Fans of “Breaking Bad” undoubtedly remember the character of Todd Alquist (Jesse Plemons) as a disturbing, deeply unlikable individual, as depicted in Season 5 of the award-winning, character-driven series. Todd evoked strong emotions among the fanbase from the get-go, with his actions often derailing Walt’s meticulously thought-out strategies. He was capable of doing some unforgivable things, such as in “Dead Freight,” Season 5, Episode 5 of “Breaking Bad,” where Todd murders a boy who wandered onto the scene of an otherwise successful train robbery.
Much of what made Todd Alquist such a terrifying yet intriguing character was Plemons’ performance. He portrayed this sociopathic murderer in a scarily believable manner. Fans loved to hate Todd, and the strong emotions he evoked are a strong testament to Plemons’ talent, especially in a series where nearly every major character has questionable morals at best. The actor had a chance to reprise Todd’s role in 2019’s “El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie,” which followed the fate of Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) after escaping from Jack Welker’s (Michael Bowen) gang, while simultaneously shining a light on his time in captivity. In the film, viewers got a chance to see Todd free of his uncle Jack’s supervision, and judging by his reflections on shooting “El Camino,” he had a great time portraying this character in such unusual circumstances.
The plot of “El Camino” can be broken up into two separate storylines: one that follows Jesse Pinkman trying to escape the law in the aftermath of the “Breaking Bad” finale, and another one that takes place during his time as a prisoner of Jack Welker’s gang. In these retrospections, he helps Todd Alquist remove a dead body from his apartment and dispose of it in the desert. In a 2020 interview with The Playlist, Jesse Plemons revealed how it felt to play Todd once again, and how, in his opinion, the movie expanded upon the character.
“I thought I turned every stone that I possibly could and asked every question, but what I loved about the script so much was that it was Todd kind of on his best day,” Plemons said. The actor went on to note that this was Todd’s first on-screen appearance where he is completely in charge and that the film further explored of his relationship with Jesse. “He was king of the castle for that weekend while they were off trying out new jet skis or whatever,” Plemons continued. “And I always loved the scenes with Jesse because it’s such a complicated, creepy relationship. Getting to delve deeper into that was a lot of fun.”
The fact that Plemons enjoyed portraying Todd didn’t escape the attention of his fellow cast members on the set of “El Camino.” In 2019, Aaron Paul heaped praise on his co-star’s performance in a TIME interview. “Jesse Plemons just does a brilliant job at playing all those subtleties (…) I could tell he was having fun with this guy,” he told the outlet.