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Aaron Paul is officially an action-movie star now that he’s playing the lead character in “Need for Speed,” which premiered Thursday at TCL Chinese Theatres.

But it did take some convincing for him to look at the script.

“Honestly I wasn’t expecting much,” Aaron Paul said. “I don’t know why, but when I started reading it, I was just so surprised by the human story behind it.”

Paul’s Tobey Marshall is a very different from his Emmy-winning role as “Breaking Bad’s” Jesse Pinkman — something that added to the star’s list of reasons of why he should do the movie. After years on such an emotionally-charged drama, Paul never imagined himself in an action film, nevertheless starring in one.

“‘Breaking Bad’ was incredible, but let’s be honest, it was emotionally exhausting playing Jesse Pinkman, and the idea of doing something a little bit lighter and just fun was exciting to me.”

“Need for Speed,” which follows Paul’s Marshall’s journey as he rights a wrong in the wake of a close friend’s death involves high speed car chases, stunts and races that many of the stars participated in themselves — although, admittedly, some stunt doubles were used for the “really crazy stuff,” according to actor Ramon Rodriguez who played Joe Peck, a member of Marshall’s crew.

Rodriguez, who drove “The Beast” — the monster truck that fueled Paul’s car throughout his journey to California — showed up to the red carpet in the modified Ford truck.

“It was good to see her again and get back in that ride,” Rodriguez said. “[In the movie] I got to drive that beast the entire time. Normally I drive a bicycle.”

Paul’s car didn’t fare as well, as you can see from this video:

Before “Need for Speed” had its cars and cast, Electronic Arts, the company behind the eponymous video game series on which the movie is based, wanted to focus on finding writers who weren’t necessarily passionate about video games, but were engrossed in the world of cars instead.

“We actually had to be really, really patient looking for writers who understood car culture,” said Patrick O’Brien, vice president of Electronic Arts and a producer of the movie. “So in the case of ‘Need for Speed,’ it was less about living and breathing the game and more about living and breathing the world that the game aspired to, which is cars.”

After the screening of the film, the cast and audience immediately took to the buffets and bars at OHM Nightclub in the Hollywood and Highland Center. Paul signed posters for fans and mingled with guests while Scott Mescudi, a.k.a. rapper Kid Cudi, who plays another member of Marshall’s crew in the movie, also talked to fans and attendees.

Other attendees included “Gossip Girl’s” Jessica Szhor and “New Girl’s” Lamorne Morris.