Actor Aaron Paul had a big 2019. On top of reprising his Emmy Award-winning role as Jesse Pinkman in El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie, Paul starred in an Apple TV Plus series, and filmed a key role on HBO’s Westworld Season 3. But the biggest thing he did might be something he did off screen: Paul started Dos Hombres mezcal with his Breaking Bad co-star Bryan Cranston.
As stars like George Clooney and Ryan Reynolds can attest, starting your own liquor brand can be a life- and career-changing development. Paul, Men’s Journal’s January/February cover star, had long wanted to work again with his friend Cranston, but wasn’t sure if a collaboration on-screen so soon after Breaking Bad was the right way to go.
“We were having dinner in New York,” Paul tells Men’s Journal about how the idea got started. “We were talking about possibly teaming up on another project, we were thinking maybe it’s too soon to be on camera again—but maybe we could produce a show or a play. I mentioned, ‘What do you think about something in the booze business?’ And he laughed at me. And I said ‘No I’m serious, what do you think about mezcal?’ And he said, ‘Oh, the thing with the worm at the bottom of it?’ I’m like, ‘No, that it doesn’t have to be like that.’ And then it just sort of grew over the course of three years.”
When the duo went to Mexico to research and try and find the right mezcal to produce, Paul posted a photo on Instagram of himself and Cranston in a river, basically breaking the internet (no pun intended). Fans everywhere thought the duo might be reuniting on a Breaking Bad project, but instead, it was all about Dos Hombres.
“We went out to Oaxaca a bunch of times, and we were on the search for the best mezcal we ever tasted,” Paul says. “Three hours outside Oaxaca, two hours on a highway and an hour on the bumpiest road I’ve ever been, and we found this—it looked like a meth lab in the middle of nowhere to be honest. It tracks back to at least five or six generations of this family making this mezcal. And we tasted it, and we looked at each other, and that was it. It was like this unspoken thing, we knew that we had found it.”
“I love drinking mezcal, either on a large cube or just neat,” Paul says. “I love the smokiness of it. It feels like the most established mature older relative of tequila.”
Watch the full video for more on how Paul and Cranston started Dos Hombres.
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