If AMC had followed their initial idea and cast a different actor to play Walter White, Breaking Bad would have had a different outcome. When Vince Gilligan was still working on the pilot for the series, the network execs had other actors in mind for the part of Walter White. It’s incredibly difficult to picture anyone else playing Walt but Bryan Cranston.
The Actors Who Almost Played Walter White in Breaking Bad
Before “Breaking Bad” premiered in 2008, AMC had specific actors in mind for the lead role of Walter White. According to the network and show creators Vince Gilligan, Matthew Broderick, and John Cusack were approached for the role. But, both had primarily worked in film and had limited experience in TV. Both actors reportedly turned down the role. However, Cusack later denied turning down the role. These failed casting attempts ultimately led to Bryan Cranston being cast as Walter White.
The reason why Bryan Cranston got the part
Vince Gilligan, the creator of Breaking Bad, had Bryan Cranston in mind for the lead role after working with him on an episode of The X-Files. Cranston’s portrayal of a man with a terminal illness impressed Gilligan, and he believed Cranston would be perfect for the role of Walter White. AMC executives initially disagreed, but after viewing the episode of The X-Files, they changed their minds and supported Cranston’s casting. Cranston went on to win many awards for his portrayal of the tragic character Walter White.