"It was sitting in my place for probably three or four days," he said Wednesday during a live Web chat with The Times. "I just kept staring at it because, you know, once you read it, that's it. There's no more to read."
Paul, who stars in AMC's hit dark drama as Jesse Pinkman, the punk drug dealer with a conscience, knew turning the pages was an inevitable task. And it was one he took on with his partner-in-crime,
The two read the final script at Cranston's home, which was filmed for a documentary that will be included when the box set of the series is released.
"I don't want to give anything away," Paul said. "We read it out loud ... we read the teaser to ourselves. The plan was 'start now and then after we read the teaser we'll talk about it.' "
After they read the teasers to themselves, Paul recalled looking straight at Cranston.
"It's just so crazy what happens," he said. "We start talking about it. We read the whole thing playing different characters." (He didn't want to divulge whose parts he read so as not to give away who has survived -- even cautioning, "Who's to say even Jesse is still around?")
And then, the end.
"At the end, Bryan read the line: 'end of series.' We just looked at each other for, no joke, probably 10 or 15 seconds with tears in our eyes, not wanting to believe it's done."
The chat wasn't a total sob fest -- how could it be with the "yo, yo, yo" master? Click on the video above to hear what Paul had to say about ending the series; which episode is his favorite; who's a better director Luke Perry ("Beverly Hills, 90210") or Cranston; and hear what he thinks Jesse Pinkman's voicemail might sound like now -- but that gets back to the depressing.