Can you believe it’s been 10 years since one of the best TV shows of all time exploded onto our television screens?
Chemicals aren’t the only super-cool elements of Breaking Bad. Apart from its several hidden Easter Eggs, there are also plenty of hidden facts that many fans didn’t know – like how there’s a real-life Heisenberg or that Bryan Cranston was once a murder suspect. Here are 20 epic Breaking Bad facts you probably didn’t know until now…
1. The Show Was Initially Rejected
Indeed. Breaking Bad was turned down by HBO and TNT before being taken on by The Walking Dead channel, AMC. In fact, creator Vince Gilligan said his pitch to HBO was the worst meeting he’d ever experienced. We can’t imagine a world without Walter White and Jesse Pinkman.
2. There was a Real-Life Walter White
Is Breaking Bad based on a true story? Sorta. In 2008, a wanted poster was put out for “Walter White”, an apparently good meth cook. In an interview, Walter White told Vice,”‘My name is Walter White and I’m a meth cook and for 10 years I had the best meth in Alabama. And if you wanted the best meth, you had to come this way, you had to come to me.” To start off, White made meth to provide for his family but it later turned into his full-time job before law enforcement caught up with him. Hmm, I’m sure we’ve heard that story somewhere before…
3. Heisenberg Inspired Many People
Here’s some controversial trivia about Breaking Bad. There have been several copycats since including a 74-year-old mathematics professor, Irina Kirsty, who turned her home into a meth lab, William Duncan, a high school science teacher who sold homemade meth to students at school and Stephen Doran, a school teacher who had stage 3 cancer and sold meth to make money.
4. Gustavo Fring Ended up as a Walker (Kinda)
It’s not the first time Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead have been linked. Everybody who has watched Breaking Bad can’t forget the scene when Walter’s arch enemy, Gustavo Fring, walked down a hallway with half his face shot off. This look took a lot of time to achieve and guess who did it? The make-up artists from AMC’s The Walking Dead.
5. Heisenberg is Real! (Kinda)
Ever wondered how Walter came up with the name “Heisenberg”? His iconic street name is actually a nod to the Nobel-winning physicist, Werrner Hesienberg, who developed the theory of quantum mechanics. We doubt he had the same notorious reputation as the TV character, but he was probably just as smart.
6. The White Family Home is a Real House!
White’s home belongs to a woman named Fran, who’s had the house since 1973. She said that Vince Gilligan and his team took a lot of artistic license with the interior of the house and wanted to, at one stage, cover up the pool. Apparently, she doesn’t mind the constant stream of cars that go by her house every day. We wonder if it’s got a secret stash of meth hidden somewhere…
7. Vince Gilligan has One Regret about the Show…
…that Jesse’s teeth were too perfect. For a meth-head, his teeth should have been stained, cracking and falling out of his head – instead Aaron Paul had a set of lovely white pearlers. He looked quite good for a drug addict. Gilligan said that the logistics of removing or altering teeth were too expensive and that “removing real teeth from actors is a real non-starter”.
8. The Truth Behind Walter’s Infamous Hat
It’s become an integral part of any Heisenberg outfit and you can’t really picture Walter White without it. But believe or not, Walter’s infamous hat was only worn out of necessity. The hat was used to protect Bryan Cranston’s head from the hot New Mexico sun.
9. George R.R. Martin Says Walter White Is More Evil than His Characters
The last scene ever shot was Walter’s and Jesse’s meth-cooking flashback in Ozymandias. George R. R. Martin, the author of Game of Thrones, declared after that episode, he realized Walter was more evil than any of the villains on his show. “Walter White is a bigger monster than anyone in Westeros.”, he said. For Game of Thrones fans, that’s a pretty big call!
10. Bryan Cranston has a Breaking Bad Tattoo
Bryan Cranston and the cast and crew of Breaking Bad had a huge party after the last scene was shot. Apparently, he got so drunk that he got a tattoo on his finger dedicated to the show’s logo. His wife wasn’t impressed at all. Talk about (drunken) dedication.
11. Blue Meth is Now a Thing
Since the immense popularity of Breaking Bad, meth-makers everywhere have tried to take advantage of the popularity of Walter’s special blue meth by adding blue food coloring or dye to their drugs. Although this means it’s more popular on the street, it makes no difference to the effect of the drug. It is however reported to be more expensive than your typical form of crystal meth…
12. Bryan Cranston was Wanted for Murder!
Bryan and his brother once worked as waiters for a notoriously abusive chef. Bryan said of him: “No matter how nice you may have been to him, he hated you…He screamed at you … (with) a cleaver in his hand.” The chef was murdered coinciding with the brothers’ resignation and a cross-country road trip. Thankfully, they were only suspects for a short time.
13. Jesse Pinkman was Almost Killed off in Season One
You read that right. Walter’s partner-in-crime was supposed to be killed off in season one in an unaired episode 9. Many people accredit his staying on to the 2007-2008 Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike which thankfully cut the season down to 7 episodes only. But in 2013, Vince Gilligan said it had become obvious that the character of Jesse Pinkman was integral to the show and would no longer be killed off. In fact, he went on to become one of, if not the best Breaking Bad character ever.
14. There were 62 Episodes for a Reason
Breaking Bad really is an incredibly smart TV show. Over 5 seasons, 62 episodes were shot. This number was by no means random. No. 62 on the periodic table is Samarium which is an element used in the treatment of cancer patients – lung cancer patients too.
15. Walt’s Lotto Numbers Are Crucial in Real-Life, too!
The numbers on Walt’s lotto ticket (N 34, 59′, 20″, W 106, 36′, 52) are not, in reality, the secret to where Walt stashed his $80 million. These co-ordinates which, in the show, lead to Hank’s demise, are actually the coordinates to Q Studios in Albuquerque where Breaking Bad was filmed.
16. There’s a ‘Breaking Bad’ Scholarship
New Mexico isn’t only the place where Breaking Bad is set, it’s also the meth capital of North America. The Sage Neuroscience Centre in this state uses the show to help its citizens fight drug addiction. Entrants can share their stories and potentially win a ‘Breaking Addiction’ scholarship which allows them 12 weeks of free rehabilitation.
17. Matthew Broderick Almost Played Walter White
The role of Walter White nearly went to Matthew Broderick or John Cusack. Because Bryan was famous for his dorky, quirky character in Malcolm in the Middle, the producers were unsure if he could pull off the dark role. But because Vince Gilligan had worked with Bryan in The X-Files and knew his grittier acting side, Bryan was cast. It now seems ridiculous for any other actor to have played Walter!
18. Blue Meth is Rock Candy
We’re hoping Walter’s blue meth didn’t look appealing to you but if it did, we totally understand because, well, it was actually candy. That’s right. Walter and Jesse’s signature blue meth is blue rock candy! The crystalised sugar was even used when characters were smoking it. Obviously, the actors didn’t really inhale the sugar because, yeah, that’s pretty dangerous.
19. Bryan Cranston was in Tears After Jane’s Death
Remember that emotional episode when Jane died by choking on her own vomit? Walter White totally nailed that scene, accurately presenting his emotions and shock. Apparently, the actor, Bryan Cranston cried for 15 minutes after filming that very moment.
20. The Breaking Bad Death Toll is Huge
For a show that only ran five seasons, its death toll is pretty high. A total of 270 people died in Breaking Bad from start to finish. If only that didn’t include Walter White. That guy should’a lived on forever…
Even 10 years after its premiere, the iconic TV show never ceases to amaze fans. Did we miss any other facts about Breaking Bad? Let us know in the comments below…