‘Breaking Bad’ Star Bryan Cranston on the ‘Terrible Idea’ of Starting a Liquor Brand With Costar Aaron Paul

by Caitlin Berard

For five years, Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul shared a chaotic on-screen friendship on the hit drama Breaking Bad as Walter White and Jesse Pinkman. Walter is a high school chemistry teacher who learns he’s dying of lung cancer and turns to a life of crime in response, recruiting his former student, Jesse, to help him start a mobile meth lab.

The wild plot was an instant success that only grew in popularity with time. And when it was all said and done, Cranston and Paul had helped create what is regarded by both critics and fans to be one of the best TV shows of all time.

Through the countless hours on set, their on-screen friendship bled into a reality. “The moment I met Bryan, I instantly fell in love with the man,” Paul explained during Bryan Cranston’s Walk of Fame induction. “I mean, how could you not? He’s charming, he’s brilliant, and he’s a beautiful human being inside and out who is constantly running around in his underwear making people laugh.”

The two became so close, in fact, that they decided to start a real-life business together. Rather than cooking drugs in an RV, however, they chose something a little more socially acceptable – a mezcal brand they lovingly named Dos Hombres.

‘Breaking Bad’ Star Bryan Cranston Explains Aaron Paul’s ‘Terrible Idea’

The Breaking Bad finale sparked mixed feelings for both Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul. Though they were incredibly proud of their creation, they were also heartbroken that they would no longer work together. And after three years, they simply couldn’t take it anymore.

“This all started because Aaron Paul and I, three years post-Breaking Bad‘s finish, we happened to be in the same city at the same time, which was rare. And we missed each other,” Bryan Cranston explained to Forbes. “So, I said, ‘Well, I think it’s too early to work together… Yeah, yeah, it’s too early. Maybe we can do a play or something.'”

“And then, Aaron Paul says, ‘Let’s create our own mezcal brand!'” Cranston continued. “And I said, ‘Wow! Wow! That is a…terrible idea. I don’t know anything about the spirits business.'”

“By the way, my experience with mezcal was not great,” the Breaking Bad star said. “Because when I was in high school and college, we used to play poker. We used to buy a big case of beer and a spirit. And I remember someone bringing mezcal, and it tasted like carpet cleaner. It was awful.”

It took some convincing, but Aaron Paul eventually talked his friend into a mezcal tasting. And after testing countless varieties, Bryan Cranston’s opinion on the alcoholic beverage changed completely.

So, together, the actors went down to Oaxaca, Mexico, where more than 70% of mezcal is produced, and set to work creating the perfect drink. After a bit of trial and error, Dos Hombres was born and has remained a popular brand of mezcal ever since.