September 16, 2013

Q&A - Aaron Paul (Jesse Pinkman on Breaking Bad)

Aaron Paul Jesse Pinkman Breaking Bad AMC
Rolling Stone is putting together some amazing Q&A sessions with the actors from Breaking Bad as we inch closer to the show's finale. Here's an excerpt from the session with Aaron Paul. 

In the first episode, Walt killed someone, and it's soon clear that he enjoys violence. Jesse doesn't kill anyone until later, but he seems much more wrecked by his one murder. Do you think of Jesse as being a better human being than Walt? 
Oh, absolutely. I think Walt always had Heisenberg deep inside of him. It's like the expression, "Money doesn't change people, money just shows who people truly are inside." I think this has always been a part of Walt.

Jesse hung out with the wrong crowd, and he was trying to pretend that he was someone that he wasn't. That's why at the beginning – at least this is what I tell myself – he'd wear these crazy clothes – oversized pants, shirts, sweatshirts. He was kind of hiding in his own skin. And then throughout the years, he's realizing more who he truly is. His clothes started to shrink as he got his own footing. The clothes definitely started getting darker, because he was feeling in a very dark place.

Obviously Jesse is a murderer, so he's not that great of a guy. But he didn't want to be. He was kind of pushed into a corner. He pulled the trigger. Obviously that's no excuse, but I think the audience knows that's not really who he is.

It sounds like you're saying Jesse, in the beginning, was a wanksta. 
[Laughs] Yeah, absolutely.

Vince [Gilligan] and I also talked about the fact that in the first season, Jesse tries to get a straight job. Was he genuinely trying to get out of the meth business? 
He obviously didn't try that hard. I mean, he gave it one shot, you know? At that point, he was definitely still using, but he was saying, "I'm going to try to go straight and narrow." But it didn't take him long to get back into it. He ran into Badger in the money costume and he went, "You know what? Let's give drug dealing another try." In his head, he was giving it his all. But his all really isn't that much, at that point.

When he came out of rehab, he was desperately trying to stay sober. But you know, when you're a drug addict, it's hard. You can't just say, "All right, I'm going to go sober," and that's it. If he relapses, you can't really blame him. If he keeps trying, you can applaud that. But you can't blame him for falling off the wagon.

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