Do you know what it’s like to idolize a celebrity only to be incredibly disappointed by their latest choices? A punk band decides to go pop, a model wears fur in a fashion campaign, or one of your favorite actors of all time decides to work on a movie he has no business starring in. If you could stop them in their tracks, you absolutely would.
Actor Bryan Cranston has made quite a name for himself. From a hilarious family comedy to one of the darkest but most popular TV shows of all time, he knows how to take stories to the next level. But now everyone is waiting to see what he’ll do next — and fans are worried his upcoming big role could be a huge mistake.
One Golden Globe. Three SAG Awards. Five Emmys. Yes, Bryan Cranston’s talent is undeniable, and his fan base seems to be growing every day. But how did he go from a young boy with a tough childhood to the superstar he is today?
AMC’s smashing hit series Breaking Bad may have had something to do with it. But long before Bryan Cranston became Walter White, he was just a man with a passion for acting. And before that…
Bryan was born in Hollywood, back in 1956. His father, too, was a man of dreams, but a man of violence as well. Forever bouncing from one job to the next, his dad eventually decided to be an actor. So, when Bryan was 11, his father left to chase his destiny and never returned.
Unable to cope with her own pain, Bryan’s mother drowned herself in pills and alcohol, stopped caring for her children, and ended up losing their home. Later, Bryan would call his parents “broken people” who were “incapacitated as far as parenting.”
With nowhere to go, Mrs. Cranston took off with her daughter Amy and dropped Bryan and his brother Kim off at her parents’ poultry farm, where they were expected to earn their keep and behead hundreds of chickens. Bryan absolutely hated it.
Ironically, Bryan tried to spend as little time on the farm as possible by signing up for several after-school activities. He never turned to drugs or alcohol to help him cope, but he did indulge in another sort of “drug…”
When he grew a bit older, he had an intense, addictive relationship with a woman named Ava, whom he didn’t realize at the time was a drug addict. When he found out, he broke up with her in fear of becoming just like his parents.
That was when Bryan decided to do everything in his power to turn his life around, even if that meant working a slew of low-paid jobs to fund his own acting career. No, he didn’t want to be like his father, but he couldn’t help but wish for the same things.
Finally, in 1994, Bryan got his first big break playing the role of Dr. Tim Whatley, Jerry’s dentist, on Seinfeld. While most actors tend to give up if they haven’t made it big yet by the age of 38, Bryan’s unbreakable spirit of persistence was clearly paying off.
Soon, he was booking jobs for other popular series like The X-Files (where he first met Breaking Bad director Vince Gilligan), and major motion pictures like Saving Private Ryan. They may have been small roles, but he was making all the right connections.
Little did he know, “Bryan Cranston” would become a household name at the turn of the millennium. In 2000, he landed the role of Hal — the hilarious dad from the sitcom Malcolm In The Middle. He even tried his hand at directing a handful of episodes!
But while Malcolm In The Middle was certainly no flop, Bryan’s real claim to fame arrived when he was cast as Walter White Breaking Bad. Who doesn’t love a high school teacher turned meth boss with a hopeful sidekick (played by Aaron Paul)?
Along with director Vince Gilligan, Bryan kept show watchers on their toes every step of the way. Unfortunately, after 5 gut-wrenching seasons, the series had to come to an end in 2013 — but then, years later, Gilligan stunned fans with an announcement.
Despite Walter White dying in the series finale, Gilligan announced a Breaking Bad movie, tentatively called Greenbrier, that picked up where the show left off. But would it include Walter? Fans worried bringing the character back would taint the show’s legacy.
Those fans’ worries grew exponentially when Bryan Cranston commented on the film: “If Vince Gilligan asked me to do it, sure, absolutely,” he said. “He’s a genius, and it’s a great story.” Still, fans remained skeptical the movie would feature Walter White in anything but flashbacks.
After all, he hadn’t appeared on the already-existing spinoff series Better Call Saul, which focuses more on the bad boys’ lawyer but still features a few other characters from Breaking Bad.
Meanwhile, Bryan and Aaron have remained close and clearly loved working together, based on all of the parody clips in which they have co-starred since their show ended. They even have matching tattoos to commemorate the great time they had!
However, Bryan may simply be too busy with his private life these days to do a Breaking Bad film. He met his lovely wife, actress Robin Dearden on the set of Airwolf in 1984, and they had their daughter Taylor in 1993. In his Emmy acceptance speech, he said he loves them even more than baseball! We can assume that’s a lot.
But that’s not Bryan’s only happy ending: when he was in his 20s, he and his brother tracked down their father, and despite the initial distrust, the actors eventually mended their relationship and remained close until Mr. Cranston Sr. passed away in 2014.
These days, Bryan seems to be perfectly happy working on the other side of the camera, producing, writing, and directing episodes for Modern Family, The Dangerous Book For Boys, and Amazon Original Sneaky Pete. And don’t worry, his buddy Aaron seems to be just as happy as he is!
Prior to Breaking Bad, Aaron Paul was far from a household name; he was a struggling actor trying to traverse the near-impossible Hollywood terrain. Still, he’d appeared on television a handful of times before taking on Jesse Pinkman.
Breaking Bad / AMC
In 1999, Paul starred in a quirky Juicy Fruit gum commercial where he harnessed some intense psychic powers to tear off another guy’s shirt. Hey, whatever pays the bills, right? He earned an acting credit to his name and was building a career.
After knocking a few commercials out of the park, Paul joined the cast of Beverly Hills, 90210. He played a high school student who shared a pretty awkward kiss during one scene set in a drama class. Soon, however, he’d land a role crucial to his career.
Just like Bryan Cranston, Paul starred in an episode of The X-Files, a genre much different than his previous work. And just like him, he also met Breaking Bad’s creator Vince Gilligan. Little did the men know just how entwined their career paths would become.
Still, he had a few more stops on his way to superstardom: Third Rock from the Sun and a Korn music video to name a few. And who could forget his legendary appearance on a 2000 episode of The Price is Right?
Only a few years later, he’d earn the Jesse Pinkman role, which earned him plenty of accolades, including five Emmy nominations for Best Supporting Actor — three of which he took home.
But it doesn’t matter one bit how many Emmy Awards are sitting on his mantle. It’s another part of his life that gives Aaron Paul the greatest fulfillment — and he’s surprisingly open about it.
See, before Breaking Bad ended, Aaron Paul attended the Coachella music festival in California. It was there he first met Lauren Parsekian.
Right away, the two connected, and Paul later admitted that, on the very same day they met, he told Parsekian he would marry her! That was a bold move by the Emmy winner — for a few reasons.
Even at the time, Parsekian wasn’t a Hollywood player. In fact, she was kind of the opposite. In an effort to combat girl-on-girl bullying, she co-founded Kind Campaign in 2009. This nonprofit organization raised awareness in schools throughout America.
Not long after confessing his love, Paul and Parsekian tied the knot in front of friends and family in Malibu, California. Of course, to make the family complete, they needed to welcome another.
Knowing they were right for each other, Paul and Parsekian wanted a little one to share in the love. Lo and behold, the couple eventually became pregnant with a baby girl!
Once born, their daughter, Story Annabelle Paul, immediately became the focal point of their lives. They were happy to give interviews detailing how they changed for the better because of their new addition.
But, Paul and Parsekian weren’t the only two completely obsessed with little Story. Apparently, Bryan Cranston was head over heels for her, as well. How could he not be?
Some would say marriage is hard, and it definitely can be at points. But, Paul has proudly declared how easy he finds it. “It was the greatest experience of my entire life,” he said. And she’s still with me, which is just fantastic. Marriage is easy.”
Parsekian received a very special acknowledgment when Paul brought home an Emmy for his Breaking Bad work. He told the whole room how vital she was in his life, and she lovingly mouthed “I love you” as she sat in the crowd.
It’s pretty incredible to think how all of this amazing love came out of a trip to Coachella. Their relationship is something definitely worth dancing under the sun about.
For Aaron Paul, no award will ever compete with the title of proud husband and father. However, he isn’t the only famous face to fall in love with someone outside the Hollywood realm…