Generally, nobody can tell when a universe-altering event is going to happen, but apparently Aaron Paul caused one at some point between 2006 and 2008 when he tried to do a magic trick for Tom Cruise. Paul told the story on Variety and PBS’ Actors On Actors series, and it goes back to when he had a small role in J.J. Abrams’ Mission: Impossible III. Following the advice of a friend, Paul shared his interest in magic tricks with Abrams, who apparently is also a big nerd who likes magic. Naturally, Abrams then asked Paul to do a card trick in front of the entire cast, including Tom Cruise, and Paul had to give it a couple of tries before he could do it right. Cruise was impressed anyway, and the whole thing made enough of an impression on Abrams that he remembered it later when Paul auditioned for Cloverfield (which Abrams produced).
Paul says he was really excited about the Cloverfield role and had a whole three-page monologue memorized, but as soon as he entered the room, Abrams brought up the magic trick story and completely derailed him, causing him to forget the entire thing. Paul didn’t get cast in Cloverfield, but Breaking Bad started shortly after that and things worked out for him anyway.
Of course, J.J. Abrams probably thinks he’s awful and didn’t put him in The Force Awakens, but the Cloverfield guys didn’t get to be in Star Wars either, so it’s not like he totally missed out. Plus, if he had been in Cloverfield, maybe he wouldn’t have been able to do Breaking Bad for some reason, and then Michael Stahl-David would’ve played Jesse Pinkman and gotten the chance to talk to Tom Hiddleston for a Variety/PBS video. Either way, Breaking Bad, Cloverfield, and everything that has happened to Tom Cruise in the last decade can be traced back to Aaron Paul’s stupid card trick on the set of Mission: Impossible III. Science!
You can see the video of Paul telling his story below: