“They never really changed”: Bryan Cranston Compared His Arc in Breaking Bad to FRIENDS Characters Ross and Rachel For a Reason

Bryan Cranston initially likened his character in Breaking Bad to the cast of Friends.

Bryan Cranston Compared His Arc in Breaking Bad to FRIENDS Characters Ross and Rachel For a Reason


  • Bryan Cranston revealed Walter White's plot started similarly as Friends' Ross and Rachel's story.
  • The actor admitted he and Vince Gilligan had a lot of doubts when they started the series.
  • Like Ross from Friends, Cranston's character also made a list of pros and cons.
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Bryan Cranston’s career soared high after he starred in Vince Gilligan’s Breaking Bad series. The actor admitted it was a risky business trying to get the project off the ground, while the creator said it was a show that was not made for everyone.

Bryan Cranston
Bryan Cranston

Despite all initial doubts and rejections, Breaking Bad became one of the most successful series of all time, even breaking viewership records after Netflix added the first three seasons to its library.

RELATED: “It was like, ‘Oh my God!’”: Bryan Cranston Outed One of the Most Chilling Moments From Breaking Bad as His Clear Favorite From the Show


Bryan Cranston Likened His Role In Breaking Bad To Friends

Bryan Cranston spoke with Yahoo Entertainment during the 10th anniversary of the Breaking Bad series. He shared the show’s humble beginnings but also took pride in Vince Gilligan’s attempt to do something that was never done by any show before. He stated:

When we first started this, it was very risky, because what Vince Gilligan was attempting to do had never been done on television: actually change a character over the course of the series.”

ross and rachel from friends
Ross and Rachel from Friends

Cranston even likened his character’s narrative to characters from other series, such as Friends. He added:

To this point, it had always been about things that could be depended on, whether that’s Thomas Magnum or Archie Bunker, or Ross and Rachel. We would watch because we liked those characters. ‘Oh, here’s a new situation, but we know how Ross and Rachel are going to feel about this.’ And it was all them navigating their way through their lives, but they never really changed.”

When Gilligan shared the idea with him, he was game to try anything despite not knowing if it would work or not. Cranston further shared:


When Vince told me what he wanted to do, I thought, ‘This has never been done.’ He goes, ‘I know, I don’t even know if they’re going to let us do it, but I’d like to try.’ ‘Well, OK.’ And so, when we started 11 years ago shooting the show, we didn’t know anything was going to work.”

Breaking Bad
Breaking Bad

Cranston knew they had a good script at hand, and everyone, from the actors down to the crew, knew the story would be really special. Still, Cranston believed that just having faith was not a fool-proof formula for a show to become successful. It needed to find an audience that would stick to it in the long run.

RELATED: “She deserves it”: Bryan Cranston Explains Moving Reason Behind Temporary Retirement After Actor’s Incredible 24-Year Hollywood Career

Bryan Cranston Made A List Of Pros And Cons Like Ross From Friends

In line with Bryan Cranston mentioning Ross and Rachel from Friends, the actor revealed during his interview via IMDb’s That Scene with Dan Patrick that he made a list of pros and cons for a specific scene.

ross and rachel from friends-2
Ross and Rachel from Friends

This somehow parallels that time from Friends where Ross wrote a list of Rachel’s pros and cons. Cranston said of the scene in Breaking Bad:

Well, I wrote down, I literally got a legal pad out and wrote down on one column, save her, let her die, and the reasons why I would want to save her and the reasons why I should let her die.”

Indeed, Cranston was able to distinguish some similarities, as well as differences, between the two famous shows and even the characters.

RELATED: “Someone else would’ve played Walter White”: Bryan Cranston Would’ve Given Up Breaking Bad for a Show That Unleashed 10,000 Bees on Him, Strapped Him to a Moving Bus



Written by Ariane Cruz

Articles Published: 1934

Ariane Cruz, Senior Content Writer. She has been contributing articles for FandomWire since 2021, mostly covering stories about geek pop culture. With a degree in Communication Arts, she has an in-depth knowledge of print and broadcast journalism. Her other works can also be seen on Screen Rant and CBR.