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Tina Fey, Jerry Seinfeld Front Emmy Icons 2013 Portfolio

Page 4

THE YOUNG GUN

Aaron Paul (4 noms, 2 wins)

At 34, Paul is arguably still a kid in the annals of television greats. But even the giants of drama series acting -- think Ed Asner, James Earl Jones, Peter Falk, James Gandolfini -- can't touch the achievement of the Breaking Bad actor, who is the youngest two-time drama actor winner (supporting or lead) in history. It's a mantle that the Emmett, Idaho, native wears with bewildered modesty.

PHOTOS: 'Breaking Bad's' Young Gun: Exclusive Portraits of Aaron Paul

"I'm honestly still on a cloud from being nominated the first year!" says Paul, recalling the 2009 morning he went to co-star Bryan Cranston's house to do publicity calls. "I was a crying mess all day." And then to beat his own favorite contender, co-star Giancarlo Esposito, in 2012 for his second supporting actor win? "It was an out-of-body experience," he says. "An embarrassment of riches."

Paul, who will next be seen in the DreamWorks racing actioner Need for Speed in 2014, is prepping for Bad's bittersweet final episode that airs Sept. 29 and is unabashedly sentimental about saying goodbye to his alter ego, Jesse Pinkman.

"I love the kid! I lived and breathed every moment of his existence," says Paul. "I'll miss everything about him -- even his bedazzled shirts." As for this year's ceremony, where he's a supporting nominee again, Paul has a solitary wish. "I want a drama series win so badly for Vince [Gilligan]," says Paul of his nine-time nominated but never-lauded showrunner. "To see him win would be the highlight of my life."

Photographed by Ramona Rosales on Aug. 14 at The Churchill in West Hollywood

Next … The AMC Power Trio: Matthew Weiner, Charlie Collier and Bryan Cranston