Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul: It Was Sad Saying Goodbye to Jesse
Emmys season is upon is! And when awards season gets busy, award-winning TV stars get talking.
Aaron Paul, who plays methhead with a heart of gold Jesse Pinkman on Breaking Bad, spoke with awards site Gold Derby about Season 5.2, and ending the critically-acclaimed series.
Warning: if you haven't seen past Season 2, there may be some spoilers below.
The biggest question is obvious — it's even in the title of the series. What is it about the antihero that's so appealing, and in the same vein, are the Breaking Bad (anti)protagonists bad?
“It’s fun rooting for the bad guy in a way," says Aaron, “Walter White, he started doing this — granted he was doing very terrible things — for i guess for a good reason, but it definitely spiraled out of control, and he’s just a flat-out terrible person. But some people are rooting for him, some people hate him."
Is Jesse a bad guy? Aaron says that, as much as he loves Jesse, maybe. “I think the turning point was when he pulled the trigger with Gale. In season 2 we really saw he wasn’t just a drug addict, a lost kid. He had a good heart. [In the episode] ‘Peekaboo,’ [...] he had a soft spot for children and wanted to protect them. But when he went through with it and killed Gale, I mean, he turned into the bad guy. That’s who he was."
We think one of the best parts of Breaking Bad is its the characters' evolution into the titular baddies, and Aaron seems to agree. "He was trying to convince himself of that point ever since he blamed himself for the death of Jane, saying that he’s the bad guy. And then at the end of that season, the third season, he proved that to everybody.”
"Television is so different now, 15 years ago you wouldn’t think the real cinema would be on television. You’re not restricted to telling a story in a 2-hour time period,” Aaron reflects, noting that a while ago the show wouldn't have been possible.
“I think Sopranos started it off, kicked it off, and then [networks] started taking incredible risks," he continued, adding that Breaking Bad's premise "Isn’t really a home run for a television series [...] but they went with it.”
So will Aaron win a third Emmy for the series? He thinks he didn't even deserve it the first time. “I just happened to be lucky enough to have my name called [...] when they said my name, in all honestly I was rooting for John Carlo,” he admits, “just because what he did with Gustavo Fring, it was like, come on. And a lot of people I’m sure were yelling ‘What? Why is Gustavo Fring not standing on stage? This is crazy!’ And I don’t argue that.”
Aaron and John apparently had a tender moment that went beyond their mutual respect for each other as actors! “You might have seen when I hugged John Carlo [at the Emmys], we had a lovely, soft kiss.”
“It was sad for me saying goodbye to Jesse," says Aaron of his personal connection to his character, "I obviously feel such a huge connection to Jesse Pinkman, I love him so much and I’ve just wanted to protect him for the past six years, and he’s just gone through so much, and me playing him I feel like I’ve gone through all the ups and downs with him.”