely based on tax advice.
10. The Formula To Produce The Drug Is Shown During The Opening Credits
The creators of Breaking Bad certainly had a fun side that they didn’t mind showing off at each and available chance. By cleverly displaying, c10 H15 N, the scientific formula for methamphetamine before each show, it would take a scientist, a person who studied up on their periodic tables or perhaps a cooker of illegal substances to catch the sneaky trick which to everyone else, just looks like random letters and numbers. But seeing as how the word “meth” is also not so subtly thrown in there, maybe we should have gotten this a lot sooner. Did you? c10 H15 N can also mean phenpromethamine which is a stimulant and member of the phenethylamine family currently banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency but this combination is most recognized as methamphetamine for those who know what to look for.
9. Aaron Paul Was Accidentally Knocked Out During A Fight Scene With Raymond Cruz (Tuco)
Paul literally suffered for his craft! During the episode entitled “Grilled”, Tuco (played by Raymond Cruz) threw Paul through a screen door. If you watch the scene carefully, you’ll see just how he got injured.
“If you watch it back,” Paul said. “You’ll notice that my head gets caught inside the wooden screen door and it flips me around and lands me on my stomach, and the door splinters into a million pieces. Raymond just thought I was acting, so he continued and kicked me in the side and picked me up over his shoulder and threw me against the house, but in reality, I was pretty much unconscious … I kept pleading to him, saying ‘stop.’ The next thing I know, I guess I blacked out, and I woke up to a flashlight in (my) eyes, and it was our medic. And then I hopped up, acting like nothing wrong, but it appeared like I was drunk, and I kept saying ‘let’s finish the scene,’ but then my eye started swelling shut so they took me to the hospital. Just another fun day on the set of Breaking Bad!”
8. Fun With Felina
The creative minds behind Breaking Bad must have had a lot of fun with this one. In the very last episode of the series, entitled “Felina” it begins with Walther driving to New Mexico listening to a song by Marty Robbins called “El Paso” on the radio. The lyrics tell a story of a man who returns to a town to find the woman he loves despite being a wanted man there. Sound familiar? The camera also lingers for a bit on the New Hampshire license plates so that the state’s motto, “Live Free or Die” is visible. This was also the name of the season five premiere. If you’ll remember, someone lives free while someone does not… live at all. “Felina” is also an anagram of “finale” and probably most interesting of all, split up equally into two letters, Fe, Li, Na, are the periodic abbreviations for the chemical elements for blood, meth, and tears. So poetic.
7. Pizza Perfection – One Toss, One Take!
Walter White showed up to the front door of the home he once shared with his wife and son as a happy family unit, with a pizza box and breadstick dippers in hand, wanting nothing more than to sit down and share a bite to eat with his love to try and patch up their damaged relationship. Well, Skyler White shut that scene down ASAP and sent Walter packing, pizza and all. In his utter frustration, he tosses the pizza box in the air and the pie flies up and sticks a perfect landing on the roof. Vince Gilligan called it a “one-in-a-million shot” and the crew was in disbelief that Bryan Cranston managed to throw the pizza onto the roof on the very first take. Remember, he wasn’t just tossing something onto the roof. He threw a box into the air and just the pizza managed to slide out, get airborne and land on the roof. Nothing but shingles. Point, Cranston.
6. The Writers Heavily Foreshadowed Jane’s Death For Us
The writers were really into foreshadowing and the death of Jesse Pinkman’s girlfriend, Jane Margolis was no exception. In one scene, Jesse tries to sweetly surprise her with a homemade breakfast in bed. He sees that she’s awake and says, “You weren’t supposed to wake up.” Jane asks, “Ever?” But the largest examples of foreshadowing Jane’s death that we could find is when she was disgusted by something and said, “I think I just threw up in my mouth a little,” and when she warns Jesse, “lie on your side or you might choke.” That was mighty ironic! Now that we know this, we only wonder what other foreshadowing lines and little tricks those sneaky writers put in that we didn’t pick up on. Did you catch on to these? RIP, Apology Girl.
5. Jesse Pinkman Was Supposed To Die
For someone who is a criminal and wouldn’t think twice before calling anyone’s sweet and kindly grandma the b-word, it might seem strange that most people couldn’t help but have a soft spot for Jesse. Much like bathroom shower mold, the guy grows on you. He has his good qualities. He loves his little brother and he used to draw made up superheroes. How adorable is that? With this in mind, learning that Jesse Pinkman was supposed to be gone-zo by the ninth episode of season one (one!) is a little heart-wrenching. Thankfully, it didn’t happen and the writers’ strike of 2007-2008 is responsible. Enough time passed and Aaron Paul’s portrayal of Jesse was strong and interesting enough to change Vince Gilligan’s mind and the main writers’ minds about Jesse. They decided he was too important to kill off anyway. Who did these writers think that Walter would have hilarious banter with?
4. The Walking Dead Crossover Connections
If you were obsessed with Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead, you might have noticed a funny little surprise in the stash of pre-zombie-apocalypse acquired drugs during an episode called “Bloodletting” of The Walking Dead. If you love both shows, this fan treat was a mishmash sent straight from heaven… or from the producers just to give you a chuckle. But this wasn’t the only time these two worlds collided. The makeup and special effects team from The Walking Dead assisted in Gus Fring’s face makeup for the scene in season four where Fring’s face is half blown off in the episode appropriately titled “Face Off”.
Here’s another kind of crossover that has nothing to do with The Walking Dead but another show that fans are just as crazy over. After George R.R. Martin watched season five, episode fourteen entitled, “Ozymandias” he called Walter White a “bigger monster than anyone in Game of Thrones” and promised to “do something about that” in his next book.
3. The Trouble With Jane: Cranston And Pinkman Were Both Deeply Affected By Her Death Scene
When fans watched Jane Margolis choke on her own vomit and die, some were sad. Jane was a young girl, full of life and Jesse was in love with her. But others might have been okay with this character’s death, no, make that elated. This is because Jane was building a tower of tension between Walter and Jesse and her death equaled a return to peace and harmony in the meth lab that Walter and Jesse built. Regardless of that, Anna Gunn, who played Skyler White said that Cranston cried for a good fifteen minutes after filming the scene in which his character watched Jane, played by Krysten Ritter, choke to death on her vomit – which was really a mixture of oatmeal and Mylanta.
Cranston said, “My real daughter’s face took her place. So it just hits me.” He blamed his emotions on Ritter’s stellar acting skills.
2. Season Two Teased Us With The Coming Plane Crash
If you were/are a hardcore Breaking Bad fan and are naturally great at solving puzzles, you might already be aware of this sweet little Easter egg. The great minds behind the show were all about foreshadowing and the epic plane crash was no different. The first, fourth, tenth and thirteenth episodes of season two all have black and white teaser introductions. The first episode of season two is called “Seven Thirty-Seven”, the fourth is titled “Down”, the tenth is “Over” and the thirteenth is “ABQ.” Combining all of the episode titles, the eerie message is, “Seven Thirty-Seven Down Over ABQ.” “ABQ” is the episode where Jane’s father, Donald Margolis, an air traffic controller, returns to work too soon after her death and loses focus due to his grief, causing the horrible plane crash.
1. Walter And Jesse’s Special Brand Was Just Candy!
Okay, so we knew it wasn’t really blue meth the actors were working with on the show, of course, but for a series of the magnitude that Breaking Bad was, we kind of figured that the special effects team and the prop team got together to whip up a completely fake – but very real-looking – meth-like substance. That sounds much cooler than sending a stagehand out to a candy shop to pick up blue rock candy. Much less exciting. Sorry for ruining the magic for you. But wait! There actually is some magic left. Debbie Ball, owner of the “The Candy Lady” candy shop in Albuquerque, New Mexico actually cooked and created the candy that was used as props on the set as “Blue Sky” meth. Business has been booming for Ball ever since and she is all about promoting her connection to the show to the fullest extent. She sells not just dime bags of blue sky candy but blue sky doughnuts, and if you’re feeling fancy, RV tours to Breaking Bad filming locations. Way to run with it, Candy Lady!
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