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The Bizarre Injury That Happened On The Set Of Breaking Bad

The classic AMC drama "Breaking Bad" is one of the greatest shows of all time, and it's pretty clear that virtually every actor involved put themselves through the emotional wringer in order to make it so. The tale of high school chemistry teacher-turned-drug lord Walter White, portrayed by Bryan Cranston, is full of the kind of scenes of tragedy, tension, and high drama that can really test an actor's commitment, and several members of the show's cast have sounded off about scenes that were extremely difficult to play. For example, Anna Gunn, who played Walter's put-upon wife Skyler, has singled out a sequence in the towering season 5 episode "Ozymandias" as one that pushed her to the limit. Cranston himself has remarked upon an infamous scene involving the death of an innocent young woman, that nearly broke him emotionally.

If there's one actor that "Breaking Bad" was probably the toughest on physically, though, it would have to be Aaron Paul, who portrayed Walter's former student and partner in crime, Jesse Pinkman. Poor Jesse was a bit of a punching bag, metaphorically and literally, for much of the series' run — and while taking part in a Reddit AMA in 2013, Paul revealed that sometimes, Jesse's pain was all too real. 

You'll recall that during the series' first and second seasons, Walter and Jesse became involved with an absolutely terrifying Juarez cartel lieutenant by the name of Tuco Salamanca, a livewire ball of aggression and paranoia brilliantly portrayed by Raymond Cruz. During the AMA, a fan asked Paul whether it was true that he had suffered a concussion while on set, one which required that he be taken to the emergency room. Paul responded in the affirmative, then launched into an amazingly detailed story that was at once hilarious and cringe-inducing.

Raymond Cruz got a little too real with Aaron Paul on the Breaking Bad set

Paul explained that the incident took place during one of Cruz' final appearances as Tuco, after he kidnaps Walter and Jesse with the intent of delivering them to the cartel. When Tuco sniffs out the pair's plan to poison him, it all hits the fan, especially for Jesse. "Raymond Cruz, who played Tuco, gave me a concussion during the episode 'Grilled,' where Tuco takes Walt and Jesse to his shack in the middle of nowhere where we meet the famous Uncle Tio," Paul said. "Tuco takes Jesse and he throws him through the screen door outside, and if you watch it back you'll notice that my head gets caught inside the wooden screen door and it flips me around and lands me on my stomach and the door splinters into a million pieces."

Paul explained that although he had already gotten his bell pretty well rung, Cruz continued with the take, believing Paul was just that good of an actor. "Raymond just thought I was acting, so he continued and kicked me in the side and picked me up over his shoulder and threw me against the house, but in reality I was pretty much unconscious [at that point]," he said. "I kept pleading to him saying 'stop.' The next thing I know I guess I blacked out, and I woke up to a flashlight in [my] eyes and it was our medic. And then I hopped up acting like nothing [was] wrong, but it appeared like I was drunk, and I kept saying 'let's finish the scene,' but then my eye started swelling shut so they took me to the hospital. Just another fun day on the set of Breaking Bad!"

Watching the scene, it does appear obvious that Paul was in real pain — but considering how often Jesse got beaten up on Breaking Bad, it couldn't have been too tough to stay in character. We're sure Cruz is a nice guy, but Paul's little anecdote has, amazingly enough, made Tuco even more terrifying.