Aaron Paul - Actor, Television Actor - Biography
Aaron Paul

Aaron Paul Biography

Actor, Television Actor (1979–)
Aaron Paul is best known for playing Jesse Pinkman on the Emmy Award-winning television drama 'Breaking Bad.'

Who Is Aaron Paul?

Actor Aaron Paul Sturtevant was born on August 27, 1979, in Emmett, Idaho. Paul moved to Los Angeles, California, at age 17, embarking on a decade-long run of spot television work and commercial gigs. After landing a gig on the HBO series Big Love, Paul rose to fame playing Jesse Pinkman on the acclaimed TV drama Breaking Bad, winning three Emmys over the show's five-year run. He followed with appearances in several films and a successful return to series programming in 2016 with The Path.

Early Life

Aaron Paul Sturtevant was born on August 27, 1979, in Emmett, Idaho. The son of a Baptist minister, Paul (he dropped his last name after moving to Hollywood because so many casting directors had trouble pronouncing it) is the youngest of Robert and Darla Sturtevant's five children.

Paul was consumed with the acting bug at a young age, and at Centennial High School in Boise, Idaho, he joined the drama club and was unafraid to tell anyone who'd listen that he wanted to be an actor.

Following his high school graduation, a 17-year-old Paul moved to Los Angeles, California, to do just that, embarking on a near decade-long run of spot television work and commercial gigs. His early jobs ranged from a Corn Pops commercial to a Korn music video.

Early Career

By the early 2000s, Paul had begun to develop a varied portfolio of television credits. The work included appearances on the original Beverly Hills, 90210; ER; CSI: Miami; Veronica Mars; and Joan of Arcadia, among other programs.

Additionally, Paul racked up a few film credits. He played the estranged son of Jeff Bridges in K-Pax (2002), and an unnamed stoner in National Lampoon's Van Wilder (2002). He later had a small part in the Tom Cruise blockbuster Mission Impossible III (2006).

His big break came in 2007, when he was cast to play the moral-minded Scott Quittman, boyfriend and later husband to Sarah Hendrickson, played by Amanda Seyfried, on the HBO series Big Love.

'Breaking Bad'

Paul was still a cast member of Big Love when a script of Breaking Bad was sent his way. The brainchild of director and producer Vince Gilligan, the show tells the story of a respected chemist teacher, Walter White, and his descent into the world of meth production after he learns that he has cancer.

For Paul, the program's premise was enthralling, but he had his doubts it would ever make it to the air.

"I was like, this is the best thing I have ever read," Paul later recalled. "And also, there's no way that this show will ever see the light of day. It was so intense from the very first stage."

It did, and with his "hey, dude" flair, Paul was cast to play Jesse Pinkman, White's problem-child meth making partner. Gilligan tapped Bryan Cranston to play White. The show first aired in 2008 and concluded with a much anticipated series finale in September 2013.

Originally, Gilligan planned to kill off the Pinkman character before the second season, but after he (and viewers) picked up on how well Paul and Cranston fed off each other, he made the decision to keep him a part of the series.

Paul's work on the show earned him both praise and notoriety. Over the program's five-season run, he picked up five Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series, winning in 2010, 2012 and 2014.

Between shootings for Breaking Bad, Paul took on a few outside projects, including a pair of independent films, Smashed (2010) and Decoding Annie Parker (2013).

'The Path' and Other Recent Projects

After the conclusion of Breaking Bad, Paul appeared in a pair of much anticipated 2014 films. He co-starred in A Long Way Down, with Pierce Brosnan, Toni Collette and Rosamund Pike. In Exodus, a biblical epic, Paul played Joshua, the Hebrew slave who becomes close to Moses, played by Christian Bale. That year he also began voice work for the popular adult cartoon series BoJack Horseman.

Paul remained in demand with roles in a slew of films released in 2016, including the crime drama Triple 9, the military thriller Eye in the Sky and the action comedy Central Intelligence. He also returned to series TV that year in the highly anticipated drama The Path, starring as a follower of a cult leader played by Hugh Dancy

Paul closed out 2017 with an appearance in the Season 4 opener of the Netflix series Black Mirror, a buzz-generating Star Trek parody.

Personal Life

Paul lives in L.A. with his wife, Lauren Parsekian. Married in May 2013, they announced Parsekian was pregnant with their first child in September 2017. 

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