Few actors have seeing their star rise quite so far and so fast as Aaron Paul. His turn as Jesse Pinkman in Breaking Bad won him multiple Emmys and his pick of projects for the indefinite future. Pinkman was originally going to be a one-season character who died once he was relevant to Walter White any more, but Paul was so good in the role, Vince Gilligan kept him on the whole way through, and he helped make the show what it was alongside Bryan Cranston. But there’s only so much praise we can give Paul for his role on Breaking Bad, and besides, it’s kind of old news at this point. We all know how great Paul was on that show, but what about elsewhere? The young actor grew up guest starring on every show imaginable, but now he’s had a few more substantial projects to his name, and here we’ll go through what are the five best. Paul’s career spans both TV and film, and he seems to constantly be hopping back and forth between the two different forms of media, more often than not finding success in both. Here are some of his best roles to date:
Todd Chavez – BoJack Horseman
In the Netflix animated series, Paul plays the slacker Todd who is the good-hearted companion to Will Arnett’s washed-up BoJack Horseman. BoJack took Todd in and he simply never left, and lending his voice to the cast has created some memorable moments on that show, which is a lot darker and more emotionally complex than many realize. Todd serves BoJack’s need to be like a parent, even when he doesn’t have any children of his own.
[Photo via Netflix]
Charlie Hannah – Smashed
Smashed wasn’t exactly a blockbuster, but it was one of Paul’s best roles as he plays an alcoholic married to another alcoholic in the form of Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s Kate. Though Kate is the main focus of the film, along with her struggle to get sober, Paul’s Charlie is a destructive force in her life, constantly trying to drag her back into drinking, not understand that she, and he, both need to get help. It’s a hard look at an all-too-common problem.
[Photo via Sony]
Scott Quittman – Big Love
Paul was doing double duty on TV, though many may not have realized it during the course of Breaking Bad. He was also a fixture on HBO’s Big Love, an often under-appreciated show that allowed Paul to shine in a non-traditional role for him. He left the show eventually, but stopped by for its final season later on.
[Photo via HBO]
Francis – The Last House on the Left
This was the first time I was introduced to Aaron Paul in a big way, as one of the criminals from the brutal horror film, The Last House on a Left. He’s part of the gang that brutalizes a young girl, but eventually she escapes and her family takes revenge on her attackers. It’s a rare villainous role for Paul, but in a film full of talented people he managed to shine rather brightly in the cast even as a supporting role.
[Photo via Rogue Pictures]
Joshua – Exodus: Gods and Kings
Is it too early to put a film that isn’t out yet on this list? Perhaps, but I have every confidence that when Ridley Scott taps you for a role, it’s going to be a good one. For his biblical tale, Exodus: Gods and Kings, Scott cast Paul as Joshua to Christian Bale’s Moses, an important role that will take him to a genre he’s never set foot in before. It’s fantastic to see a director as storied as Ridley Scott take an interest in Aaron Paul, and we’re seeing both him and Bryan Cranston cast in major films after their respective turns on Breaking Bad. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
All in all, there’s no telling how far Paul’s star can rise, given the right roles. He’s a phenomenal actor and an all-around nice guy, as viral videos on the internet have proven time and time again. He genuinely appreciates his fans, and it’s safe to say we all appreciate him right back. There’s lot more to come from Aaron Paul yet.
[Photo via Getty Images]