Last week, actor Aaron Paul got Breaking Bad fans whipped up into a frenzy by tweeting a photo of himself with former co-star Bryan Cranston walking across a rocky river with the words “even sooner.” Surely, fans thought that he was teasing the arrival of the previously announced Breaking Bad feature film. But as Paul revealed yesterday, this message was actually a teaser for... a new line of mezcal line that he’s releasing with Cranston under the name Dos Hombres.
This is not what fans were hoping for, not at all.
Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston really were just peddling alcohol they made instead of a Breaking Bad movie. The ultimate scammers. I’ve decided Gus was the hero of the show and he should’ve won. pic.twitter.com/WJHDim99ah— alesia (@leashislost) July 9, 2019
Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston have sold us all a pack of lies and named it Dos Hombres. pic.twitter.com/DkkBPdrwa1— Dave (@That_dose_) July 9, 2019
I wish there was a way on @Twitter to anti-trend something, in instances where I was tricked by #FakeHype.— Donny Moore (@Donny_Moore) July 10, 2019
Take the Aaron Paul/Bryan Cranston tequila promotion that people mistook for #BreakingBad2 for example.
No way this should be trending anymore. They tricked the system.
Paul’s Instagram post is littered with complaints from fans who thought that he was teasing a Breaking Bad spinoff, as well as comments from followers who take issue with the fact that two white celebrities are deciding to put their names on a traditionally Mexican spirit. “Why don’t you stick to what you know and what is yours,” writes user ladyro0. “I really hope you understand all that entails to create, preserve and respect these sacred plants, the producers and their communities. This is not a mass produced product.”
The story that Paul lays out on Instagram does, indeed, have strong appropriative overtones. As the actor explains, he and his Breaking Bad co-star hatched the mezcal business during a sushi dinner as a way to keep working together once the show had wrapped up. They traveled around Mexico tasting various mezcal varieties until they found the one they wanted to slap their names on. “It was on a dirt-road, in tiny village, hours away from the center of town, we found it and it was perfect,” Paul writes. “Holy shit it was perfect. We looked at each other and just simply nodded. This is it.” There’s nothing in this origin story about the people who make Dos Hombres or the craft involved or the tradition that it comes from. Instead, Paul emphasizes the “long and crazy journey” that brought them to this “smokey, age-old alcohol.”
As Vanity Fair notes, the booze business is the “long-favored side-hustle of famous actors everywhere.” There are countless celebrity-branded wines on the market, as well as spirits from stars like Ryan Reynolds (gin), Marilyn Manson (absinthe), Jay Z (cognac), and Channing Tatum (vodka). With Dos Hombres, Paul and Cranston are following in the footsteps of George Clooney and his nightlife tycoon buddy Randy Gerber, two other white guys who made a fortune jumping into the Mexican spirits market with their tequila brand, Casamigos.
Despite the comments about cultural appropriation and cries of being duped, there also appears to be an equal number of fans out there who are game to try Dos Hombres, so maybe this whole mezcal business will work out for the actors in the long run. And as for the mysterious Breaking Bad feature-length sequel, Greenbrier, there’s still no word yet on when it will make its premiere on Netflix.
• @aaronpaul [Instagram]
• Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul Are Teaming Up on...a Line of Mezcal [Vanity Fair]