Report: Cranston Was Third Choice for 'Breaking Bad'
You'd be surprised at which two actors were asked first
Bryan Cranston wasn't the first actor asked to play teacher-turned-meth dealer Walter White on "Breaking Bad." According to the Hollywood Reporter. John Cusack and Matthew Broderick were each approached first and passed.
Series creator Vince Gilligan claims he was set on Cranston since a 1998 turn on "The X-Files" in which he played a man suffering from radiation exposure. (Gilligan was a writer on that series.) However both the production company and AMC wanted a big name to play White, as well as an actor who was approximately 40 years old.
"We all still had the image of Bryan shaving his body in 'Malcolm in the Middle,'" an anonymous former AMC executive told the trade magazine. "We were like, 'Really? Isn't there anybody else?' "
After Gilligan showed the naysayers Cranston's "X-Files" episode, the warming process began.
It's hard to imagine how hard Cusack and Broderick are kicking themselves for rejecting a role that has so far netted Cranston three best actor Emmys. (Cusack's last movie, "The Raven," was a flop and Broderick's most memorable recent starring role was in a Honda commercial.)
Perhaps Cusack was identifying with the character from his 1989 movie, "Say Anything," who uttered the following oft-quoted line: "I don’t want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career."
"Breaking Bad" airs Sundays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on AMC.
I can't even picture either one of those men as Walter White--he really reminds me of every chemistry teacher I have ever had. The other two remind me of an English teacher---maybe a drama coach, but they just don't have the manly straitforwardness that Cranston does. Kudos to him for making the part so crazily believable.