El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie premieres on Netflix this coming Friday, just in time for Canadian Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is all about gathering with family and/or friends and last night in Hollywood, Team Breaking Bad reunited at the premiere in support of the film. People got really into their feelings on Twitter last night at the sight of Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul embracing and the two of them holding on to series creator Vince Gilligan. Look how cute they all are:
This isn’t for show. Bryan and Aaron are legit close. They went into business together on Dos Hombres, their own mezcal. In an interview with Vulture published last week, Aaron said that they check in with each other every day. If you haven’t already, that profile is a good read – Aaron is pretty candid about what it was like for him after Breaking Bad ended, the disappointment of not being able to break into film. On bad advice, he ended up passing on a movie that went on to become a “monster, monster hit”. So when Vince Gilligan said he had an idea for a Breaking Bad film that would focus on Jesse Pinkman, it was a gift…even though he was returning to the role that, in some ways, he can’t escape.
Breaking Bad is still a big deal, especially now that people are either re-watching it or getting into it for the first time on Netflix. Is that a bad thing? Well, for Aaron, it can’t be that bad. It certainly didn’t feel bad last night at the premiere and he just wrapped on the third season of Westworld – he told me when I interviewed him on Sunday that he hadn’t slept because they were shooting so late and he had to come straight to the El Camino junket. As the writer of the Vulture piece posits, maybe Aaron’s talents are more suited to television, building character over episodes as opposed to a two hour feature length film.
“…the traits that make Paul such a transfixing TV presence are too nuanced for the big screen: For all of Jesse’s spaz-outs and “bitch”-snaps, Paul carries much of the character’s pain and (minimal) joy in his face — the kind of subtle gestures that work best within the intimacy of a prime-time drama.”
This is how Jesse became Breaking Bad’s “unlikely hero”. The show wanted you to direct your empathy to him – how could you not, after all the sh-t he took?!
In person, Aaron Paul surprised me. I didn’t expect he’d be that sexy. He’s wiry and exuberant, he looked great in a bright red shirt over a white tank and black pants that hung off his hips perfectly. But what’s sexiest about him is how nice he is. He is SO nice. He’s fun. He’s happy to talk, to keep talking. He’s loud and energetic and he’s interested in a conversation, he’s not just there to give you a speech.
I guess if there’s anything he has in common then with Jesse, it would be this: that once you meet him, you’re on his side, you want him to go far, do well. Not that you need any other reason to see El Camino because if you were a Breaking Bad fan, you were already planning to watch it. I’ve signed so many embargoes lately for films that I can’t remember what I can and can’t say so I’ll say nothing other than this – when you watch El Camino and if Aaron Paul’s performance moves you (and this is not to say that it will, but IF), please know that your admiration is well-deserved. My interview with Aaron airs tonight on etalk.