“Breaking Bad” fans, rejoice! Aaron Paul is back, and this time he’s bringing his good looks to the big screen in the new action movie “Need for Speed.” In this adaptation of the popular video game, Paul takes on a much different kind of role than that of everyone’s favorite meth cook, Jesse Pinkman. Here he plays Tobey Marshall, a mechanic/street racer who is hell-bent on revenge after being framed for a deadly crash that killed his best friend. Those revenge plans involve finding his way into the De Leon, a dangerous underground street race.
One of the things that stands out the most about this movie is the fact that it fully embraced practical effects – meaning no green screen or CGI was used at all, something that really attracted Paul to the project.
“Movies like ‘Bullitt,’ ‘Vanishing Point,’ ‘Smokey and the Bandit’—all those movies, they did those stunts for real…You know when you’re being lied to – which is fine, that’s just a part of cinema now, and it’s a lot of fun to watch those sorts of movies – but you also know when things are real and are being captured in camera. And that’s what we did here,“ Paul said.
In fact, Paul did most of his own stunts. He expressed real enthusiasm when recounting getting to drive cars like the classic Gran Torino (his favorite from the movie) -- and not just being able to drive them, but learning how to have complete and utter control over them in order to perform some of the crazy stunts the script called for.
“For me, the first few days was just about learning how to get out of problematic situations -- like if the car starts to slide in one direction and you don’t want it to go that way, [we were taught] how to correct it,” Paul said. “We learned how to drift around corners and in between certain cars. It was so fun. We had to learn how to drive as fast as possible backwards, 180s, 360s. It was ridiculous.”
Sounds like a pretty daunting task. But Paul says fear never really entered the equation.
“There was never a point where I thought it was getting to be too much for me. There’s so much precaution. It wasn’t just like, ‘Here’s the keys, good luck -- hope I see you afterwards!’ laughed Paul. “But there were definitely many times when I was just like, ‘Oh my God, I can’t believe I get to do this!’”
"Need for Speed" is now in theaters. For showtimes in Miami Beach, click here