'I Have Learned So Much from You, My Friend': Inside Bryan Cranston & Aaron Paul's Enduring Bromance

Breaking Bad may have brought them together, but their love for one another has taken their friendship to new heights

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Breaking Bad Beginnings

Aaron Paul Bryan Cranston friendship
Stephen Shugerman/Getty

The critically acclaimed show Breaking Bad may have methodically brought Cranston and Paul together, but their onscreen-turned-offscreen chemistry bonded the two to create the makings of a very long and loving friendship.

Here are the two stars at the 2008 premiere of AMC's Breaking Bad, which went on to earn a staggering 58 Emmy nominations, of which the show won 16.

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Walter White's Instagram Debut

Early on in their bromance, Paul would use Instagram to document bits of his friendship with Cranston. The earliest photo evidence of the two cooking things up on set was this May 2012 snap Paul captioned, "It's going down on Breaking Bad right now! S--- is getting crazy!!!!!"

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From Costars to Colleagues

Aaron Paul Bryan Cranston friendship
Aaron Paul/Instagram

Throughout the five-season series, Paul grew to see Cranston, 23 years his senior, as a mentor who helped him as he navigated his early career. In July 2013, Paul posted Cranston's Hollywood Walk of Fame star on Instagram to celebrate his costar's achievement, and to thank him for becoming much more to him as a friend.

"@BryanCranston got his star yesterday and I couldn't be more proud of the man," Paul wrote. "Thanks for teaching me so much my friend."

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On-Set Antics

Once the show picked up steam, it was clear the cast had a ton of fun on set. For example, here's a "spoiler alert" Paul jokingly posted in September 2013 of himself, Cranston and costar Anna Gunn hanging out sans clothes in bed.

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Endless Support

Aaron Paul Bryan Cranston friendship
Aaron Paul/Instagram

When Cranston took on the role of President Lyndon B. Johnson in the Broadway play All the Way, Paul was the first to sing his praises.

"So proud of this man. Keep killing it Bryan," he wrote in March 2014. "Such an inspiration. All The Way was Brilliant."

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Throwback Treasures

Once you work with someone so closely for so many years, it's hard not to reminisce about good times.

"#TBT to the time this guy and I were freezing on the set of a show we were once on," Paul captioned this goofy shot of himself visibly cold and Cranston clearly amused in the back.

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Friendly Face-Offs

Aaron Paul Bryan Cranston friendship
Aaron Paul/Instagram

"Great seeing this guy tonight," Paul captioned this 2014 shot of the two, playing around per usual.

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Timeless Tributes

Aaron Paul Bryan Cranston friendship
Kevin Winter/Getty

Once his new show The Path premiered on March 30, 2016, Paul had time to reflect on how far he had come in his career and the friend who helped him get there in this tear-jerking tribute he posted the following day.

"#TBT To a time that feels like only yesterday but also feels like a lifetime away. My god how time flies. Having a new show premiere last night got me thinking about the show that changed everything for me," he began.

"Not only was I working on a show that would change the face of television but I was also working with people that would change me entirely," he continued, seemingly referencing his time working on Breaking Bad.

He then zeroed in on Cranston, writing, "To quote the man himself 'Drink that bottle of wine. Burn that special candle. You don't know how long you will be here so you might as well enjoy the things that you have.' Bryan my beautiful friend...thank you for your wise words and thank you for your friendship. I have learned so much from you my friend."

He ended his noted, writing, "Hugs and kisses all over that beautiful face of yours. Until the next one.💣🔫💊🍗✈️⚖☠🚬⚗⚗⚗⚗⚗⚗💎"

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Major Memes

If a photo of Paul enters meme territory, like the one of him looking confused at the 2013 Burberry fashion show, then you can bet a photo of Cranston is about to surface right behind it. That's basically what happened here, as Paul explained in his 2017 Instagram caption.

"I heard there was a Reddit battle today trying to understand my confusion at a fashion show," Paul wrote.

"Here's one of the great memes that was created during the battle. My god I love Hal," he continued, referencing Cranston's longtime role as Hal Wilkerson on the show Malcolm in the Middle. "And I think the guy playing him is alright as well. Love you Cranston."

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From Debut Role to Doting Dad

Aaron Paul Bryan Cranston friendship
Aaron Paul/Instagram

Cranston has seen Paul go from taking on his first major role in Hollywood as Jesse Pinkman, to becoming a first-time father to daughter Story Annabelle, born on Feb. 6, 2018.

Here, Cranston is seen adoringly looking at Story as she steals everyone's attention at a party in the Dominican Republic.

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Hola, Dos Hombres

Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston
Ani Resorts

In July 2019, Paul and Cranston caused fans to freak out once they started posting photos of themselves together with captions that teased some type of upcoming collaboration. Fans began to drop their own theories on what it might be.

"Walt faked his death and now he and Jessie are running to Mexico to cook," one user wrote under a photo of the two mysteriously walking through a body of water.

"Breaking Bad Movie🤷🏽‍♂️," another commented.

After a few days of causing a stir, the two finally revealed that they created their own Mezcal called Dos Hombres.

"Three years ago we sat in a sushi bar in New York. Talking about life and what we could possibly do down the road together. We had the time of our lives while shooting Breaking Bad and truly built a very special bond," both of their Instagram posts began.

"Knowing that we couldn't share the screen for quite a while - our thoughts turned to a new project. We sipped cocktails and thought about what it should be. The younger one looked at his drink and said, you know what we should do? We should do a really special Mezcal," their posts continued.

"We named it Dos Hombres - two guys on a quest," they revealed. "It's been a long and crazy journey and we couldn't be happier to share this with you and the rest of the world."

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The Return of Breaking Bad?

Aaron Paul in "El Camino" trailer

While the fan who guessed that there could be a Breaking Bad movie was probably just throwing ideas out there - he was absolutely right.

Netflix released a new trailer for El Camino, the highly anticipated feature-length follow-up to Breaking Bad, and while the film's plot remains under wraps, it appears Paul's Jesse Pinkman character is front and center.

The script for El Camino has been shrouded in secrecy since the project was announced in August, though Paul recently told the New York Times that fans needn't worry.

"All I can say, I think people will be really happy with what they see," he said. "It's a chapter of Breaking Bad that I didn't realize that I wanted. And now that I have it, I'm so happy it's there."

Fans are also so happy that another Paul and Cranston collaboration is on its way because that means more friendship posts will likely keep on coming.

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