Aaron Paul's Breaking Bad transformation

Aaron Paul, one of the stars of hit American drama Breaking Bad, spoke about the experience of playing drug dealer Jesse Pinkman. As the series approaches its concluding season in the US, Paul’s character has undergone a substantial change.

In the early series of the show acclaimed by some as the finest drama on television, Pinkman was the feckless and irresponsible kid alongside the meticulous science teacher Walter White (played by Bryan Cranston) as the unlikely duo cooked up crystal meth in a camper van. By series five White is the megalomaniac monster, Pinkman the show’s conscience.

"At the beginning, everyone – including me – saw him as just a drug burn-out," Paul told The Guardian. "A kid with no sorta brains. But as each episode was revealed to everybody, it showed quite the opposite. It's incredible how Walt and Jesse are completely trading positions. Walt has no morals whatsoever any more, and Jesse, who wants to try to be good, is terrified of him."

The role has made Paul famous in the States. It also means that he has to put up with young men approaching him and asking if he can get them some decent meth. "A lot of people ask if I can hook them up with some blue. It's funny. I love it, though. Breaking Bad turns our fans into fan-girls when they meet their favourite character."

Paul has known meth addicts, and emphasises the harm the drug can do. "It's sad if people assume that, because I play a druggie on TV, I'm a druggie for real," he said. "I'm quite the opposite. Drugs, I'd like to reiterate, are bad. Don't do drugs and don't kill people! It's obvious, but worth remembering."

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