Losing Aaron Paul as the inimitable Jesse Pinkman on Breaking Bad was one of the hardest pills to swallow (besides actual meth) back in 2013. Who would we turn to for the most fantastically creative abuses of the word “b*tch”? Who would remind us, on a weekly basis, that even the most murder-prone of meth-makers have hearts, too?
Apparently, Paul misses Jesse as much as we do. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly — meant to promote his two new movies, Triple 9 and Eye In The Sky, and his forthcoming Hulu cult drama The Path — Paul waxes poetic about the saddest man to ever own a Roomba. When asked whether he’s “really done” with Jesse — rumor has it he’ll pop up on Breaking Bad prequel Better Call Saul sometime soon — Paul launches into a lengthy explanation of how he’ll never be able to fully let the emo crystal-cooker go. “I absolutely feel like I said goodbye to Jesse, and it might sound a little cheesy, but I think Jesse will always live somewhere within me,” says Paul. “I’m the only person on the planet that lived and breathed every moment of Jesse’s existence, and then some. Every moment that we saw, I created in my crazy head. I loved Jesse. I feel so connected to him.”
But we may catch another glimpse of Jesse yet, whether it be on Better Call Saul or elsewhere. As EW puts it, Paul “goes on, unprompted by questions of a reprise”: “I absolutely feel like I said goodbye to him, for now. Because he could always come back in one way or another.” Even if that comeback means a certain level of emotional distress: as Paul tells the mag, he would often get so deep into character that good ol’ Bryan Cranston had to help him snap out of it. “The first couple of seasons, Bryan had to tell me, ‘It’s okay to wash the makeup off and leave it on the set. It’s okay to walk away from it,'” Paul says. “I would go home and spend time in very sketchy alleyways to scare the sh*t out of myself. I wanted to know what that world was like … But a couple of years of just living in that character’s skin was a little much. I mean, I was having dreams as Jesse.”
It speaks to Paul’s devotion to the show and the character that he’d be willing to go vaguely insane again just to revisit it. “I’m so proud of that show and it was just such a cultural phenomenon,” he adds. “It’s hard for me to just leave it in the past. I don’t want to leave it in the past.”