These days, our knowledge of celebrities too often originates with paparazzi images and snarky quotes by anonymous "insiders." After a while, it's easy to forget that stars are real people. That's why HuffPost Celebrity decided to launch its all-new #nofilter quick-fire question-and-answer series. Because how well do you know someone until they've shared their guiltiest pleasures?
As Jesse Pinkman's longtime pal Skinny Pete on "Breaking Bad," Charles Baker has become a fan favorite. Whether he's boasting about "slingin' mad volume and fat stackin' benjis" or participating in a stoned "Star Trek" discussion, Baker's character, along with cohort Badger, has been known to deliver some of the show's funniest lines. You can also catch him on the pilot episode of NBC's "The Blacklist" next month, and in the film "Ain't Them Bodies Saints," which opens today. We caught up with Baker to discuss his TV habits, the series' numerous parodies and why Walter White wannabes shouldn't approach him with meth recipes.
Skinny Pete and Badger have great onscreen chemistry. Are you and Matt Jones friends in real life?
Yeah. I guess it was inevitable, hanging around so much on set and working together as much as we did, but we hit it off pretty well. I’m considerably older than both he and Aaron, so it was kind of a neat dynamic we had.
Of all the "Breaking Bad" parodies and tributes that have surfaced online recently, do you have a favorite?
I am partial to the newest one that Vulture put up, of our "Star Trek" scene. It’s one of the few that I’m a member of, so that was kind of nice. But what really got me was, I got to see myself in a "Star Trek" uniform and that’s kind of one of those dreams I used to have when it was on. The other one I loved was the middle school parody -- the "Breaking Bad" musical. I thought that was just brilliant.
Have you had any crazy encounters with "Breaking Bad" fans?
Oddly enough, I’ve been offered meth a few more times than I’ve really been prepared for. Luckily nobody pulled out a bag and said “Hey, want to share some of this?” But I was in Atlanta, Georgia, shooting a pilot called “187 Detroit” and I had a day off, so I went into a bar to get a slice of pizza and the bartender almost immediately recognized me, which doesn’t happen a lot because I don’t wear a hat. If I’m not wearing that hat, no one seems to know who I am.
And unlike Skinny Pete, you can spell “street.”
Yeah, I do know how to spell "street" and I can speak rather clearly. So, this bartender noticed who I was and he kind of flipped out and got on the phone and called up some friends and told them I was there. Apparently one of his friends was a chemistry major in college and had come up with his own special recipe. I was like, "Hey, I don’t really need to know that." I don't want to have anything to do with anything like that for real. I do that for pretend.
What shows are always on your DVR?
“Game of Thrones” is on there right now. “Sons of Anarchy” is usually on there. Then I’m kind of an animation junkie. I love “Futurama.” “Archer,” that’s one of the best-written shows of that type that I’ve ever seen.
How much time do you spend on Twitter?
It all depends. If I have nothing to do, I spend a lot of time there, trying to keep in contact with friends and fans. I’ve kind of made it my mission to be as open to fans of "Breaking Bad" and myself as I can. When I can, I’m on there daily for hours. You can tell when I'm working, because that’s when I’m not on.
What’s the last song you downloaded?
Starbucks has a free pick of the week that they offer, and one of my favorite things to do every week is download the song and tend not to even look at the name of the song or artist until I’ve listened to the song a few times and decided whether I like it. But I’ve gotten some incredible music -- there was a song by Ben Howard recently. It’s such an eclectic range of music that you can get. A lot of it is a little less than mainstream, but I’m really enjoying going with the flow on that one.
What are the most recent queries in your browser history?
One of them is about gardening. Something wrong’s with my tomato plant and I don’t know what it is, so I looked that up. I recently had to look up the Apple developer. I was looking up information on building apps. My son is a computer programmer. He actually started law school this week, but he also does computer programming and he’s trying to make an iPhone app for me that I came up with the idea for.
What movie could you watch over and over?
I just watched "Moonrise Kingdom" for the first time yesterday afternoon by myself, and then I made my family -- my wife and older son -- watch it with me again just a few hours later because I enjoyed it so much. Probably my all-time favorite is "The Princess Bride."
What's your guiltiest pleasure?
Cotton candy. It’s a weird addiction for me, because I don’t really like a lot of sugar and sweet stuff.
What's the silliest thing you've ever lied about?
Does it count if you didn’t know it was a lie at first? I’ve had a couple parts in movies that when I shot them, I thought they were really big parts and really hefty roles and then when the movie came out, I realized I was barely in them at all and I felt like a liar.
If you were on death row, what would your last meal be?
Steak and lobster, with a side of cotton candy.
How did you get on death row?
I would assume it would be because somebody hurt my family in some way.
Who's your ideal drinking buddy, living or dead?
I bet Winston Churchill would’ve been fun to drink with. He had some pretty good quotes in his day and I can imagine some of them came from when he was inebriated.
What's your biggest pet peeve?
I have a lot of pet peeves. Probably my biggest is people who give in to fear. People who aren’t willing to take risks or try new things. People who say "I can’t" do things that they haven’t even tried to do. “I can’t” is my pet peeve.
If you were interviewing yourself, what’s one question you’d ask?
I would probably ask, what would I like fans of "Breaking Bad" to know about me? The interviews I’ve done so far are about "Breaking Bad," and like I said earlier with people offering me meth, a lot of fans aren’t aware that I’m capable of being something other than a junkie on television. I’d love them to find out more about me as a father and as a teacher and as someone who works well with kids, and is trying to be a role model at least for my own children.
If you could give advice to a younger version of yourself, what would it be?
Don’t wait. Don’t hold back. Don’t let insecurities stop you from going for what you want most in life.
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