Sean T. Collins:
There's been a backlash against Skyler, something she has in common with women characters on a variety of big dramas about men who tend behave much worse than they do. Do you have a sense of why this happens? Does it faze you at all?
Some of it is still the double standard in our society – that it’s more acceptable for a man to be this antihero badass doing all these things that break the law or are really awful. People watching want to be Walt, or they identify with him. He doesn’t have to answer to anybody. He does what he wants. There’s a fantasy element to that, I think. I also think that in some ways, there’s kind of a sexism to it, honestly. Sometimes . . . [pauses] I’ve been told particularly, how do you say . . . non-flattering or just really vicious – you could use the word vitriolic – angry stuff about Skyler, or about other female characters on other shows. The hatred and the vitriol and the venom and the nastiness and the attacks are so personal sometimes that it feels like, "Oh gosh, OK, I get that you don’t like Skyler, you like Walt, you’re on his side, but it just feels different." I don’t feel like that stuff would be written about a male character. Honestly, Skyler is sometimes the biggest impediment to Walt doing whatever he wants. For the people who love Heisenberg, who love the badass Walt, when Skyler says, "No, you shouldn’t do that," they’re like, "What is her deal!? What’s wrong with her?" [Laughs] I can understand that. I can. But having looked at articles that cite other female characters being attacked like this, I find it disturbing just in terms of a cultural phenomenon. I'm not saying everyone who's into the show and has an opinion is like that, but I feel there's an element of that in there, and it's an interesting gender issue. I'm glad that people are talking about it.
“Bryan would come up to me like in the middle of the second season, he came up to me and he gives me this long, long passionate hug and I go ‘Hey, how’re you doing?’ and he’s like ‘It’s been such a pleasure, really, it’s been so nice working with you’ and I’m like ‘What are you talking about?’ and then he looks at me so frightened and he’s like ‘Did you not read the new script?’ and I go ‘No…’ and he’s like ‘Oh my god, I’m so sorry, just you’ll- I don’t wanna ruin it but you’ll see.’ Yeah, it was horrible, and he is such a good actor. He really, really sold it. And then he just walked off…”
“Bryan would come up and give me a hug and say, ‘I’m not going to say anything, but it was such a pleasure working with you. It’s been an amazing past year-and-a-half, and you have a huge career ahead of you,’ ” he says. “They would always joke around about it. They’ve kind of slowed down about it, but who knows — this kid could die at any second.”
“The new season of “Breaking Bad” debuts Sunday night at 10 on AMC, and it’s terrific. I’m going to publish my review tomorrow, but I wanted to kick off four days of “Breaking Bad”-related coverage with the first of the three video interviews I conducted when I was in Albuquerque a few months back, this one with one of the show’s two reigning Emmy winners: Aaron Paul.
Aaron and I spoke about how the show’s third season was full of big speeches for Jesse Pinkman, the Emmy experience, what was going through his mind as he shot the dramatic final scene of that season, and more. I hope you enjoy it, and I apologize in advance for my shoddy FlipCam cinematography. A show as gorgeous as “Breaking Bad” deserves better camerawork than I was able to provide, but hopefully the conversation’s entertaining in spite of that. (Worse comes to worst, just listen while looking at pictures of lolcats.)”