Aaron Paul has been hyping the sh-t out of Breaking Bad (and did you see the first episode? Wouldn't you?!) and if you follow him on Twitter, you'll notice he does a lot of charity work, particularly in support of his wife's non-profit, Kind Campaign. This week he participated in a two hour Reddit AMA (isn't that forever by internet standards?) and I tried to follow along live but it was too confusing, so I just read through the question and answer bits (not the threads of comments, it's just too much).
There must be something about this medium that makes people open to good conversation, because you know who else gave an excellent Reddit? Ethan Hawke. He seems too crusty to speak to civilians but it was meaty. I mean if Troy Dyer was ever your jam, it's a must read.
For both men, it's an excellent place to study subtext and quietly judge their spelling and grammar. First, Aaron.
He's in a tough position as Breaking Bad is under such scrutiny and with such a rabid and invested fan base (like me) it is understandable why they have to be so careful. But what ever happened to the script that was stolen from Bryan Cranston's car? Did Saul just make it go away?
He talks about his favourite scenes, the best prank (being squirted by a dildo-shaped water gun), his most memorable line ("Roll me further, bitch!") and what other shows he would be on - I could totally see him on It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Also someone complimented his wife and got a phone call. (Um, not worth the phone call.) There's a Hollywood Sliding Doors moment too as Aaron wanted to audition for a part in Malcolm in the Middle but they wouldn't see him. Imagine if they had, and he got the part? Breaking Bad as we know it wouldn't exist. Scary.
Aaron's experience with fame is unique in that it sounds wholly positive. Has Aaron Paul developed such a rabid fan base because he's so open to his fans, or did the fan base shape Aaron's positive perception of fame?
I don't know, but Ethan Hawke does not inspire the same fervour. No one is yelling catchphrases at him as he walks down the street. There's a lot of '90s nostalgia and Before Sunrise/After Sunset/Before Midnight love, but there hasn't been a franchise or really a monster blockbuster for him, whether by design or circumstance. And it reads as such in the Reddit questions people ask him: for the most part they are thoughtful and centred largely around his work, not his personal life. Ethan has admirers, not Twi- Hards.
But he has been around a long, long time and he has some stories. The man has seen drama (don't forget, he was married to Uma Thurman). He talks about Philip Seymour Hoffman, River Phoenix ("River was one of those people that had that strange magic glow around them; he could drive you crazy, or make you fall in love with him, sometimes in the same minute."), child actors, books, the downside of fame (he chalks it up to luxury tax - he's actually quite pragmatic), his island off the coast of Nova Scotia (clearly he hasn't made any Pirates movies) and he sticks up for Nic Cage. A lot. He also talks about Vonnegut, does his fair share of industry name dropping and uses phrases like "Tolstoy-esque in scope", but after so many years of being an actor, he still seems genuinely excited about what he'll do next. Ethan also talks about his favourite (Denzel) and whom he desperately wants to work with (Leo) - who knew Ethan had such affinity for proper movie stars? It's so… relatable. Until now, I can't say I've ever thought of Ethan Hawke as someone who would fangirl Leonardo DiCaprio.
I totally want Ethan and Aaron to play brothers in a movie now. I would see that. Twice.
Click here for Aaron Paul’s Reddit.
Click here for Ethan Hawke’s.