Details: The Breaking Bad season finale is this Sunday on AMC. Your normally mild-mannered partner, Walt, killed two people last episode. How do you top that ?
Aaron Paul: It's getting a little darker, right? [Laughs] Everyone has been facing his own demons this season. I think they could have ended it there and the audience would have been happy. There's a lot of shit going down.
Details: How do you ease the tension on-set?
Aaron Paul: Bryan [Cranston] usually breaks the ice by doing something crazy. He does the most amazing impressions—anyone you ask him to do. His Christopher Walken is pretty good. He'll constantly talk in the Walken voice about how his secret when doing a Broadway play is to stick a peanut up his nose. Just because he likes it and because no one knows it's there.
Details: Your character, Jesse Pinkman, was actually supposed to die at the end of Season 1.
Aaron Paul: Yeah, but once we shot the pilot the producers loved the odd-couple element between Jesse and Walt, and that idea of killing Jesse off was done. I didn't know until [Breaking Bad creator] Vince Gilligan told me, around the fifth episode. Instantly my heart sank. I had that feeling you get when you get pulled over by a cop. I think he noticed all the blood running out of my face, so he said, "It's fine! We're not going to do that anymore!" I was like, "Right now you're not going to do it? So I will die, though?!" Everyone teased me for the rest of the season.
Details: You did get a pretty good beating this season. Was that fun?
Aaron Paul: Oh, my God, that was the best thing ever! I got kicked in the face in the pilot and got to wear a swollen-eye prosthesis, and I think they remembered how much I loved that. So they beat the shit out of me. The prosthesis took three hours a day, but Georgia, my lovely makeup artist, got the process down to two.
Details: Do you really know how to make meth?
Aaron Paul: Why, would you like some? [Laughs] I know some of the key ingredients. The DEA has been on the side, making sure we did everything correctly. But if you asked me to make you some meth, I would definitely blow us all up.
Details: You were nominated for an Emmy last year but didn't win. Did you have a speech prepared?
Aaron Paul: My buddy Phil asked me before the ceremony, "Did you write something down?" And I said, "I tried, but no, I didn't." So he ripped off a piece of a manila envelope and said, "Just write down some names so you don't forget anybody." I actually found the scrap the other day while cleaning my house. It said: "Thank you to AMC for having the balls to tell the story." I was like, "Wow. That was my speech?"
Details: Is it true that you stole Bryan Cranston's Emmy once?
Aaron Paul: Well, we went and talked to the University of New Mexico theater department, and Bryan brought in his Emmy. He had to go straight to work—and he calls his Emmy "her"—so he said, "Will you take care of her?" I took her to a coffee shop and felt somewhat like a poseur. It was like, "Hey! Look at me! This is...not mine." Then I took it home and took pictures of it around my house. I put it next to the toilet, put toilet paper on the wings.
Details: Your performance in Funny or Die's "Weird: The Al Yankovic Story" is award-worthy. How did that come about?
Aaron Paul: Bryan and I had a creative meeting with them. Originally we were going to do something on Octomom. Bryan was going to be Octomom's vagina holding a press conference. All of a sudden you hear a little voice talking: "Hey! I wanna talk! Listen to me!" The camera's trying to find the voice. "I'm not that hard to find! I'm right here!" And then you realize it's me—I'm the clitoris talking. I was going to have a little flower hanging off my head.
Aaron Paul: But Octomom kind of fell out of the spotlight. The idea was getting dated. Then they sent me the Weird Al script.
Details: Good choice. Any perks to working with the Weird One?
Aaron Paul: He told me about an upcoming concert he was doing in L.A., but I didn't end up getting the invite. Al totally dissed me. I still cry myself to sleep about it.
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