Breaking Bad: Aaron Paul Talks "X-Files" & How His Winky Led to Jesse

While we've said it dozens of times before, it still bears repeating. Vince Gilligan's Breaking Bad is the epitome of how you end a beloved series, executed in a manner that did right by both the viewers and the creators. But that wasn't good enough. Gilligan then went back and added another ending to the Bryan Cranston & Aaron Paul-starrer, giving Paul's Jesse an ending with Netflix's El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie. And guess what? Gilligan and the team executed that perfectly as well. Now just imagine if Gilligan and Peter Gould can do the same with their Bob Odenkirk & Rhea Seehorn-starring prequel series Better Call Saul? Well, that's how you achieve unquestionable television icon status.

So any chance we get to learn about how Breaking Bad came about, we jump on it. Such was the case with IMDb's recent edition of "Ask Each Other Anything." While promoting their comedy sci-fi film Dual, Paul and co-star Karen Gillan (Doctor Who, "Guardians of the Galaxy" films) took turns asking each other pretty much anything. That's when the topic turned to their breakout roles, with Paul revealing something we didn't know: that Paul has Chris Carter's popular FOX sci-fi conspiracy series The X-Files to thank for sending him down the road to Jesse Pinkman. Here's how the role of David "Winky" Winkle in S09E05 "Lord of the Flies" (written by none other than Thomas Schnauz) resulted in a bonding moment with Gilligan:

breaking bad
Image: Screencap/AMC Networks

"That was definitely the breakout role. But you know I'd kind of been kind of fighting the fight for 10 years, ya know? My first meeting was with Vince Gilligan, the creator of 'Breaking Bad.' And I had done an episode of 'X-Files,' which he was a big writer on. I did an episode where I played Sky Commander Winky, and that was his nickname randomly in college. And so he asked me what episode of 'X-Files' I did and I told him and he goes, 'oh my God you played Sky Commander Winky, that was my nickname in college.' And it just – the whole audition went seamless after that. So I think it was because I played Sky Commander Winky really opened up the doors for me with Vince. It was just such a warm room," Paul revealed during what's a fun & informative back-n-forth between Paul and Gillan (which you can check out for yourselves over at IMDb by clicking here).

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Ray FlookAbout Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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