Praised for its top notch acting and taboo subject matter, Breaking Bad took the world of television by storm. Creator Vince Gilligan's 5-season thriller took home 16 Emmy Awards and garnered 58 nominations over the course of the series, so to say it's popular would be a vast understatement. There may be things about this heavily watched series that not everybody knows, though, and in this edition from Top10Archive, we'll “cook up” 10 wildly interesting facts.
Jesse Pinkman Was Meant to Die at the End of Season 1
It may come as a big surprise, but by the end of Season 1, Episode 7, Jesse Pinkman was to be no more. After the second episode of the series, Gilligan realized that killing off the character would be a colossal mistake, and a break in production due to the 2007 Writers Guild strike gave him the chance to rewrite the episode. Instead of beating Pinkman to death, insane drug dealer, Tuco, portrayed by Raymond Cruz, takes his unwarranted rage out on fellow associate “No-Doze” after a small, harmless comment.
Gus Fring was Meant to Play a Smaller Role
Season 3 favorite, Gus Fring, was originally scripted to appear in only 3 or 4 episodes, with the wheelchair bound Hector Salamanca being Walter White’s antagonist instead. Fring received such positive feedback that Gilligan rewrote the part to play antagonist to both Hector and White for an additional 22 episodes, creating quite the memorable trio of animosity and one of televisions most memorable deaths.
Bryan Cranston was Wanted for Murder
Prior to becoming big stars, celebrities lived normal lives, meaning they are all bound to have stories to tell around the fireplace. Cranston, however, has one doozy of a story to tell that dates back to Cranston’s days of waiting in a Florida restaurant with his brother. In this restaurant was a chef named Peter Wong, a man so beastly that he was a friend to nobody, not even his fellow coworkers. One day, Wong was murdered, leaving an open investigation for his killer – an investigation that two people just so happened to not be around for. Around the time of the murder, Bryan and his brother resigned from their jobs for a cross-country motorcycle ride, their absence pegging them as murder suspects. Of course, upon their return, they were exonerated.
Vince Gilligan Used Colors to Communicate Mood and Provide Symbolism
Breaking Bad’s costume designers had to do more than dress each character in appropriate styled clothing, they had to make sure the fabric’s color matched Gilligan’s methods. Pay close attention to the colors each character is wearing to get a sense of that character’s mood or potential future. For example, red is often a symbol of rage or anger, green is a personification of envy or greed, and blue referred to purity, security, and escape. Gilligan’s use of color was very purposeful, stating that it represents that character’s state of mind.
RJ Mitte, aka Walt Jr., Has Cerebral Palsy
At the age of three, R.J. Mitte was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, surely a result from complications at birth. Though the disease is real for Mitte, his portrayal of it on Breaking Bad is pure acting. Mitte’s character, Walt Jr., suffers from a more severe form of cerebral palsy, forcing Mitte to learn how to act with a more progressed form of the disease. Mitte studied worse cases of the disease to perfect his speech and how to walk with crutches, essentially regressing his own case of cerebral palsy.
Walter White Takes On Characteristics of People He Gets Close To
Watching Bryan Cranston progress the character of Walter White from mild-mannered chemistry teacher to drug kingpin Heisenberg has been quite the treat for Breaking Bad’s viewers, but how many noticed the subtle things that the character did over time? During White’s progression, the character picked up traits of those he came close to, whether on good terms or bad. White’s first kill, drug dealer Crazy Eight, would cut the crusts off of his sandwiches, a preference that Walter picks up in the beginning of Season 3. Another instance is his sudden change in how he drinks his whiskey. Picking up a trait from former associate Mike Ehrmantraut, Walt goes from preferring his beverage without ice in Season 4 to taking it on the rocks in Season 5.
The Science Behind “Blue Sky” Was Regulated by the DEA
Admittedly, putting the real formula to make meth on television would probably turn a few heads and put a few ideas into creative minds. To prevent a culture of meth manufacturers, prior to the show’s release, the Drug Enforcement Administration approached Vince Gilligan and his writers to adjust the science behind Walter White’s meth production. Gilligan was advised as to what parts of the process to include and what was better left omitted. The show’s science advisor, Donna J. Nelson, states a part of this was to ensure that any complaints could be referred to the DEA.
Walter White is a Real Meth Dealer
It’s no shock that some Hollywood and television character’s are based on real people, but it’s always mind blowing when life imitates art without influence. In 2008, before Breaking Bad even aired on television – but was well into development – an Alabama man was placed on the state’s Most Wanted list for his very own thriving methamphetamine business. The irony of the situation isn’t that he was a cancer patient or a teacher of chemistry, but rather that his legal name was, in fact, Walter White.
Bogdan is a Brilliant Scientist
Those bushy eyebrows aren’t the only thing impressive that Marius Stan, the carwash owner Bogdan, brought to the Breaking Bad set. Stan is also a chemist, computational materials scientist, and physicist at Argonne National Laboratory. Prior to his working at Argonne, the Romanian actor was a scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory until 2010. Currently, Stan is the technical directory for the Nuclear Energy Advanced Modeling and Simulation and has been honored the Department of Energy “Pollution Prevention Award” for his innovation with nuclear materials.
In a move that they must be regretting right now, TNT, FX, Showtime and HBO all passed up the opportunity to forgo production of Breaking Bad. Apparently, the show’s content was too risky to broadcast and they feared that it would hurt viewership rather than help it. An understandable move for standard cable network like TNT and FX, but a surprising decision for premium networks HBO and Showtime, who have no problems with nudity, sex, and gore being a staple of their programming.