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Q&A – Aaron Paul (Jesse Pinkman)

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The Emmy-nominated actor explains how he’s the worst procrastinator of all time, describes the piece of Jesse that he’ll carry with him forever and shares the secret behind his “dreamy” blue eyes in AMCtv.com’s exclusive interview.

Q: This season Jesse has decided that the only thing he’s good at is making meth. Is that how you feel about acting?

A: I definitely knew that I wanted to do this at a very young age. I guess I just wouldn’t be as happy. I couldn’t do anything else other than this and be really, truly fulfilled. But I think I could probably do some other good things. I’m not really sure what those things could be, maybe an astronaut or a lumberjack. I don’t know. But I think acting is good for right now.

Q: Has Jesse’s vocabulary started to slip into your own? Do you talk like Jesse naturally?

A: No, Jesse is completely different than me. But I definitely have been saying “Yo” a lot more. I use yo on an everyday basis and I’m not meaning to. but whenever someone says, “Hey,” I’m like “Yo.” It’s a part of me now, and I think it’s going to be a part of me forever.

Q: When Jesse gets out of rehab, he says tells Mr. White, “You either run from things or you face them.” Do you have that same outlook?

A: Yeah, absolutely. I totally agree. I don’t think it’s healthy to run or hide from your problems. I think it’s definitely a good thing to communicate, face them, and deal with the consequences.

Q: So, you’re not a procrastinator?

A: Actually, you know what? I am a procrastinator. I’m the worst procrastinator of all time. They did a story on me in my high school yearbook where — and this is so ridiculous — the yearbook committee went around to teachers and said, “Do you have a student in your class that’s the biggest procrastinator?” I guess my name got brought up the most, so they decided to do a story on me. They were like, “What is your biggest procrastinator story?” I’m like, “I’ll think about it.” And then they kept asking me, “We gotta get this story.” And I ended up never getting it to them so that ended up being the story. I do truly believe you should face your problems, but that’s always the harder road.

Q: Have you ever had a teacher that had an impact on the course of your life?

A: Nancy Link, who was my theater teacher. She was such a huge support system for me. I was the first freshmen ever in our school to make it to the advanced theater group that they would only allow juniors and seniors to be a part of. When she found out I wanted to graduate early and move to LA — I talked to her about it all the time — she applauded me and said, “Yeah go for it. You can do this.” And she never once said, “What’s your backup plan?”

Q: Do you keep in touch with her?

A: Yeah. I mean, I haven’t talked to her for many years. I wanted her to come to the premiere of Breaking Bad in LA when the first season premiered. I left a message on what I thought was her home phone. I called her school, left word there. And, uh, never heard back, which is really sad — kind of anti-climactic. [Laughs] But we had set up a movie premiere for my first film, Whatever it Takes, and we all went out to Idaho and had a big premiere there. She came and there’s a picture of her and I hugging that made the front page of the paper. It was a really cool moment for us.

Q: Was there any joking between you and Dean [Norris] about the fact that Hank describes your character as “dreamy” in Episode 4?

A: [Laughs] I definitely think there might have been some jokes going around. I know I laughed when I read that script. It’s so funny. So many people say I have such intense eyes. I like to think I’m a nice guy, but maybe that’s why I play intense characters, because of my eyes. I don’t know. Do they come across creepy?

Q: No. [Laughs] Confident, I would say. Pretty.

A: Oh. Thank you. Yeah I think it was just the whole lighting set up maybe. The directors were like, “Let’s just make his eyes pop. Let’s make him look somewhat attractive.” You know: “He might be a little underweight, maybe have a kind of pointy nose, but if we really just focus on his eyes maybe something will work.”

Q: The cashier did end up taking the meth…

A: She did. She did. It worked out.

Click here to read an interview with the actor who plays Jesse’s partner-in-crime, Bryan Cranston.

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