Have you seen Don McKellar?

Aaron Paul at the Toronto screening of Need For Speed


Last night a very lucky Toronto audience was treated to a special advance screening of the upcoming film Need for Speed, followed by an informative Q&A period with its director Scott Waugh and leading man Aaron Paul. Introduced by George Stroumboulopoulos, Waugh and appropriate moto leather jacket adorned Paul greeted the adoring, sold-out crowd prior to the film as well, even taking the time to warmly sign autographs inside and outside the theatre. During the Q&A immediately following the very well received film, sophomore director Waugh and former Breaking Bad star Paul shared the following juicy tidbits.

• Aaron Paul was originally eyed to play Dominic Cooper’s villainous Dino role (a fact he only recently learned on the Need for Speed press tour)

• Aaron Paul was suggested for the part of chivalrous lead Tobey Marshall by Dreamworks’ Steven Spielberg, who thought he could be the next Steve McQueen

• During the Q&A Stroumboulopoulos tested the audience to see if they could point out all references in the film to racing classic Bullitt, as well as other key film influences such as Smokey and the Bandit, American Graffiti, and Vanishing Point.

• The first question from the audience was to ask Aaron Paul to say his Breaking Bad trademark “yo bitch”, and it was met with rapturous applause.

• Due to the taping of the Breaking Bad final episode going longer than anticipated, Aaron Paul had to start shooting Need for Speed literally the next morning after Breaking Bad had wrapped.

• Act of Valor, Scott Waugh’s directorial debut, can be seen on a DVD stand in a convenience store set chase scene. Due to rights issues Disney only wanted to place their own titles on the stand, but Waugh rebelliously moved the Act of Valor case to a prominent place instead.

• Ferrari was the only brand that turned the filmmakers down because they objected to it being the car that the antagonist would drive in the film.

• When asked if he would ever reprise his beloved Jesse Pinkman character, Aaron Paul excited the crowd by saying “It could happen”, thus eliciting rumours of an appearance on the upcoming Breaking Bad spinoff series ‘Better Call Saul’.

Need for Speed opens in Toronto on March 14, 2014.

Photography Credit: Marc Levy

Leora Heilbronn

Leora Heilbronn is a Toronto based film aficionado who has a weakness for musicals and violent action flicks. She can often be spotted reading a wide range of literature or listening to show tunes.