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[Warning: Spoilers ahead for the Sept. 22 episode of Breaking Bad, “Granite State”].
Andrea (Emily Rios) and her son Brock (Ian Posada) provided Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) with his last connection to humanity, which is why her death in Breaking Bad‘s penultimate episode was so painful.
In an emotional scene from “Granite State,” Andrea is murdered by Todd (Jesse Plemons) to teach Jesse a lesson after he escapes the Aryan gang. Rios credits Paul and his explosive reaction to the murder with making the scene work so well.
“Aaron is so freaking amazing at what he does, and his reaction killed me,” Rios tells The Hollywood Reporter. She also reveals the actor who played her onscreen son was allowed to watch the scene — and it brought him to tears.
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“His mother texted me right after the episode,” Rios says. “He was crying because they’d killed off my character. I felt so bad, but I let him know ‘Hey, I’m OK.’ He’s such a sweetheart.”
Find THR’s full conversation with Rios below, where she talks about how Paul charmed her onscreen son, how she was kept in the dark about why Walt (Bryan Cranston) showed up to Andrea’s house looking for Jesse this season, and her most difficult Bad scene.
What was last night’s charity screening like?
It was beyond what I ever would have imagined, to watch it with all of those people. You could literally hear a pin drop. The fans go crazy for Aaron and Bryan, and being able to be there with the cast was the best.
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Your character didn’t quite make it to the finale, and her death in “Granite State” was among the saddest of the season. What was shooting it like?
Aaron is so freaking amazing at what he does, and his reaction killed me. He’s so phenomenal. The fact that I go out was one thing, but I think people just felt for Jesse because they are so wrapped up in this character. Everybody’s heart dropped and felt for him. To be a part of that and his storyline and how that comes into full swing, that’s incredible — and I know how lucky I am to do that.
It’s also really sad because of the relationship you created with your son on the show. What was the secret to making you and Ian Posada, who plays Brock, actually seem like a mother and child?
They cast a great little actor, who was just so easy to fall in love with. How could you not? That face is to die for. I love children, but the person who broke the ice was Aaron Paul. Jesse is so good with kids, and that really is how Aaron is. He put on his Aaron charm and started telling him jokes and asking him questions and getting him excited. Ian’s mother was always there, along with his sister, who was translating because his mother didn’t speak a lot of English.
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That’s kind of how I got in with Ian as well. I would talk to his family and to him. By the end of the shoot, he taught me to play dominoes. We just got along very, very well. There was no special secret. It was just Ian’s charm and Aaron breaking the ice.
Do you know if Ian knows your character died?
His mother texted me right after the episode they killed me off, “Granite State,” because she let him watch, and he was crying because they’d killed off my character. I felt so bad, but I let him know “Hey, I’m OK.” He’s such a sweetheart.
What was the most difficult Breaking Bad scene for you?
It was the hospital scene where Jesse comes in and tells Andrea to go and check with the doctors in case Brock was poisoned with ricin. For any mother, that would be the worst thing to ever hear, and to know this person that you’re involved with could be the reason why your son is sick, that would just be the worst thing in the world.
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What was your favorite scene to shoot?
This last one, with Walter White, when he comes in and asks for me to call Jesse. Only because I’d never worked with him one-on-one before. As a fan, they blacked out my pages, so I had no idea why he was at my house. [Director] Michelle McLaren did a really great job of letting me know how I should be reacting.
So you didn’t find out why Walt was there until you saw the episode?
Exactly. And I didn’t really want to know, to be honest. I wanted to be able to watch along with everyone else.
What has it been like working on FX’s The Bridge after Breaking Bad?
I’m really spoiled because I’m coming off of Breaking Bad. But the character I play on The Bridge is not a stereotypical Latina girl in your films and TV shows nowadays, which is the ultimate blessing. This girl is educated and she wants to do more with her life and better her life, and be serious about what she does — and she doesn’t hide her sexuality, which is incredible in a Mexican-American background.
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