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Though Aaron Paul has had plenty of roles since he starred as Jesse Pinkman in Breaking Bad, the role remains one of his most well-known. Fans love the passion and intensity that he brought to the character and they aren’t the only ones. Critics have also expressed that they truly enjoyed the work that Paul did on the hit show which accounts for the many awards and nominations he accrued for his character. But, despite giving great performances on the show, Paul truly didn’t like the audition he gave for the show that made him famous.

Breaking Bad alum Aaron Paul
Aaron Paul | CHRIS DELMAS/AFP via Getty Images

Like many actors, Paul was struggling before he landed his big break on Breaking Bad. In an interview with Off Camera, the actor revealed that when he first read the pilot episode of the show, he’d already been acting for 10 years. Contrary to some fans’ beliefs that he became an “overnight celebrity” thanks to the part, it took a decade of grueling work and rejection before Paul landed on his feet. In fact, when he did finally land the role of Jesse, Paul was at a real low point.

Aaron Paul had been acting for a decade before he landed ‘Breaking Bad’

“When I got Breaking Bad I was at the — I mean really the lowest point in my career just in terms of finances. I just didn’t know where my next check was gonna come in and how he’s gonna pay my bills,” Paul shared about how bad things were before his career began to take off. While we know now that Paul got the role, he claims that he pretty much bombed his audition.

Fortunately, Paul immediately hit it off with Vince Gilligan, who is the creator of Breaking Bad. He described the audition room as being warm and said that the two had shared a previous connection that helped break the ice. The actor felt grateful to having someone in his corner right of the bat. However, Paul still felt that his audition was “awful” despite the fact that he had someone rooting for him.

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Funnily enough, the infamous audition is on YouTube for all to see. While it’s certainly not awful in the eyes of fans, Paul is fixated on the fact that he messed up a line and then apologized for it. So why does the actor think that he struggled with his audition so much? Apparently the intensity of not only landing the part, but also landing a role that could also make him money caused Paul to feel the pressure.


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“Yeah, I apologize,” Paul shared about saying he’s sorry mid-audition. “I go ‘I’m sorry this is terrible.’ I mean the pressure was on. A room full of people, stadium seating and you have to, you know, prove yourself. And I do it and that’s the audition you see; me like apologizing like ‘oh my god I just fuc*ed this up. And so I walk out and I’m just biting my nails. So I’m desperate I mean I really have no money I don’t have any money and so it wasn’t just that I was in love with the material, I also I had to have this happen and the cash.”

Where can you watch Paul’s audition?

Considering Paul eventually got the part in Breaking Bad, clearly, the audition wasn’t as bad as he believed it to be. But, if you’re curious about seeing it for yourself, we’ve linked the video here for good measure.