Why El Camino’s Walter White Cameo Was Almost Impossible

Bryan Cranston's return as Walter White wasn't quite as simple as you'd expect.


After what felt like an eternity, fans were finally given a follow-up to Breaking Bad with last year’s impressive El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie.

Picking things up with Aaron Paul’s Jesse Pinkman, the Netflix feature highlighted what happened in the immediate aftermath of Breaking Bad and beyond. For Jesse, this involved going on the run and desperately trying to find a wad of cash that would allow him to start a new life.

Now while Aaron Paul was indeed back in the Breaking Bad saddle, one fan-pleasing surprise to turn up in El Camino was Bryan Cranston’s Walter White.


To get around the small matter of Walter White being dead, El Camino treated audiences to a flashback in which Heisenberg and Jesse chew the fat over breakfast.

Bryan Cranston returning to his most iconic of roles may have been brilliant to see, yet it was a far more painstaking process than one might first imagine.


Due to Cranston starring in the Broadway production of Network during the filming of El Camino, the actor was only afforded a 36-hour window between performances in which to shoot his Walter White appearance.

While a private plane helped to jettison Cranston in and out of El Camino in between his Broadway turns, there was still the matter of the actor’s physical appearance.


Unable to shave his head or grow a moustache due to his Network commitments, Cranston had to don a bald cap and face facial fuzz. Even that in itself produced problems, mind, for the bald cap didn’t sit well on Bryan Cranston’s head due to the full head of hair he still obviously had. And thus, some digital wizardry was required to make sure that the noggin of Walter White looked perfect.

All in all, the transformation from Bryan Cranston to Walter White took a staggering five hours!

So, the next time you revisit El Camino, just spare a moment for the logistical nightmare that was Walter White's brief, five-minute return.

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