When Breaking Bad debuted in 2008, although everyone involved in the production knew that what it would show on the screen was good, they did not imagine that with only 62 episodes distributed over five seasons it would be considered one of the programs of its genre that would mark a before and after in the industry. So much so, that after its end in 2013, it spawned a sequel movie titled El Camino and the magnificent spin-off currently streaming, Better Call Saul.
One of the keys to the success of Breaking Bad, in addition to its innovative story and brilliant staging, was the fortune of having Bryan Cranston in his role as the mild-mannered chemistry teacher Walter White, who on screen became one of the best and the drug world’s most ruthless methamphetamine producers; accompanied by impressive performances by Aaron Paul (Jesse Pinkman), Anna Gunn (Skyler White), Dean Norris (Hank Schrader), RJ Mitte (Walt Jr.), Betsy Brandt (Marie Schrader), Giancarlo Esposito (Gus Fring), Jonathan Banks (Mike Ehrmantraut) and Bob Odenkirk (Saul Goodman).
Much has been said that several actors almost played Walter White in Breaking Bad and although the role ended up in the hands of Bryan Cranston, there were other names that could have been destined to appear in the successful series. Although today it would be impossible to imagine the character in the shoes of another artist, the reality is that the production of the AMC series looked for other options despite the fact that Cranston was one of the strongest candidates.
As all fans know, before Cranston took on the role of Walter White in Breaking Bad, he played a leading role in the cast of the famous comedy Malcolm in the Middle as the father of the Wilkerson family, named Hal. The program was on screen for 7 seasons that were broadcast from January 2000 to May 2006, which apparently should not have prevented the artist from bringing Walther to life.
However, Bryan Cranston in an interview revealed that he was about not to play Walter in Breaking Bad, due to his commitment to film a possible eighth season of Malcolm in the Middle, which fortunately did not materialize. The actor confessed to his colleagues in the industry Jason Bateman, Will Arnett and Sean Hayes on his podcast Smartless, that while playing Hal, Malcolm’s father, he was presented with a project called Breaking Bad, which meant a radical change in role.
“I got a call to go see a guy named Vince Gilligan. Do you remember him from The X-Files? He wants to see you about a new project called Breaking Bad,’ they told me. So I read the project and thought, ‘My God, that is incredible'”.
“I met him and he said, ‘I want to turn Mr. Chips into Scarface and I think you’re the perfect person to do it.’ We shot the pilot for Breaking Bad in February and March of 2007. So if we had had this eighth season of Malcolm, I wouldn’t have been available to shoot this pilot and someone else would be talking to you here today instead.”
“It is absolutely my conviction, I believe dogmatically, that a race in our community cannot be fully realized without a healthy dose of luck sprinkled throughout.”
Bryan Cranston starred in Breaking Bad for 5 seasons alongside Aaron Paul who played Walter’s partner in crime named Jesse Pinkman. Both actors, accompanied by a talented cast and a magnificent production team, were deserving of important awards in the entertainment industry such as the Emmys and the Golden Globes, among other awards.