Aaron Paul is still Jesse Pinkman in the eyes of many “Breaking Bad” fans. And starring in last year’s “El Camino” probably didn’t do much for the actor if he wants to shed that image. That being said, he has done things that aren’t “Breaking Bad” related, including this new season of “Westworld.” But on the big screen, Paul’s attempts at superstardom haven’t gone as planned, particularly in the case of “Need for Speed.”
Released in 2014, “Need for Speed” was an attempt to mimic the ‘Fast & Furious’ franchise formula of fast cars and action, but failed to connect with audiences in the same way Vin Diesel’s films do. And for Paul, that signaled that the success of “Breaking Bad” wasn’t a guarantee of success in the future.
“[Hollywood’s] so ruthless. It really is,” Paul said in an interview with NME. “Worldwide, ‘Need For Speed’ made over $200m and that was technically not really a success. They wanted that to be a massive franchise and unfortunately it just didn’t perform as well as they had hoped. And it was a punch in the gut – we had the best time shooting that movie, I love cars and racing.”
He continued, “I shot that film literally the day after I wrapped ‘Breaking Bad’ and then it didn’t perform which was a really a disappointment but you’ve just got to pick yourself up and march forwards – and keep fighting the good fight.”
And even though he’s appeared in a bunch of other projects since “Need for Speed” and “Breaking Bad,” Paul still finds himself without a massive film hit that many predicted he would have. So, maybe a rockstar biopic is in the cards? With “Rocketman” and “Bohemian Rhapsody” doing so well, they seem like a sure bet for people wanting to make a big-screen splash. Well, if he had to do one, Paul isn’t interested in someone as flamboyant as Freddie Mercury or Elton John.
He explained, “When I first moved to LA, I thought quite a bit about Kurt Cobain and what happened and I just love Nirvana – ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ was one of the first records I bought with my own money, so I’ve thought that could be interesting [to play Cobain].”
As much as Kurt Cobain’s story would make for a great feature film (it’s been done already in docs and whatnot), you have to assume that the darkness that clouded the end of his short life wouldn’t lead to massive singalongs a la “Bohemian Rhapsody.” However, Paul could be an inspired choice to play the Nirvana frontman. So, why not?