Bryan Cranston – then

Bryan Cranston had been a jobbing actor for almost 30 years and was best known for sitcom Malcolm in the Middle when he landed the role of Breaking Bad’s complex leading man Walter White in 2008. Cranston’s performance made him one of the most admired dramatic actors around, earning him four Primetime Emmy awards (plus a fifth as a producer on the show).

Bryan Cranston – now

Credit: Cindy Ord/Getty Images

Since Breaking Bad ended in 2013, Cranston has clocked up more than 30 big and small screen credits, including 2016’s Trumbo, which earned him a Best Actor Oscar nomination. On stage, he earned Tony and Laurence Olivier awards for the plays All the Way and Network. He reprised his role as Walter White in 2019’s El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie, plus two episodes of Better Call Saul.

Aaron Paul – then

Nine years before Aaron Paul found fame as Jesse Pinkman, the young actor started out with bit parts in Beverly Hills, 90210 and 3rd Rock from the Sun, before gradually rising to prominence with roles in Mission: Impossible III and TV’s Big Love. Paul’s work on Breaking Bad earned him three Emmy wins, plus three Saturn Awards and a Critic’s Choice award.

Aaron Paul – now

Credit: Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for Kershaw’s Challenge

In the aftermath of Breaking Bad, Paul was a voice actor and executive producer on Emmy-nominated adult animated TV series BoJack Horseman, as well as appearing in TV dramas The Path, Truth Be Told, Westworld and Black Mirror, plus a number of films. He remains good friends with Bryan Cranston, and joined him in El Camino and Better Call Saul.

Anna Gunn – then

Anna Gunn started out as an actress in the early 90s, but it took the role of Walter White’s wife Skyler to elevate her to fame. Whilst Gunn was awarded two Emmys for her work on the series, she sadly endured a sexist online backlash from some fans of the series, which Gunn argued reflected “many people’s feelings about strong, non submissive, ill-treated women.”

Anna Gunn – now

Credit: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Tribeca Festival

Since Breaking Bad, Gunn’s most prominent work includes a supporting role in Clint Eastwood’s Sully opposite Tom Hanks, a lead turn on TV detective series Gracepoint alongside David Tenant, and a recurring role on season two of Shades of Blue opposite Jennifer Lopez. She will next be seen with Colin Farrell on Apple TV science fiction series Sugar.

Dean Norris – then

In the business since the mid-80s, Dean Norris worked extensively in film and TV bit parts (including Lethal Weapon 2 and Terminator 2) before being cast as Walter White’s DEA Agent brother-in-law Hank Schrader. The role landed him one Saturn Award nomination, though his one win was alongside his cast mates, earning Best Ensemble at the 2014 Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Dean Norris – now

Credit: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Unbridled Eve

Norris went straight from Breaking Bad to a lead role on Stephen King-based TV series Under the Dome, appearing in 39 episodes. He also had recurring roles on The Big Bang Theory, Scandal and Girlboss, as well as a lead roles on TV comedies Claws and United States of AI. He’s also taken a number of small film roles, and reprised Hank on Better Call Saul.

Betsy Brandt – then

In the industry since the late 90s, Betsy Brandt started out working in theater, short films and TV guest roles before landing the part of Marie Schrader, sister of Skyler, wife of Hank and closet kleptomaniac. Like Dean Norris, her only major award for her work on Breaking Bad was the show’s 2014 Best Ensemble win at the Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Betsy Brandt – now

Credit: Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

Brandt’s most prominent film role since her casting on Breaking Bad was a small part in 2012 smash hit Magic Mike. She has since garnered many more TV credits, including a lead role on sitcoms The Michael J. Fox Show and Life in Pieces. Brandt also got to reprise her Breaking Bad role in an episode of Better Call Saul.