‘Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston Says Secrecy Around ‘Better Call Saul’ Scene Was Like ‘Witness Protection’

by Craig Garrett

Actor Bryan Cranston appeared on the daytime chat show The Talk to dish on the extreme secrecy surrounding the Better Call Saul set. Fans have long speculated if his famous Breaking Bad character, Walter White, would ever appear in the prequel TV series. Back in April, showrunners for Better Call Saul revealed that Walter would indeed be making an appearance. Cranston detailed the pains the cast and crew took to ensure no one discovered he and his Breaking Bad co-star Aaron Paul were on set.

An exasperated Bryan Cranston spoke to the hosts via Zoom. “We were flown in privately and [taken by] taxi to a very private part of the airport under the cover of darkness. We took two steps out of the tarmac and then into a dark SUV,” he explained. “[Aaron Paul] had the upstairs I had the downstairs. We were told you cannot leave.”

Under lock and key, Bryan went to extremes to stay in shape. “So I would exercise during the day over the three days around the perimeter of the property. It was like I was in a witness protection program,” he quipped. “It was strange but it was fun. We got to this stage under [heavy security] and we did our scene.” The kicker is Cranston and Paul didn’t know any more than the average fan about when they would show up in Better Call Saul. “We didn’t even know what episode it was in because it was shot out of sequence for us to accommodate our schedules.”

Bryan Cranston’s co-star was perplexed by the Better Call Saul security

It’s likely that Aaron Paul was unhappy with the fact that he and Bryan Cranston had to go through such a tight lockdown while filming. The actors were led to believe their appearance was going to be a huge surprise. However, it was revealed that they were appearing in season six before the new season started airing. “It’s so funny that because this was supposed to be a big surprise, a big secret,” Paul said. “Then all of a sudden they announced that we were doing it, so why did they keep us in a prison? Seriously, they were just messing with us.”

Many memorable characters were introduced in Breaking Bad. The show revolved around the exploits of Walt and Jesse Pinkman and their meth empire. It also included Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk), a shifty, flashy attorney who assisted them in establishing their criminal business. Better Call Saul tells his back story, including his beginnings as a con man named Jimmy McGill.When Odenkirk reprised his role for Better Call Saul’s prequel series, he was joined by a slew of Breaking Bad actors playing earlier incarnations of themselves. Giancarlo Esposito and Jonathan Banks both reprised their Breaking Bad roles as series regulars on Better Call Saul. Meanwhile, Dean Morris has appeared as his character Hank in cameo appearances. However, this season marks the first time Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul have appeared on the series.