Aaron Paul won the role of Jesse Pinkman, the astoundingly complicated high school loser and gateway to Walter White’s trip to hell, with this audition tape back in 2007. He had been professionally acting for a full decade before landing the role — most notably on Big Love — but it’s obvious that this is the part that he was born to play. Sure, his dad was a Baptist minister, but Paul really knew how to channel the edge, charm, confusion, and strange likability of Heisenberg’s partner.
Two Emmys, an iconic catchphrase, and some plum movie roles later, it’s a good thing that creator Vince Gilligan didn’t kill off Pinkman at the end of the first season, like he had intended.
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