It can’t be easy to find the perfect job after starring on one of the most acclaimed TV shows. However, the cast of Breaking Bad did just that.
The series, which debuted on AMC in January 2008, followed a high school chemistry teacher Walter White (Bryan Cranston) who begins cooking meth with his former student Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) after learning he has stage-three lung cancer.
The drama, created by Vince Gilligan got off to a slow start with critics, but by the second season, became one of the most talked-about shows on television. Breaking Bad ran for five seasons, officially airing its season finale on September 29, 2013.
“I remember reading things [like] ‘Shame on Sony, shame on AMC for greenlighting a show that’s glamorizing the cooking and selling of meth,’” Paul told Entertainment Weekly in 2018. “All of that quickly went away the moment we hit the air.”
Cranston also recalled a similar discussion about how they’d promote the show. “We all came to an idea: ‘We’ll talk about what the show is really about. It’s about this man’s decision-making.’ But we never had to use it,” he said. “It just dissipated because the critics and fans saw what the show was about and were sympathetic to these characters.”
Despite the very heavy content, the show was a hit from start to finish, earning 16 Primetime Emmy Awards out of 58 nominations. Cranston took home four, Paul took home three and Anna Gunn, who portrayed Cranston’s wife, won twice. The Guinness World Records named the show the most critically acclaimed of all-time in 2013.
“He’ll be in my life forever,” Paul said when discussing his bond with Cranston, who echoed that sentiment.
“It’s not imperative that you even like the people you work with. It’s not. But you still have to do your job,” he told EW. “It makes things easier when you like them, and if it develops into genuine love, you are so lucky. And that’s what happened.”
The cast, which also included Dean Norris, RJ Mitte, Betsy Brandt and Bob Odenkirk, all stayed close — and some have reprised their Breaking Bad roles. A sequel film, El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie, was released on Netflix and in theaters in October 2019. In 2015, Better Call Saul, a prequel to Breaking Bad, debuted on AMC and has since been nominated for more than 40 Primetime Emmys. The series’ sixth and final season aired from April to August 2022.
Scroll through the gallery below to see what the cast has been up to since the show ended.