American drama television series Breaking Bad is one of the greatest TV shows of all time. All of its five seasons have done remarkably well. In fact, Breaking Bad 5 has a 97 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes on the basis of 99 reviews. It was created by Vince Gilligan who had started working on the series with the idea of showing the full-fledged transformation of a character during the run of a show.

Bryan Cranston plays the lead role Walter White throughout the Breaking Bad series. Usually, creators have a couple of actors in their mind for a particular role. That, however, was not the case with Vince Gilligan who believed that no one would be able to play Walter White like Bryan Cranston. Thankfully, he was right, and Cranston was cast.

Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan and Bryan Cranston
Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan and Bryan Cranston

Read More: “That was despicable, an ugly venomous person”: ‘Breaking Bad’ Star Bryan Cranston Reveals How He Created Walter White

Breaking Bad Creator was Sure About Bryan Cranston

It isn’t all that uncommon for actors who are the first choices for certain roles to get the role and prove that they were, in fact, the perfect choice. This is exactly what happened with Bryan Cranston who happened to be Breaking Bad‘s creator Vince Gilligan’s first choice.

Bryan Cranston as Breaking Bad's Walter White
Bryan Cranston as Breaking Bad’s Walter White

In a Television Academy Foundation interview from 2011, Gilligan said that not only Walter’s role was challenging to write but also difficult to cast. About casting Bryan Cranston, he said:

“I wanted him to be an a**hole, to be a creep. He’s racist, anti-Semitic, deeply unpleasant. Yet, I still wanted to feel for him when he dies at the end of the episode.”


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Vince Gilligan had previously worked only once with Cranston in an episode called Drive on the Season 6 of the science fiction television series The X-Files. On that show, Gilligan was a writer. The Asteroid City actor was supposed to be unlikable and yet someone who could be sympathized with.

Read More: “You also don’t want to be a fanboy”: Breaking Bad Actor Bryan Cranston Had a Tough Time Accepting Compliment From Legendary Actor Anthony Hopkins

Bryan Cranston was the Perfect Walter White

Bryan Cranston
Bryan Cranston

Vince Gilligan was initially quite nervous about the fact that they wouldn’t be able to find the right actor to play Walter White. AMC officials had approached John Cusack and Matthew Broderick for the role because they were wary about Cranston who had only been on the comedy series Malcolm in the Middle by that time.

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However, Cranston’s performance in the audition impressed Gilligan as he captured the concept of the role really well. While talking to Alan Sepinwall on Sepinwall on TV, Gilligan said,

“Bryan alone was the only actor who could do that, who could pull off that trick. And it is a trick. I have no idea how he does it.”

Both of the other actors eventually declined, and the producers were persuaded to cast Bryan Cranston in the role of Walter White after watching the episode of The X-Files. 

Source: Television Academy Foundation, Sepinwall on TV,

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