Written and directed by Riley Stearns, science fiction film Double Releases in theaters April 15, 2022. The film stars Karen Gillan, Aaron Paul and Beulah Koale.
«Having received an incurable diagnosis, Sarah opts for the cloning procedure to ease the loss for her friends and family,» the synopsis reads. “When she suddenly and miraculously recovers, her attempts to incapacitate her clone fail and result in a court-ordered duel to the death. She now has a year to prepare her body and mind to fight for her life.»
ComingSoon Editor-in-Chief Tyler Treese spoke to Double star Aaron Paul on dark comedy, the opportunity to showcase his dancing skills and diverse acting history.
Tyler Treese: I thought Double was a really funny movie, and what really impressed me was the dark sense of humor in it all. What was special about the script that caught your attention?
Aaron PaulA: I’m a big fan of Riley. I love his work. He’s been my friend for many years. So, with this script on my desk, I was itching to dive into it and see what story it would tell next. I just like its dryness, like prosaicness. That’s pretty much how he is as a person. I mean, not necessarily, like, dry, but it’s just very matter-of-fact. I just love it to pieces. So I just love this story he’s telling. And so for me it was just a no-brainer. I’ve always wanted to work with him and I just love Trent. He may not be the best coach, but he definitely believes in his job.
Your character in the movie is an expert in weapons and combat. I know you attended UFC 229, but what is the extent of your real interest in martial arts and weapons?
It doesn’t interest me much, to be honest. Never have. But Riley is really into martial arts and he asked me to get on the mat with him and I’d like to dip into it a bit and see if that intrigues me, but I’ve never been interested in that. in athletics. I just like to relax, you know what I mean?
In the movie, you do those slow-motion action scenes that are simulated. It somehow reminded me of live role-playing fights. How fun was it to shoot them?
That scene, I think, was one of the best moments I’ve ever seen on set. I mean, Karen and I came in and thought, «Okay, how are we going to do this?» We spent almost the whole day on this stage. After every take, when they yelled “Cut”, we just… everyone laughed. Not only Karen and I, but the whole team was just ridiculous in what we did. But it was great.
There’s another scene that really stood out between the two of you when you told Sarah that if she doesn’t have money, you can pay in a mutually beneficial way. So, it’s like, «Oh, this guy is just a daredevil,» but all you wanted to do was learn how to dance hip-hop. What was it like filming that scene and showing off your dancing skills?
Terrifying. I’m not a dancer, which is great for the character because he’s not a dancer either, but he always had a dream of learning. It’s so funny, like when Karen and I practiced with our dance instructors, she just laughed at us. Literally pointing and laughing and I say, «You’re laughing at us.» and she’s like, «Yeah, that’s funny because you’re actually trying,» and I’m like, «Well, we’re trying» [laughs]. She was an amazing dancer and danced all her life as an instructor. So yes, we try to take it seriously, but my character wasn’t good at it, he shouldn’t be good. So leading up to that, I saw Karen really practice the moves on set like in another room, and I sometimes joined her, but I didn’t have to be super pro. So I didn’t even want to… I mean, let’s be honest, even if I trained anywhere, I still wouldn’t be good, but yeah, it was fun.
Karen was great in the movie and your interactions make up a big part of the second act. Can you talk to her just by working on her?
She is great. I am her fan and I have never met her before. So, she’s so light on set, she really is. And I understand why she has just a monstrous career, you just want to be around her, and I adore her. So yes, to be able to play opposite her in this film and in such a unique, dry way to tell one of Riley Stearns’ stories is a dream come true. I hope to do it again soon, but be sure.
Back in 2010, you made this wonderful short with Funny or Die Strange: The Al Yankovic Story, and now it’s actually filming with Daniel Radcliffe. How crazy to see how this joke you played ten years ago turned into a full-fledged thing?
Oh, it’s amazing. I had the best time. When I spoke to Funny or Die a few years ago, they asked me what I wanted to do with them, and I just loved their parody movie trailers. I say, «Look, if you can come up with a great parody or movie trailer, I’d love to do it.» God, I’m such a fan of Al, how not to be, you know? And so I was very excited to jump on board. I met Al and just fell in love with this man and got to know him through the years.
They actually sent me the script. Eric Appel also wrote the script, the guy who did the short and it was years ago and I read it and I’m not a funny guy, you know? I’m really not like that. And so I’m like, «This is too much for me to try and take on.» And that was, again, many years ago, and that was at the very beginning of the idea of becoming a feature. So I’m so happy to see that everything finally came together. And Daniel, I’m such a big fan and he’s so perfect. Actually I was going to make a cameo and met Daniel in the parking lot. He was heading to the set in a full Hawaiian shirt, with big curly black hair, wearing a wig. I was going to make a cameo and did a COVID test and I had COVID. Of course, I did not even know that I had COVID, and therefore could not play my episodic role. Then I was gone for 10 days. Never felt more sick in my life. But it’s so sad that I couldn’t play with them on set.
You also starred in the animated movie Final Fantasy a few years ago and you openly say that you haven’t played any of those games. Meanwhile, did you have a chance to test one?
They sent me when I was doing it, they sent me because it’s an Xbox, right? I’m not a big player. I’m trying to play it and I just… can tell it’s really time consuming. I mean, I’m having fun, but yes, I’m not a big player. I used to be, but now I have kids. I mean, I have friends who have kids who still play games, but instead I just enjoy running and scratching my knees with my kids.
Yes, definitely the best use of your time.
One of your first movie roles was Van Wilder and you play this drunk college student.
You call Ryan Reynolds «the most fucking badass dude alive.» When you play a small role at a party, tell me about it. Are you pretending to be drunk? Are you a method actor? Are you throwing back a few? How are you?
I was wasted. No, I’m kidding. Honestly, Ryan Reynolds is one hell of a cool dude alive today. I had such a small role in this film and I’m very happy to play it, you know? But I remember at the premiere I just put my head down, walked past the carpet as fast as I could, and Ryan was in the middle of the interview and he grabbed me, he was like, «You should talk to this.» boy, this guy is the real star of the movie.» I was just blown away by it and it’s something I will always remember. I can see he’s just such a kind hearted man and always has been. I’m just so happy for his success, yes, but yes, it was a great experience on and off screen.
You have to reprise Jesse Pinkman in El Camino, and now, obviously, you’ll be in the final season of Better Call Saul. What is it like to enter the role of this character years later?
This is great. He’s such a part of me, you know? I mean, I lived and breathed every moment of his on-screen life and then some of the others, so it was very easy to zip up that skin again.