Let’s hope the upcoming “Breaking Bad” movie will answer all the questions people still ask Aaron Paul, even five years after the series ended.
“They keep asking: ‘What happened to Jesse?’ ‘When’s the next season of ‘Breaking Bad’ coming out?’” Paul told us in an interview for the “Shoot This Now Podcast.”
Those questions about the “next season” leave Paul with the uncomfortable task of breaking bad “Breaking Bad” news: “Well, it’s been done for soooo many years, you know? But thank you…’”
Paul explains more in the new “Shoot This Now” podcast, which you can listen to on Apple or listen to right here:
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We talked with Paul and Emily Ratajkowski about their new thriller “Welcome Home,” which is out now on DirecTV and hits theaters Nov. 16.
The interview took place last Saturday, and our timing could have been better: Three days later, the Albuquerque Journal broke the news of a “Breaking Bad” movie that will “track the escape of a kidnapped man and his quest for freedom.”
That description points to Paul as the likely focus of the film: “Breaking Bad” finale featured his character, Jesse Pinkman, fleeing a gang of neo-Nazis to seek a new life.
There’s been plenty of speculation about Jesse turning up on AMC’s “Breaking Bad” spinoff, “Better Call Saul.” So Paul talked with us hypothetically about how he might reprise the role in “Better Call Saul” — without letting anything slip about the movie plans.
“I’d like to think it may be kind of easy and seamless to jump back into that guy because we live and breathe all of our characters that we play, and I played this guy for seven years,” Paul said. “I really know him. It’d be fun to put back on those shoes.”
(To be 100 percent clear: He didn’t confirm he would play Pinkman in a “Breaking Bad” movie, because at the time of our interview, we didn’t know there would be a “Breaking Bad” movie.)
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Paul won three Emmys for his performance as Pinkman, who spent the five seasons of “Breaking Bad” as the reluctant partner to teacher-turned-meth kingpin Walter White (Bryan Cranston).
“Pinkman was just such a huge part — or is such a huge part of my career,” Paul said.
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People who meet him on the street still call him “Jesse” — that is, if they don’t call him “Bitch,” which was Jesse’s de facto catchphrase.
Paul said he often has to tell them: “My name is Aaron, really nice to meet you. It’s not Jesse. No, you can’t call me a bitch.”
That problem isn’t likely to get better with the release of a “Breaking Bad” movie, but who knows?
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Every week on “Shoot This Now,” we talk about stories we think should be made into movies — which is just an excuse to talk about people and stories we find fascinating. In the episode above, we pitched Paul and Ratajkowski two ideas.
They agreed that one was “sexy,” and that the other sounded like something you’d watch while falling asleep on a long flight.
“Welcome Home,” meanwhile, is about a couple in peril.
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As Paul told us, it follows “a couple struggling to keep things together, and then they’re put in a really scary situation in a setting where they’re not really comfortable.”
Ratajkowski signed on to the film first, in part because she was intrigued by her character, Cassie — who turns out to be more complicated than she initially seems.
“All of the assumptions that you’ve made about her kind of get turned on their head, and she turns out to be a pretty dark, complex character, which is important,” she said.
Listen to the podcast for more.
15 ‘Breaking Bad’ Characters We’ve Already Spotted in ‘Better Call Saul’ (Photos)
Jimmy McGill/Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk) He’s the main character in the new series, so of course we need to include Slippin’ Jimmy. Goodman appeared in 43 of 62 “Breaking Bad” episodes as Walt and Jesse’s criminal lawyer, with an emphasis on “criminal.” Thus far through “Better Call Saul,” he’s still just James M. McGill, Esq., but we’re getting to that whole alter-ego thing, trust us.
In flash-forwards, we see that Jimmy/Saul lives long enough to become a paranoid, balding Cinnabon worker. Free icing? Could be worse.
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Don Hector Salamanca (Mark Margolis)He walks! Hector — the uncle of Tuco Salamanca — had a wheelchair in “Breaking Bad.” But the old man who was constantly ringing his bell to communicate was a real crimelord in his younger, more virile days, which “Better Call Saul” shows.
In “Breaking Bad,” Hector takes out Gustavo Fring (pictured) with a crazy suicide bomb, avenging the deaths of his OTHER nephews. We’ll get to those guys soon.
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Ken (Kyle Bornheimer)Here’s one of those deep pulls that we alluded to earlier. In “Breaking Bad,” obnoxious Ken inadvertently helped Walter White break bad, and his mode of transportation suffered the consequences.
First, Ken stole Walt’s parking space at a bank, while bragging on his bluetooth. Later, the loudmouth continued his boastful, irritating behavior. So Walt blew up his car, as chemists do.
In Season 2 of “Saul,” Jimmy and Kim trick Ken into buying them a ton of expensive tequila shots at a swanky bar. The stock broker with “KEN WINS” on his BMW license plates tends to lose a lot in this universe.
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Gustavo Fring (Giancarlo Esposito) After being teased at the end of Season 2, The Chicken Man and “Breaking Bad’s” biggest adversary shows up in the second episode of season 3. After a humorous scene where he’s cleaning up right next Jimmy eating at Los Pollos Hermanos (Saul and Gus never actually met each other in “Breaking Bad”), we see Fring is not yet the drug kingpin he is in “Breaking Bad.” But throughout the third season, we see how Mike will eventually become Gus’ fixer and get a lot more on the rivalry between Fring and the Salamancas (as fans of both shows know, it doesn’t end well for either).
We also see Fring lay his eyes for the first time on the industrial laundromat that will be known to “Breaking Bad” fans as the Super Lab where Walt and Jesse cook for him.
Tuco Salamanca (Raymond Cruz) Tuco’s surprise appearance in Season 1 of “Better Call Saul” set the tone for even more exciting, unspoiled villainous returns. And then legs got broken, badly, because Tuco is a complete madmen.
Currently, Tuco is doing prison time, thanks to Mike. But he’ll be out soon enough …
In “Breaking Bad,” the ruthless Tuco had worked his way all the way up to drug kingpin level. He, Walt and Jesse had some rough and tumble meetings before Tuco himself met his demise with a Hank Shrader bullet through the brain.
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Leonel Salamanca (Daniel Moncada) One of the killer “cousins,” who are really twin brothers. (They’re cousins of Tuco’s, and nephews of Hector’s.)
The boys are dangerous, bloody, all-business hitman for the Juarez drug cartel. They’re sharp dressers and have ever sharper axes. Both brothers get snuffed out as a result of a classic Hank firefight during “Breaking Bad,” though this one lives long enough for one last-gasp badass hospital moment.
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Domingo “Krazy-8” Molina (Max Arciniega) This was a really cool cameo. A more grown-up Krazy-8 was actually the first person Walter killed in “Breaking Bad,” though he hemmed and hawed over it for a while, almost freeing his violent prisoner.
In “Saul,” Molina comes across quite convincingly as a younger, more innocent version of himself, still new to the drug game and working at his dad’s store. In a half-decade or so, he’ll be choked to death with a bicycle lock in Jesse’s aunt’s basement.
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Lydia Rodarte-Quayle (Laura Fraser)We all know how she takes her tea by now, which would ultimately be Lydia’s demise.
During the “Breaking Bad” days, Lydia tried to get Mike to kill a laundry list of Gus Fring’s associates. When he refuses, she tries to have Mike killed. Bad move.
Lydia and Mike first meet in “Better Call Saul,” when Gus sets him up with a paycheck at her Madrigal Electromotive. They don’t get off to a great start.
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Huell Babineaux (Lavell Crawford) A very svelte-looking Huell (Crawford lost 130 pounds since the end of “Breaking Bad”) pops up in the fifth episode of season 3, “Chicanery,” inadvertently bumping into Chuck during a recess during Jimmy’s bar hearing. In a gut-punching reveal, we find out that Jimmy hired Huell to plant a fully-charged battery on Chuck, which reveals his illness to be in his head and helps Jimmy avoid getting barred forever for practicing law.
Hey wait a minute, didn’t we see Huell do that move before…?
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Don Eladio Vuente (Steven Bauer) “The Winking Greek” was the boss of the Juarez Cartel — that is, until he took a shot of Gus Fring’s Zafiro Añejo tequila during the “Breaking Bad” days.
Back during the “Better Call Saul” timeline, Eladio was a total jerk to Hector, who years later was used as a prop to take out Fring.
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Francesca Liddy (Tina Parker) Before she was Saul Goodman’s personal secretary, Francesca served as the receptionist for Wexler McGill. She unfortunately gets laid off when Jimmy and Kim decide to sublet the office during Jimmy’s enforced year-long sabbatical from legal work. Jimmy promises to hire her back when he can practice law again, and we all know how that turns out.
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Gale Boetticher (David Costabile) In the third episode of Season 4, Gus pays a visit to Gale at his chemistry lab on the University of New Mexico campus (with the scene evoking memories of another chemistry teacher), which ends with Gale urging for Gus to allow him to produce higher-grade meth in his lab. Gus declines, saying Gale is meant for “better things.”
We’ll find out in “Breaking Bad” that those “better things” aren’t really all that better.
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A few “Better Call Saul” faces are familiar, but others are very deep pulls