In Smashed, Aaron Paul stars alongside Mary Elizabeth Winestead, and the duo play a married couple coping with their dependency on alcohol. Smashed, which chronicles the ensuing difficulties that come up when Paul and Elizabeth try to change their ways, has been well-received by critics and serves as a promising platform for Paul in a leading role — for which he did some unusual prep work. “You know, I drank a lot,” Paul told Uinterview exclusively. “I did and I drank a lot more than I ever drank in my life. You know, I never went to college so this was kind of my college years all crammed into a couple weeks of preparation.”

Born in Emmett, Idaho, Paul was drawn to acting while attending Centennial High School when he became an active participant in the theater department. After high school, he moved to Los Angeles where he worked as an usher at a movie theater before getting work as an actor. He first appeared on television in a 1999 episode of Beverly Hills, 90210 and followed this up with bit appearances in popular television shows such as Melrose Place, Suddenly Susan and 3rd Rock from the Sun. He later landed small roles in major motion pictures such as K-Pax and Mission: Impossible III, as well as a recurring role on the HBO series Big Love, playing Scott Quittman, the husband of Amanda Seyfried’s character, Sarah Henrickson.

However, Paul’s career really took off in 2008 when he was cast as Jesse Pinkman in the AMC smash hit Breaking Bad, alongside Bryan Cranston. Paul’s character was supposed to be killed off after one season, but the show’s creator, Vince Gilligan, decided to keep him on because of his on-screen rapport with Cranston. Gilligan exhibited outstanding foresight with his decision, as Paul has since garnered two Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (2010, 2012) for his turn as Pinkman.

The awards were a tremendous honor for Paul, who admitted he was not expecting to receive them and was ultimately overwhelmed after he won — especially the second time. “I didn’t prepare at all,” Paul told Uinterview exclusively. “I was convinced both times I won that I wasn’t going to win. The second time just to hear them call my name for a second time, it was a struggle to not break down and become a sobbing mess, but it did tell me that, Ok I am going to be a crier at my wedding, and it’s going to be super embarrassing. I don’t know what I’m going to do.”

After Smashed, Paul’s next major film role will be in the adaptation of the popular video game series Need for Speed. But for now you can catch Paul in Smashed, as well as the second half of Breaking Bad’s fifth season, set to air the summer of 2013.

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Q: How did you prepare for your role in Smashed? - Uinterview User

You know, I drank a lot — I did and I drank a lot more than I ever drank in my life. You know, I never went to college so this was kind of my college years all crammed into a couple weeks of preparation. But yeah, I drank a lot and I filmed myself drinking and I watched a lot of people on YouTube wasted. I would just type in “people wasted” and you could find the most incredible YouTube videos. It’s very helpful.

Q: Did you and co-star Mary Ellen Winstead practice for the on-camera romance? - Uinterview User

You know, that’s really all her. She’s just so incredible — anyone working with her, she just makes anyone look good. Before we started shooting, her and I, actually, our director James [Ponsoldt] actually took us out drinking. He was our designated driver, and he got us hammered. It created a very special bond between her and I because we didn’t know each other before shooting this film. So I’m very happy he did that. But yeah, she had different techniques on how she could kind of play drunk. I took some pointers from her, and we just had a blast doing it. We shot the entire film I think like in 19 days. So I think it was like 6-8 weeks. Super low-budget, we didn’t have trailers to go back to during lunch or during breaks, so we were always in the house together. When we started working, we were just working, and it was a great experience.

Q: Did you prepare an acceptance speech for the Emmys? - Uinterview User

I didn’t prepare at all. I was convinced both times I won that I wasn’t going to win. The second time just to hear them call my name for a second time, it was a struggle to not break down and become a sobbing mess, but it did tell me that, Ok I am going to be a crier at my wedding, and it's going to be super embarrassing. I don’t know what I’m going to do. But, yeah, it was so surreal. I didn’t even attempt to prepare a speech. I was convinced that Giancarlo Esposito was going to be up there or another nominee but I don’t know.

Q: Why has substance abuse become a hot topic for film and TV? - Uinterview User

You know, I think people aren’t afraid to write honest stories and that’s very exciting. I think it’s a Golden Age in television and independent film.