While Bryan Cranston has used his “Breaking Bad” acclaim and fame to take roles in, well, everything, his equally talented co-star Aaron Paul (aka Jesse Pinkman), hasn’t been so quick to rush the big screen. But judging by the reaction to the alcoholism drama “Smashed,” which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival to rave reviews (including ours), it’s likely he’s soon going to be reaping some big rewards for the talent he’s shown that he can carry from the AMC series into feature films. Indeed, he’s already been linked as a contender to play as John McClane’s son in the brewing “A Good Day To Die Hard.” We caught up with Paul in Park City and while he acknowledges there were some talks, it looks like Jesse Pinkman is still taking priority.
“I don’t really know what’s happening with that, but it’s great because Mary Elizabeth Winstead [his co-star in ‘Smashed’] played his daughter in the last film…,” Paul said when we asked about his involvement in the franchise. “It kept going back and forth and back and forth but at the end of the day I don’t know if the role was offered to me if I’d be able to do it because of scheduling conflicts with ‘Breaking Bad.’ “
But Paul won’t always have “Breaking Bad” taking up space in his calendar. As fans of the show know, AMC announced last summer that the show would have one more season, an extended season five featuring sixteen episodes (though the network may split that into two). On the one hand, it will be great to see the show conclude on a high, particularly after what many regard as its best season yet. But we had to ask Paul if he was saddened to at all to see such a high calibre show, closing so soon.
“I cry myself to sleep every night,” Paul joked. “No, I’m happy that they’re ending it. I love it so much and with that said, I will be very sad to say goodbye to that. But it will be good to close that chapter and I’m glad they’re not going to stretch out the story lines and just milk it, you know? And they’re going to stay true and honest and keep the quality where it’s at right now. Or even go beyond that. I think shows are best when they end and people want more so that people continue to talk about it. When a show continues to keep going and going and going and just wanted it to end years ago then it loses that magic.”
However, it appears the magic of Aaron Paul’s career, is only just beginning. “Smashed” continues to play this week at Sundance, and the film is seeking distribution. —Interview by Simon Abrams