Bryan Cranston And Aaron Paul's Friendship Goes Beyond Breaking Bad

The year was 2008. "Breaking Bad" had just premiered on AMC, and fans couldn't get enough of the show's portrayal of a high school teacher-turned-meth-maker and his drug dealing sidekick. We're talking about Walter White (Bryan Cranston) and the baggy-pantsed Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul). Together, the unlikely duo took on some of the criminal underworld's scariest drug lords. We'll never look at Los Pollos Hermanos the same way.

Even though it's been off-air for a decade, "Breaking Bad" remains one of the most popular shows of all time. MovieWeb reports that it's widely considered to be an all-time great series, with a 95% approval rating spanning 2 million fan votes. For both Cranston and Paul, it signaled a turning point in their respective careers. In particular, Paul told The Guardian how the role was a huge breakthrough, after he'd participated in six failed pilots that year alone. "A lot of people will always see me as Jesse, and I take that as a compliment. ['Breaking Bad'] was a game changer," he added. Speaking on the "Smartless" podcast in 2021, Cranston explained that he knew the show was special just from reading the pilot episode. "I read [the script] and I thought, 'Oh my god this is amazing,'" he said.

In addition to racking up 58 Emmy nominations (16 of which it won), "Breaking Bad" helped make some of its cast members into lifelong friends. After all, five seasons and 62 episodes is a lot of time to spend together.

Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul have lots of fun together

Jesse Pinkman is Walter White's protégé on "Breaking Bad," and that rings true in real life, as well. With more than two decades on Aaron Paul, Bryan Cranston had a whole lot of acting experience under his belt. Maybe that's why he enjoyed pranking his younger co-star by making him think Jesse was going to get killed off, according to Time. On one occasion, Cranston even tricked Paul into thinking he needed to do a coffin fitting! Thankfully for all of us, Jesse lived to wreak havoc another day.

But Cranston and Paul's on-set antics translated into a friendship when the cameras stopped rolling, too. Paul has been on hand to stand by Cranston's side for several big moments, including when Cranston received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2013. "Television would not be the same without this man. But I'm here to tell you all that I, personally, would not be the same without this man," Paul said, as part of his moving tribute. It turns out Paul is a regular Cranston fanboy on Instagram, as well. And Cranston still embraces jokes as the standard in his relationship with Paul. When the actor parodied MTV's "My Super Sweet 16" to celebrate his 60th birthday on "Jimmy Kimmel Live," Paul crashed the party ... dressed in an identical outfit to Cranston.

As of 2020, the BFFs even decided to go into business together, per CNBC.

Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul are business partners

Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul's business — a mezcal line, appropriately named "Dos Hombres" — has panned out just fine. We'll cheers to that! According to its website, it's been named "New York Blanco Mezcal of the Year" and winner of the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, but Paul and Cranston aren't in it for the accolades. "We don't need jobs. ... But we love to work, and I only want to take on projects ... if I am fully engaged and love the product," Cranston told CNBC. "It's a labor of love for us, and it's turning into an incredibly successful business."

In 2019, the pair reunited on another project: The "Breaking Bad" film, "El Camino." "This time, Aaron is still a friend, we've got the mezcal business together, we celebrate birthdays and other things together. He's a dear friend," Cranston said, speaking to Rolling Stone about working with Paul again in the "Breaking Bad" universe. Adding that he and Paul decided to go into business because they missed each other, Cranston noted that they weren't sure when they'd get to collaborate again. 

But, as of 2023, the stars have aligned. GameRant confirmed the epic duo is reuniting on primetime TV for Super Bowl LVII. Check out Cranston's Instagram for a sneak peek of what's to come! You know what they say: friends who cook up trouble together, stay together.