Over on Variety this week, they’re profiling three actors who took scene-stealing supporting television roles and turned them into successful careers: Aaron Paul, Christina Hendricks, and Alison Williams, each of whom are considered likely to land Emmy nominations on July 10th. It’s the usual puff piece, though there were some interesting revelations, both old and new, about the three television stars.
For instance, I did not know that Alison Williams captured the attention of Judd Apatow and was cast in Girls because of her rendition of “Nature Boy” set to the theme of Mad Men.
Christina Hendricks, meanwhile, wasn’t even supposed to be Joan in Mad Men. She had auditioned for the role of Midge Daniels, who was played by Rosemarie Dewitt. Though she wasn’t the right fit for that role, they tried her out as Joan, and only after casting her there and seeing how brilliant she was in the pilot did Matthew Weiner expand the role into a series regular.
As for Paul, there was the usual story about how his character, Jesse Pinkman, wasn’t supposed to be in the series beyond the first year. Gilligan also noted that he’d never seen Paul act before Breaking Bad, though that isn’t necessarily true, as Paul had a guest role on an X-Files episode Gilligan had exec-produced.
Maybe the most interesting detail from the profile, however, was Aaron Paul’s encounter with multiple Oscar winner, Daniel Day Lewis, the most respected and arguably the best actor of his generation.
Two years ago, the night before Daniel Day-Lewis would win his third Academy Award, Paul spotted the “Lincoln” star at a party. “We make eye contact,” Paul says, “and he just bows to me.” The rest, he adds, is a blur, but he recalls Day-Lewis shaking his hand and professing his love for the show. “I forget what I even said,” Paul admits. “I think I went deaf.”