Aaron Paul on Joining ‘The Path’ and Wanting to Guest on ‘Better Call Saul’
The Hulu original series The Path follows a family at the center of a controversial religious movement, known as Meyerism, as they struggle with relationships, faith and power. As Eddie (Aaron Paul) questions whether all of the answers can be found within the religion that his wife Sarah (Michelle Monaghan) is so dedicated to, she finds herself pulled deeper and deeper into Cal’s (Hugh Dancy) world and his views on the way that they should be led.
During this exclusive interview with Collider, actor Aaron Paul talked about what attracted him to The Path, his hesitance toward signing on for another TV show after Breaking Bad, how excited he is to continue to explore this story, always finding himself playing emotionally intense characters, and whether anything could have changed the path Eddie finds himself on. He also talked about how he’d like to guest star on Better Call Saul, at some point. Be aware that there are some spoilers.
Collider: What attracted you to The Path?
AARON PAUL: What really drew me to this story in the first place was that I could relate to these characters, especially my character, Eddie. Two episodes were placed in front of me and I could see the world that they were creating so clearly. He’s going through a lot. He’s struggling with a crisis of faith, and he’s at a crossroads because he knows the consequences and he knows what would happen, if he admits what he is truly thinking inside. His family would just leave him.
Which seems a bit harsh for an organization that’s supposed to be about community and bringing people together.
PAUL: Exactly! If you have any doubts, they consider you a virus within the movement and they tell you to get away, which is pretty wild.
When you come off of a TV show that will always be thought of as one of the best TV shows ever, with Breaking Bad, is it hard to sign on for another one?
PAUL: Yeah, absolutely! That’s why the moment we wrapped that show, I wasn’t even entertaining the idea of television. It’s been three years since we wrapped the show, so some time has passed. I wasn’t even looking at scripts, but my team called and said, “I think you really need to read this show.” This offer came in out of nowhere, and the team behind it was impossible to ignore. I read the first two episodes and I just fell in love with the world that they were creating. I decided to sit down with Jessica [Goldberg], Jason [Katims] and Michelle Lee to discuss the show in further detail. I just love the arc of the first season and the direction that they were heading towards for the entire series was very exciting to me, so I jumped on board.
Did they give you a bigger overview, beyond this season, so that you have an idea of where things are headed?
PAUL: Yeah. I’m not sure if they know exactly, but if they do stick to their guns and follow the direction of what they originally told me, I think the audience is going to be very, very, very excited. I’m very excited. I’m sure they will, but we’ll see. You never know.
Was this an emotionally challenging character to play?
PAUL: I seem to always fall into that category of emotionally intense and all over the place, for some reason. But I love that about this guy, and I love that about this show and these characters. They’re all going through so much. It’s very dramatic. I think that’s what people are going to love about the show and why people are going to continue to come back. This ride that we are allowing people to get on is a very fun and crazy ride. That’s why I jumped on board.
It’s really important that this show has that family element to it because everybody has their own idea of religion and their own beliefs, but everyone understands family, which makes it much more relatable.
PAUL: Yeah, absolutely! There are so many different beliefs out there, and a lot of those beliefs claim that they’re the one. This all does come back to family and a sense of community. That’s why they do decide to weed out the bad seeds. And there are some movements and religions out there that do preach that. If you have any sort of doubt and you don’t buy it, you’re gone and your family will not speak to you again. It’s so intense. It’s really kind of sad.
When Eddie got involved with his wife and this movement, Cal wasn’t the one in charge. What do you think Eddie thinks of Cal, as a leader?
PAUL: Eddie knows Cal very well. They’ve been friends for many years, but he sees this power taking over Cal and I don’t think he necessarily thinks that’s a good thing. I think he probably thinks that’s a bad thing. And Eddie is not buying into this, whatsoever, anymore. Him seeing Cal have this power trip just makes him want to run further away from it. Also, he sees that there’s something going on between Cal and his wife, but he doesn’t really know what that is. He knows that Cal is in love with Sarah, but he also knows that he has great taste because it’s his wife and he thinks she’s fantastic. Cal is a very dangerous man, and I don’t think we’ve necessarily seen quite how dangerous he can become.
Do you think there’s anything that could have shifted Eddie’s opinion back to this movement, or do you think this was the eventual path for him?
PAUL: There are definitely things that could possibly bring him back. It’s really his family. Whether or not he’s going to believe it 100% within his core, I don’t think that’s ever going to happen again. I think he would rather live a life of lies than lose his family. I think he’s just going to struggle to try to keep that together, as long as possible.
If he had say or influence over the situation, do you think he’d rather his kids not be there?
PAUL: Oh, of course! I think he wants to run far away from that. But he knows his wife was born into the movement and his kids were born into the movement. He taught his kids the movement. He’s a hypocritical man, trying to convince his family that everything he, himself, taught them is a lie. He’s gone through a lot. My character has lived on both sides of the wall, as an outsider and very deep within.
People loved your work on Breaking Bad, and you’ve talked about talking to Vince Gilligan about possibly making an appearance on Better Call Saul. Is that something you actually want to make happen and isn’t just hypothetical conversation?
PAUL: To be honest, yeah. I think it would be great. I know that if it happens, it’s going to be for the right reasons. They’ll certainly do it the right way. They’re not just going to throw Jesse in, just to throw him in. It’s gotta make sense to the story. And I think it would be great. That’s what they’re doing with the show. They’re reintroducing the world of these characters and giving them a deeper look inside these characters’ lives, before Breaking Bad began, and before Walt and Jesse are introduced to Saul Goodman. But, who knows? Jesse introduced Walt to Saul, so Jesse knew about that world. So, you never know.
Is it fun to get to still be able to watch what’s going on in that world?
PAUL: Oh, it’s great! It’s a little weird, though, as well. I love the show!
The Path is available at Hulu on Wednesdays.