Aaron Paul on Breaking Bad, beards, books and death

The actor, best known for his role in Breaking Bad, was in Dublin recently, so we put a fat stack of short, sharp questions to him

Aaron Paul: dreams of being born. Photograph: Robbie Reynolds

Aaron Paul: dreams of being born. Photograph: Robbie Reynolds

 

Michael Keaton in Batman or Michael Keaton in Birdman?

Oh man. Michael Keaton in everything.

 

What is the most common thing for you to do when you’re hanging around waiting to go on set? Just slowly try not to panic?

I’m kidding. I don’t know. Running over my lines, I guess.

 

Cocktail of choice?

Other than Budweiser*, I like a nice glass of a good whiskey. What’s your earliest memory? Honestly, I feel like I have dreams of being born. Dream co-star? Bryan Cranston again.

 

Do you have a favourite podcast?

I loved Serial. This American Life. There are so many good ones. Anything about space.

 

Which film have you watched the most times?

Probably Stand By Me.

 

Describe Michelle MacLaren’s** directorial style in three words.

Wow. Beautiful. Oh God, Michelle MacLaren is just so incredible. It just never ends. She shoots, like, I’m trying to do it in three words: beautiful, perfect and long.

 

Do you read self-help books?

All the time. No.

 

Has masculinity reached peak beard, and if so, what’s next?

I don’t know what’s next but I hope that beards stay around for a while.

 

Death row meal?

Pizza.

 

When were you happiest?

When was I happiest? Right now. This very moment. My wedding day, I think***. My wedding day, for sure.

 

Best album of last year?

Either Foster the People’s**** new album or Alt-J.

 

Do you have any tattoos, and of what?

Yes. I have a tattoo of my wife’s heartbeat on my ring finger, and I have a Breaking Bad tattoo on my right arm, that we all got on the final day of shooting the show.

 

Team Aaron Sorkin or Team Shonda Rhimes?

Aaron Sorkin.

 

In brief, why did you choose the Kind Campaign***** as a cause?

Because I think it’s an incredible organisation, and my wife started it.

 

Do you have a secret hunch about how you’re going to die?

I think probably in a plane crash.

 

What was the most difficult scene to shoot in Breaking Bad?

Waking up to Jane, dead.

 

Lakers or Clippers?

Lakers.

 

What is Prince’s best song?

Purple Rain.

 

What is your most-used curse word?

Bitch. Is that a curse word, though?

 

Your favourite quality in a friend?

Loyalty.

 

What book made the biggest impact on you?

The Giving Tree [a children’s picture book written and illustrated by Shel Silverstein].

 

If you could wake up in the morning and be the best at something, what would that be?

Flying.

 

Did you keep any mementos from the sets of Breaking Bad?

Yes.

 

Are you bored of Breaking Bad questions?

No.

 

What movie should win Best Picture at the Oscars?

Boyhood.

 

What motto pops into your head when things are getting rough?

Just keep going.

 

Which actor is always last to leave a party?

Charlie Sheen.

 

If you could spend a day in a music studio with someone who would it be?

John Lennon.

 

How do you take your coffee?

Black.

 

Dream car?

Shelby Cobra.

 

Is Anna Gunn [Skyler in Breaking Bad] intimidating?

Not at all. She’s . . . beautiful.

 

Do you keep a diary?

No.

 

What is your most recurring dream?

Of flying.

 

What period of history would you most like to live in?

Right now.

 

What’s the worst piece of advice you’ve been given?

“Don’t do it.”

 

Do you think Hillary Clinton would make a good president?

Absolutely.

 

What is the best episode of Breaking Bad?

Oh man, I don’t know, I’ve no idea. My favourite is probably 4 Days Out.

 

What worries you about the internet?

Everything.

 

Who was the best teacher you ever had and why?

Mrs Lake, because she told me to chase after whatever I believed in.

 

Who is the best character on TV right now?

The president: House of Cards.

 

* Paul was in town to promote Budweiser’s Dream Job campaign.

** Michelle MacLaren directed 11 episodes of Breaking Bad, and has signed on to direct Wonder Woman.

*** Audible “thank God” from a handler at the other side of the room.

**** Supermodel. Foster the People played at Paul’s wedding.

***** Paul and his wife, Lauren Parsekian, have helped raised more than €1 million for the anti-bullying organisation.

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