Breaking Bad‘s Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston managed to take part in one of the most-watched shows over the last decade. For 62 episodes and five seasons, Walter White and Jesse Pinkman took audiences on an emotional ride with their deeply conflicting feelings for one another as partners, friends, and enemies. Paul remembers one scene that took two grueling days to film that left both men with scars.
Aaron Paul’s character wasn’t supposed to live past the first season of ‘Breaking Bad’
As a whole, Breaking Bad wasn’t only about the “bad” things Walt and Jesse did for money. The series was really about the relationship between the two, which began when Walt was Jesse’s teacher in high school. Things could’ve taken a different turn if the original plan to kill Jesse off remained.
Rumors swirled that the character was to be killed in season 1 episode 9 but that the 2007-2008 Writers Guild of America strike put the plan on hold. However, creator Vince Gilligan cleared things up in 2013.
“The writers’ strike, in a sense, didn’t save him, because I knew by episode two—we all did, all of us, our wonderful directors and our wonderful producers,” Gilligan told AV Club at the time. “Everybody knew just how good [Aaron Paul is], and a pleasure to work with, and it became pretty clear early on that that would be a huge, colossal mistake to kill off Jesse.”
It’s a good thing things took a different path or Breaking Bad might not have become what it has over the last decade. With filming mostly between Cranston and Paul and long hours on the set, Paul once recalled an iconic scene that became a bit of a “mess.”
This ‘Breaking Bad’ scene took two days to film
In season 4, the episode “Bug” puts Walt and Jesse at odds. After begging Walt to help cook for the cartel, Walt confessed he put a tracker on Jesse’s car and knew he went to Gus’s (Giancarlo Esposito) house but didn’t kill him as Walt wanted. Jesse became enraged and threw the tracker at Walt’s head, starting an all-out brawl between the two.
The fight was coordinated by stuntmen but Cranston and Paul took real hits.
“It was just two of the Three Stooges kind of thing,” Paul told Entertainment Weekly in 2018. “Him and I together during a lot of these scenes, it was just hilarious. I remember this scene where we’re really getting into a physical fight inside of Pinkman’s house and it was just so messy and aggressive.”
He continued: “It took us two days to shoot it. It was one day of all the dialogue leading up to the fight and then a solid full day of shooting directed at this fight. I mean, we got cuts and bruises all over the place. It was just so messy — I mean, we were having so much fun.”
Supervising producer Thomas Schnauz weighed in on a behind-the-scenes YouTube clip saying they wanted the fight to “look sloppy” because the two characters “aren’t known for their fighting.”
Cranston said he was “breathing so hard” he “got a little dizzy.”
Though Paul “clipped” Cranston on the nose, neither star was seriously injured. And, they had a medic standing by, just in case.
Paul got a concussion filming another fight scene
Paul takes method-acting seriously, having an incident with another fight scene that ultimately gave him a concussion. In a Reddit AMA, Paul answered fan questions, revealing the fight between Jesse and Tuco (Raymond Cruz) got serious.
“Yeah, Raymond Cruz who played Tuco gave me a concussion during the episode ‘Grilled,’ where Tuco takes Walt and Jesse to his shack in the middle of nowhere where we meet the famous Uncle Tio,” Paul said. “Tuco takes Jesse and he throws him through the screen door outside, and if you watch it back 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.”
He added: “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 our 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!”
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