The star of Breaking Bad and Paul Thomas Anderson’s Scientology movie, The Master, isn't afraid to offend Hollywood’s power religion.
This "My Complex" feature appears in Complex's October/November 2012 issue.
I haven’t been directly confronted with Scientology in any way. The script and the people involved in The Master outweighed any fear I might have had that doing a movie about Scientology could offend people in Hollywood. I was just thrilled to be a part of such an amazing project… But after I came down from being so excited, it occurred to me that offending people would be a factor. I’m open to all religions. Respecting Scientology is just like respecting any other religious view.
Down the road, I may have to decide if I’m a character actor or a lead actor… But right now I can’t look at it like that. My focus is to grow, have fun, and work with people who inspire me, like Philip Seymour Hoffman. It would drive me crazy if I picked roles with the goal of being a leading man. You never know what you’re getting into when you sign onto a project and, more times than not, the characters that are close to the leading man are more interesting and more fun to play.
Breaking Bad is great at blurring the line between good and evil. It makes you feel compassion for Walter White so you’re with him throughout this descent into the darker parts of his psyche. The bad that we’re capable of is all circumstantial. When Landry killed the rapist in season two of Friday Night Lights a lot of people asked me if I was capable of killing someone. I have given that a lot of thought… But I don’t see myself as murderous. Discovering I am would be surprising.
At auditions, casting directors have said I’m not nerdy looking enough or I’m not handsome enough. And on IMDb, it’s crazy! People have made comments about me that are really, really rude. It was difficult to shrug it off… But now I realize that people find flaws even in the most gorgeous people—and no one should ever read comments about themselves on IMDb. I try not to think about my “look,” because unless I want to spend a lot of money and get plastic surgery I’m stuck with it
As told to Justin Monroe (@40yardsplash)