John Cusack has finally addressed the longstanding rumors that he was one of the original choices to play Walter White in the hit AMC series Breaking Bad. Airing on AMC between 2008 and 2013, Breaking Bad famously starred Bryan Cranston as a high school chemistry teacher who turns to cooking meth with a former student to pay for his chemotherapy treatments. It’s a role that earned Cranston great acclaim, which even includes four Best Actor Emmy awards, and it seems impossible at this point to think about any other actor in the part.
For years, rumors have persisted that AMC execs were not immediately sold on casting Cranston in the lead role. It has been claimed that the part of Walter White was first turned down by John Cusack and Matthew Broderick before the network ultimately acquiesced. While it’s possible that one or both of these actors were in consideration at the network, Cusack is now refuting that he was ever actually offered the role. Here’s what he had to say about it in a new interview with Variety when asked if he was ever approached for Breaking Bad.
“No, I never was, and it was one of those things where I heard it so many times I started to think maybe it was true. And I ran into the creator of Breaking Bad [Vince Gilligan], and I said, ‘Am I crazy or did you offer me Walter White? He’s like, ‘No.'”
Cusack then goes on to explain that he refuses to even imagine himself in the role, agreeing with most everyone else that there’s no need for it as the right man definitely got the job.
“I don’t even want to think that because the absolute perfect actor got it. It was the perfect actor for the piece, so like why would you want to take away Bryan Cranston’s performance in that? That would be bad karma.”
Breaking Bad also famously starred Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman, a former student of Mr. White. Six years after the conclusion of Breaking Bad, Paul reprised the role to give Jesse’s story a proper conclusion, starring in the Netflix film El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie. Cranston also made a special appearance as Walter White in the movie. As of now, neither actor has appeared on the prequel spinoff series Better Call Saul, but it’s expected that they’ll be showing up in one way or another in the show’s upcoming sixth and final season.
Cranston will also soon be taking on his next lead role for a TV drama series. The Emmy-winning actor will be leading the Showtime miniseries Your Honor, starring Cranston as a judge whose son accidentally kills the son of a murderous mob boss. Hunter Doohan, Michael Stuhlbarg, Sofia Black-D’Elia, Carmen Ejogo, Hope Davis, and Isiah Whitlock Jr. also star. Showtime will be releasing the series on the network this December, and a teaser trailer for Your Honor has also been released online. This news comes to us from Variety.