It is arguably the greatest drama of all time. It is #peakTV at its finest. Breaking Bad will go down in history as one of the most influential shows of all time. Many people call the show perfect. In fact, Sir Anthony Hopkins, one of the greatest actors of all time, told Bryan Cranston “Your performance as Walter White was the best acting I have seen—ever.” High praise from a legend. But, what about the facts regarding the show we never hear about? Well, here are ten facts about Breaking Bad to die for.
10. The Blue Dye is Real!
Ever since Breaking Bad‘s monumental success, actual meth dealers started adding blue dye to their crystal meth in an effort to increase sales. The idea was to “brand” their product. However, the effect was not quite the same as Heisenberg’s. In fact, the blue dye was doing nothing to increase the quality of the meth; it was actually making users sick. Leave it to a methamphetamine dealer to ruin the allure of crystal blue persuasion. The closest real meth dealers have come to beating Walter White was back in 2013, when a group of drug lords sold methamphetamine at a 99 percent purity rate.
9. Jesse Pinkman Narrowly Escapes Death
Many people have heard this rumor. The story goes that thanks to the 2007-2008 Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike, Jesse Pinkman’s life was saved. Originally, creator and show runner Vince Gilligan planned on having Aaron Paul’s popular character die at the end of episode nine of season one. But the WGA strike cut the season off at seven episodes, and by the time the second season rolled around, Gilligan had changed his mind, and Jessie was saved.
However, as the rumor spread, the story has become more of an urban legend. Vince Gilligan admitted in a panel that although it was their original plan to have Jesse Pinkman die in season one, the entire production staff knew by episode two, that Aaron Paul was too talented of an actor, and Jesse was too intricate to the plot, to send him to Belize. And so he lived, allowing the show to go on to have classic moments with Pinkman, like the death of Jane, the shooting of Gale, and of course, magnets bitch! Aaron Paul has also gone on to a successful movie and Hulu career.
8. It All Started with The X-Files
How did Vince Gilligan and Bryan Cranston meet? On the set of another show people call one of the greatest dramas of all time, The X-Files. In 1998, the second episode of the sixth season aired, called “Drive.” Vince Gilligan, the writer for the episode, cast Bryan Cranston in the role of the antagonist because he felt he would humanize the role. “We needed a guy who could be scary and kind of loathsome but at the same time had a deep, resounding humanity.” Sound familiar?
When Vince pitched the pilot of Breaking Bad to AMC, he already had Cranston in mind. Executives were unsure since they only knew Cranston from the family friendly sitcom Malcolm in the Middle, but after watching “Drive,” they were all on board. So let’s all thank David Duchovny for Breaking Bad’s tremendous success.
7. The One-In-A-Million Shot
The shot heard around the world. In what has become one of the most famous scenes in Breaking Bad history, Walter White, hoping to resolve things with his wife, Skylar, brings over a pizza for a nice relaxing night with his family. Tip: When you sell meth behind your wife’s back, she is not always in the mood for pizza. When Skylar rejects the idea, Walt goes into a fit of rage, tossing the pizza out of its box onto the roof of his estranged home.
As Cranston filmed the scene, the crew assumed it would require several takes to get the pizza on the roof, or even some crafty editing. It turns out Cranston had the magic touch. On the very first take, Cranston was able to throw the pizza onto the roof, landing perfectly in place for an iconic shot.
6. The Walking Dead Lends Its Zombie Infected Hand
One of the most infamous scenes in Breaking Bad history is undoubtedly the death of Gustavo Fring. No one can forget when Walter White finally ousted the drug kingpin. In the iconic scene, the audience sees Gus slowly walk out to the hallway of the hospital, adjust his tie one last time, all while revealing half of his face had been blown to smithereens. It is an epic scene and a fitting way to end the battle between Gus & Walt that lasted nearly two full seasons.
But, did you know that the makeup artists who craft some of the most grotesque looks in television helped make Gus a two-face? The makeup crew from another AMC hit, The Walking Dead, stepped in to help create the powerful scene. Vince Gilligan told The New York Times that it took months to get this scene down pat, requiring top-notch makeup work, and a lot of special effects. Well, at least The Walking Dead did something right. The episode was appropriately titled, “Face Off.”