Why Aaron Paul deserves an Emmy right now
Sometimes, it takes a lot of smarts to play someone really stupid.
For proof, look no further than Aaron Paul’s deceptively fumblefingered performance as slacker drug dealer Jesse Pinkman on AMC’s Breaking Bad.
It can be a thankless task, holding down a role opposite a talented character actor coming into his own – the way Bryan Cranston owns the screen as cancer-stricken high school teacher-turned meth-maker Walt White.
But even as Cranston’s White morphed into a increasingly ruthless character this season, Paul’s Jesse Pinkman revealed his own layers – stumbling into a kid seriously victimized by his parents’ raging meth addiction and falling down his own rabbit hole of substance abuse.
Pinkman may come off as the idiot savant of drug dealers, but it’s Paul’s taste for slacker cluelessness and exquisite comic timing which makes the character a perfect balance to White jittery desperation.
It’s not the kind of showy, scenery-chewing role which often gets rewarded in Emmyland. Which is why, in my dream world, the Academy would hand this young actor a major honor for holding his own on one of TV’s boldest series.