Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston reunited for a new Super Bowl commercial, and channeled their iconic “Breaking Bad” characters for the PopCorners ad spot. The duo spoke with ET on Thursday in Arizona, ahead of Super Bowl LVII and before their Dos Hombres x PopCorners party about bringing back Walter White and Jesse Pinkman for the minute-long commercial, directed by “Breaking Bad” creator Vince Gilligan, which sees them re-enacting scenes — with a twist — from the beloved drama.
“The truth is is that the PopCorners folks came to us and said, ‘We have an idea.’ And they pitched us with the idea. And we’re very, very protective of the show and the characters. So we listened. We basically laughed and we thought it was really good,” Cranston told ET of how the ad came to be, after he and Paul arrived to the Super Bowl party in style via private jet.
“It was just so spot-on. Their pitch to us was perfect. They said, ‘We want it to look like an episode of ‘Breaking Bad’. This is like something that was in a time capsule,” Paul added.
“And I think it was you who said, ‘Well, if that’s the case, can we hire Vince Gilligan to be our director?'” Cranston chimed in. “And then they did. They said, ‘Let’s do it.’ We reviewed the scenes that we were emulating from the series and tweaked the dialogue just a little to make sure that the positioning was right, the dialogue was right. And we use the real RV that we used from the show.”
Paul added that “it was so nice to be back” in that world again, even if it was brief.
Since the commercial was released a few days ahead of the Big Game on Sunday between the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs, Paul and Cranston said reaction to the spot has been “off the charts.” The ad also features a return appearance by “Breaking Bad” alum Raymond Cruz, who played drug lord Tuco Salamanca.
“I am so damn proud of it, to be a part of this company,” Paul said. “It’s just such a fun ad. I mean, trying to make a name for myself in this industry, I did endless amounts of commercials and you just hope to make the cut.”
The ad is a recreation of a “Breaking Bad” signature scene and in it, the pair — stepping back into the shoes of Walter and Jesse — try out the PopCorners chips instead of the fake meth they’d have on set. Paul compared the two experiences, saying snacking on chips was far more “delicious” than the fake meth, which was “just chock full of sugar.”
“I first saw him eating it on the set in our 16th hour one day,” Cranston recalled. “And like in the commercial, I said, ‘What are you doing? Don’t eat that. We don’t eat that.’ And he goes, ‘I’m tired.’ And he begged me to try it. And I went, ‘I’m not gonna try it.’ He said, ‘Come on.’ ‘Oh alright I’ll try one.’ And all of a sudden, it’s like a hour [passes].”
Paul joked he was “always pushing the product for guest stars or reoccurring new characters,” in reference to the “Breaking Bad” set.
For Paul and Cranston, their Super Bowl ad is just the latest team-up since “Breaking Bad” ended in 2013. Cranston is godfather to Ryden, Paul’s son with wife Lauren, and the two also run a mezcal business called Dos Hombres.
“I love the guy, you know, and so I keep harassing him and he keeps answering my calls for some reason,” Paul joked.
“I know and I’ve fallen in love with his children, more than you, I must say, honestly,” Cranston cracked in response. “I think of seeing them and talking to them and holding them and it’s like, ‘Oooh.'”
“Yeah, yeah, they love him so much,” Paul confirmed of the lovefest, even sharing a sweet football drawing his daughter, Story, showed him before he left to for Arizona.
As for who they’re rooting for to win the Super Bowl, they have their pick. “My girl! Rihanna. I love you girl!” Paul said. “Rihanna is gonna slay it.”
“You think Rihanna will win the Super Bowl? I think so,” Cranston agreed.
“Yes! I would be up for that. I’m so down, I’m up,” the actor said. “If the story idea comes across that is really good. I don’t need a job. I love to work. We love to work, but to do something just to stay busy is not interesting to me. So it has to be something that really inspires me. Like, ‘Oh my God, that’s a great idea. Let’s embrace that. Let’s get the family back together again.'”
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