Aaron Paul And Bryan Cranston Felt Like Prisoners Filming Their Better Call Saul Cameos

Months before the final half-season of "Better Call Saul" aired, news broke that Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston would be reprising their "Breaking Bad" roles as Jesse Pinkman and Walter White in the prequel/sequel series. It was no big secret then and it's no big secret now, but while shooting their "Better Call Saul" parts, Paul and Cranston were on lockdown in an Airbnb and they felt like prisoners.

That's the story Paul tells in a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, where the now-42-year-old actor talked about slipping on the baggy clothes of the twentysomething Pinkman one last time. It makes sense that he and Cranston would be sequestered while shooting their "Better Call Saul" appearances, since they're both such well-known TV faces, with statues having also been erected in honor of their (meth-dealing?) characters in the city of Albuquerque where both shows were set and filmed. You don't just walk around with those mugs and expect not to be recognized anymore. Still, as Paul described it, the sequestering may have been a bit overkill:

"They flew us in, and it was shrouded in secrecy. We were told not to leave this Airbnb they had us in. It was a duplex, so I was on the top floor with my family and Bryan was below us. And then they made the announcement that we were going to be in the final season before the season aired. And so I was like, 'Well, why were they keeping this a secret at the time?' We felt like we were prisoners, but it's all good. It turned out so great. It was a beautiful way to tie everything up on 'Better Call Saul.' They just really know how to nail their landings."

'It was truly putting on a costume'

A noticeably older Aaron Paul starred as Jesse Pinkman in "El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie," where Bryan Cranston also popped up in a bald cap as Walter White again for one well-lit diner scene. Part of what made the characters blend in better this time around is that "Better Call Saul" was a show that made under-lit scenes an actual plot point, with Chuck McGill (Michael McKean) believing that he suffered from electromagnetic hypersensitivity in the early seasons, such that his house was always draped in darkness. Even after Chuck exited "Better Call Saul," his brother and the show's protagonist, Jimmy McGill, a.k.a. Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk), often still inhabited dark rooms, as if to establish the mood of his descent into criminality.

When Jesse shares a cigarette with Kim Wexler (Rhea Seehorn) outside Saul's law office in the penultimate episode of "Better Call Saul," he's also cloaked in night shadows, as seen in the unedited image above. It turns out just donning Jesse's loose-fitting clothes again was enough to get Paul back in character, though. He told THR:

"It was truly putting on a costume because I would never wear his clothes in my day to day, especially the first few seasons. In seasons four, five and six — or season 5B, they're calling it — they kind of trimmed his clothing a little bit. In the first season, he looked absolutely ridiculous in a very good way, so it's impossible not to move that way when I put on that skin again. I'm just so comfortable with it."

The final season of "Better Call Saul" — and with it, the end of the "Breaking Bad" universe as we know it — is now streaming in its entirety on AMC+.