Aaron Paul Explains the Painful Reason He Didn’t Become a Movie Star After ‘Breaking Bad’

Typecasting in the acting arena is still a big elephant in the room, despite more awareness of it happening and seemingly being an anachronistic Hollywood practice. Unfortunately, it’s still all too real. And it might be becoming worse because of more iconic shows being made for cable, plus larger movie franchises.

Nobody would have thought someone like Aaron Paul would go through something similar. After acting in Breaking Bad, he faced a bit of typecasting, if not the industry wrath of being deemed a flash in the pan just because a movie didn’t become successful.

At least he’s trying to overcome this by revisiting his Jesse Pinkman character in the upcoming Netflix Breaking Bad movie El Camino. However, it makes us wonder if he’s in need of a bigger reinvention so Pinkman doesn’t follow him wherever he goes.

Aaron Paul admits to having major disappointments on the big screen

Aaron Paul, winner of Outstanding Drama Series Award and Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Award for "Breaking Bad" poses in the press room during the 66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards.
Aaron Paul | Jason Merritt/Getty Images

In a recent interview for Vulture, Paul said after some failed attempts at movies, he’s looking forward to finding bigger success in streaming or on TV. He’s probably making the right choice since streaming and cable are the new movie theater anyway, or at least in part. His trajectory in wanting to become the next big-screen action star didn’t quite pan out as he and others envisioned.

When acting on Breaking Bad, the movie offers had begun to pile up. The first movie he chose (Need for Speed) ended up flopping at the box office. Perhaps too many people thought of it as a Fast and Furious knockoff, proving you can’t always tell how a film is going to turn out from the written page.

Later, Paul appeared in Ridley Scott’s new biblical take on Moses in Exodus: Gods and Kings. Despite being a spectacular production in 3D, it also did minimal box office.

These were two high-profile projects, yet Paul has kept working in movies. None of them have been huge breakout hits, however, making the trip back to Breaking Bad territory almost necessary.

The timing couldn’t be better with ‘El Camino’

Apparently Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan was intent on writing a follow-up movie to Breaking Bad, regardless of Paul’s career troubles. Paul didn’t hesitate to sign on immediately when word finally broke such a project was underway.

There was a lot of frustration building up over the last few years on Paul’s side, mostly because he was being blamed for having movie flops. None of this was his fault in the least since deciding on movie parts are always a gamble. Plus, considering he made his movie choices while still acting on Breaking Bad, likely not offering enough time to gain any clarity on what might work and what might not.

Now with El Camino, Paul says his wife was ecstatic he could return to a role with a real edge. The parts he’s receiving in movies lately are a far cry from the complexity Pinkman had.

At stake here is a potential spinoff series involving Pinkman, even if Paul is going to be busy on Westworld Season 3 for a while.

Would a spinoff series featuring Jesse Pinkman ever happen?

Don’t count out a streaming spinoff of Pinkman’s character occurring, considering he has a lot from his past to atone for and fix to find a sense of mental healing. For the most part, this is what El Camino is already about, possibly with a cameo of Bryan Cranston’s Walter White in flashback form. Since Gilligan said Walt is definitely dead, we know Paul’s Pinkman will be the showcase.

It’s a complex enough character we could easily see continue in another series. Of course, we all have to question whether that would enhance the typecast Paul has been trying to break.

Perhaps his role in Westworld will be compelling enough to overcome any memory of Pinkman any time soon. Then again, there probably isn’t any character sticking in the mind more than Pinkman based on his haunted history, possibly making Paul fully attached to this compelling character forever.