‘Better Call Saul’ director addresses criticism of ‘Breaking Bad’ cameos

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Better Call Saul writer and director Thomas Schnauz has addressed the decision to not de-age Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston for their recent cameos.

After the two actors were confirmed to appear in the Breaking Bad spin-off’s final season earlier this year, Jesse Pinkman (Paul) and Walter White (Cranston) finally made their debut during a flashback sequence in the latest episode, aptly titled Breaking Bad.

While the cameos were positively received by many fans, it prompted some discussion around the decision to not use digital de-aging technology on the characters to match their younger appearance in Breaking Bad.

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It’s been a common complaint throughout Better Call Saul, which serves as a prequel but hasn’t noticeably de-aged any of the characters throughout six seasons.

Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston in ‘Better Call Saul’. CREDIT: AMC

Speaking to Variety about the issue, Schnauz said: “There’s only so much you can do before it starts looking ridiculous. We don’t do a ton of de-aging on the show. There’s a little bit of stuff on the guys’ faces to take a few lines out here and there, but other than that, Aaron is not going to look like an 18-year-old or however old Jesse was during this time period.”

He added: “I do sort of dread people cutting this scene into the world of Breaking Bad and trying to match the way they look then and now, but it’s not something you can worry too much about.

“It is what it is. We’re telling a story and you can roll with it or you start picking at: ‘He looks much older than he did in the original scene.’ We decided to go for it, and I’m glad we did.”

There’s two more episodes left in the sixth and final season of Better Call Saul, with the finale set to air on August 15.

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Last week, bronze statues of Walter White and Jesse Pinkman were unveiled in Albuquerque, New Mexico to commemorate the Netflix series.

Speaking at the unveiling of the statues, Cranston said: “We’re delighted, slightly embarrassed to have statues. There’s no preparation for saying you’re getting a statue. I’m just rather grateful that it’s indoors so that the pigeons won’t crap on our heads.”