'Breaking Bad' Season 5 Secrets: 'It's a Bloodbath … Not Going to End Pretty'

 Frank W. Ockenfels 3

For more Breaking Bad, check out THR's full cover story here.

“It’s not going to end pretty. It’s a bloodbath now, I’ll tell you that.”

So says Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul of the gritty AMC drama’s fifth season, premiering Sunday July 15.

The series picks up after November's gruesome finale in which viewers saw the shocking face-melting death of Walter White’s (Bryan Cranston) drug-lord nemesis Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito) and were stunned by the notion that Walt possibly poisoned a young boy to save his own hide.

In The Hollywood Reporter’s cover story, the creator and cast of the darkest drama on television reveal the shocks and surprises that lay ahead for their characters in Breaking Bad’s penultimate season, including these teasers:

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Vince Gilligan (creator): “You can look forward to even more crazy shit! We’re definitely going to see Walt winning more, and the question of season five is what does it take to stay at the top? I think at the end of season 4, we see that Walt has won. He explicitly says so. What that means is that he defeated Gustavo Fring in this season-long existential chess match that they were playing. Now that they have won and he is ascendance, what does that mean for his life? What does it mean for him and his family? Now that Walt is the king, what will he do with that power and will it be as easy to maintain that control as it was to wrestle it out of Gus Fring’s hands in the first place?

Bryan Cranston (Walter White): “You will shit, uncontrollably, watching this new season. Walt gets a bevy of hookers, he goes crazy! [Laughs] No, with Gus gonenow, Walt is more in control this season and we get to see Skyler becoming more of his equal. Also, characters from earlier in the series may be popping inagain – like Jesse’s friends Skinny Pete and Badger. Anything can happen now, and will.”

PHOTOS: 'Breaking Bad' Principals Strike a Pose for THR's Cover Shoot

Aaron Paul (Jesse Pinkman): “You never know anyone’s fate on this show… but we know it’s not going to end pretty. The countdown is on. It’s a bloodbath, I’ll tell you that. It’s brutal. Each season, Vince keeps pushing the envelope with darker and darker stories. But we’re not being dark for the sake of being dark. We’re trying to tell an honest story. And all these actions have circumstances the characters have to deal with. It gets very heavy andvery dirty this season, like nothing we’ve seen before.”

Anna Gunn (Skyler White): “We saw Skyler breaking bad last season; now she is breaking down. Her dark tendencies are more revealed as she gets further pushed into a corner. That final moment when Walt makes the call at Hank and Marie’s house, the call about Gus Fring, and she realized he had something to do with it? That was game changer. She already knew he was a drug dealer, but she had no idea how far the tentacles of that extended. And now the idea for her is, “How do I make sure we’re all not killed? How do I keep us alive? I can’t run away, I can’t turn him into the police and now I’m culpable.” Walt had his alter-ego, Hiesenberg. Now she has an different personality; one who lies really well and easily.”

Dean Norris (Hank Schrader): “People love Hank; he’s a fun guy, even more now that he’s been more humanized after his injuries. He’s more of a real person underneath. He’s back on track, he’s done with depression, he was right about Gus Fring, which makes him a hero and “the man” at the DEA. But I still think he knows zero about Walt. It’s so impossible in his mind that this could be the case. Walt is Hank’s family. He not that “kind of guy.” Hank has always thought of Walt as this milquetoast guy. It’s going to be fun for him to find out the truth – whenever that may be.”

Betsy Brandt (Marie Schrader): “Last season was all about Marie taking care of Hank after the shooting. This season it’s about more caretaking; more about the family. She’s more defined. We see the best side of her because if she’s not taking care of someone, she’s just thinking about herself. Now she’s kind of the stable one! There is also a streak of melancholy about the children of her own she doesn’t have.”

Read the full THR cover story here >>

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