Hard to believe we’ve entered the “10/5” stage with AMC and Vince Gilligan‘s Breaking Bad: ten years since the series that would change television debuted, and nearly five years since the final bullet casing hit the floor and Jesse (Aaron Paul) drove off to…somewhere. But Entertainment Weekly remembered, reuniting Gilligan and the cast for a special anniversary issue that looks back at the famed series – and forward to its future with Better Call Saul.
Here are some highlights from EW‘s exclusive portrait gallery – including actors’ perspectives on playing their respective characters – that included Gilligan, Paul, Bryan Cranston (Walter White), Anna Gunn (Skyler White), Bob Odenkirk (Saul Goodman), Dean Norris (Hank Schrader), Betsy Brandt (Marie Schrader), Giancarlo Esposito (Gustavo Fring), Jonathan Banks (Mike Ehrmantraut), and RJ Mitte (Walter White Jr.).
“It was the best script I’d ever read, but nowhere in the pilot’s script does it say where that journey is going to go or how far it’s going to go. Is he just going to dabble in it for a little bit and then get out or what? And when [creator Vince Gilligan] told me he wanted to change this character from good to bad, completely, we realize that this has never happened before. So what Vince Gilligan did was change the construct of what was possible in series television. He changed it. It was all about stasis before. Whether you’re Thomas Magnum or Archie Bunker or Ross and Rachel, you are those people — or Tony Soprano — you are those people and you are reacting to different stimuli. But this is completely different. And he gave every one of us our own individuality.” – Cranston
“We were all so fortunate to be able to play characters in the show where it wasn’t just a one color, one tone, throughout the entire series. We all had these beautifully complex arcs that we didn’t know where our characters were heading. And Jesse, I really love this kid so much, but when I first read the script, I had no idea where he was going. I mean, he was supposed to die at the end of the first season. Vince didn’t know where he was going, the writers didn’t know where he was going. But where they took him was just such a brutal struggle — this journey that he went on, that we all went on — it was incredible.” – Paul
“Vince wanted her always to be such a strong person, somebody who didn’t fall apart and who didn’t wallow in self-pity but really always took charge. That was always really fascinating about her. That a mind as brilliant as [Walt’s] mind was, her mind was as brilliant in her own way. She was always trying to figure out, ‘Okay, this is the situation, this is the challenge. Now what do we do? How do we go into action?’” – Gunn
“The story is still going on for me, but there’s a pretty big leap there, between the Saul in Breaking Bad and the Jimmy McGill-Saul of Better Call Saul. It was a blast and a challenge to play Saul in Breaking Bad. It was a very energized character…. It was also a challenge to get in a room with these actors, on this level. I was used to being around clowns. Children playing with mud pies. And then I’m suddenly in this top-notch [show], surrounded by these people…. You only saw one dimension of him pretty much in Breaking Bad, so this show was a setup. And then this has been a massive journey, where I can relate to the many sides that they brought to this character, in this second show.”
Here’s a look at the rest of the reunited cast, and make sure to visit Entertainment Weekly for additional images and some more amazing insights from the cast and creative about what made the Breaking Bad experience such a unique one: