IAF Celebrity: Jesse Pinkman (Breaking Bad)
ictional characters also can have MDNA Profiles. Typically every great character is based upon somebody in real life, except the persona and core traits are amplified. This makes learning the principles of their MDNA Profile much easier and a valuable exercise. Not to mention it can be fun and entertaining.
IAF (Intuitive Alignment & Fulfillment)
Breaking Bad week ends with Jesse Pinkman, who is portrayed by actor Aaron Paul. In the series, Pinkman is the on-again-off-again partner of Walter White in the methamphetamine drug trade. In high school, Jesse was a small-time methamphetamine user, manufacturer, and dealer. He was also an inattentive student in Walter White’s chemistry class. Through a twist of fate, Jesse would become White’s business partner in the meth trade.
Of all the characters in the series, in our opinion, Jesse Pinkman experiences the most dramatic character personality arc. Starting as a laid-back jokester and very much the show’s comic relief, Pinkman, after key events, transforms into a troubled, reckless and sorrowful shadow of his former self. His MDNA Profile provides an insight to this and a learning opportunity for us all.
Jesse Pinkman is an IAF. He is in fact, the most emotionally complex character in the series, which is one of the first recognizable core traits of the IAF profile.
One of the major traps, the IAF can fall into, is settling for mediocrity with a constant desire for overt self-gratification. The IAF is prone to this because they experience everything, especially rejection, so deeply. In the case of Pinkman, his parents are the source of this. Between their former enabling, to outright rejection, favoring his younger overachieving brother, Pinkman’s parents are a constant source of emotional pain. The IAF typically responds to this in a victim mentality (it’s everybody else’s fault), and then settles into mediocrity because taking risks can only lead to more rejection. The IAF then naturally moves to just doing what makes them feel happy.
To the IAF, emotions can become their worst enemy. Because of this emotional complexity, the IAF will go very deep and expend tremendous amounts of emotional energy and get emotionally choked out. The IAF tends to take the bumps of Life pretty hard, tending to go round and round an issue and fall into a quicksand of negative details and feelings. The extreme result of this is complete ineffectiveness.
This is not to say that other profiles cannot fall into such behavior, but it is particularly prevalent in the IAF.
The flipside to this emotional depth is the IAF can be incredibly loyal and have tremendous empathy when others lack compassion. Despite Walter White’s manipulation and authoritarian abuse, Pinkman’s bond to his partner grew stronger the more they experienced together. Also, Pinkman could not bear the thought of causing those he cared for pain. Because his own childhood was maligned, he compensated by showing incredible compassion for children characters on the show. Again however, he would emotionally act irrationally when they were hurt—or unfortunately killed.
Despite his faults, along with a complete lack of self-awareness and discipline, one could argue Jesse was actually the most moral character of the story whose heart was always in the right place. As all IAFs can attest to, he did all the wrong things for the right reasons.
Even though Jesse Pinkman was a fictional character, we encounter young real-world individuals like him constantly. Instead of settling for mediocrity, the IAF needs to learn that their purpose, passions and potential are worthy and possible pursuits—even at the risk of emotional rejection to get there. The IAF, because of their incredible intuitive ability to align reality for the fulfillment of an ultimate vision, should note what the Breaking Bad creator had to say about the Jesse Pinkman character:
“Jesse is a leader who thinks he’s a follower.” – Vince Gilligan