Matthew Broderick Almost Landed Bryan Cranston's 'Breaking Bad' Role

Cranston Unveils Surprising "Breaking Bad" Casting Secrets.

by Nouman Rasool
Matthew Broderick Almost Landed Bryan Cranston's 'Breaking Bad' Role
© Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

In a revealing interview on James Corden's SiriusXM show "This Life Of Mine," the actor many believe to be of iconic class opened up about a surprising twist behind the casting process for the now legendary role of Walter White in the AMC series "Breaking Bad." He was the second choice for the role because the first choice, Matthew Broderick, noticed his work in "Ferris Bueller's Day Off." Cranston told how he did the pilot for "Breaking Bad" in early 2007, just as the writing was on the wall that his previous series, "Malcolm in the Middle," was ending.

Had "Malcolm" been renewed for an eighth season, it crossed his mind that the whole course of "Breaking Bad" might have been utterly different. "Had' Malcolm In The Middle' gone an eighth season, we wouldn't be sitting here.

Or you'd be sitting here, but you'd be talking to Matthew Broderick or someone else who played Walter White instead of me," said Cranston. The turning point came when Vince Gilligan, the creator and showrunner of Breaking Bad, decisively backed Cranston for the role.

"Broderick was being considered, but it came to me because Vince Gilligan said, 'No, he's the guy.' I needed a champion in my corner," Cranston detailed, expressing gratitude for Gilligan's unwavering support.

Walter White Reflections

But it was more than just the near-miss casting tale that Cranston fessed up; there was also his profound identification with the character of Walter White.

And here, despite that character's continued acclaim, in 2018, he told Fox News Digital that he doesn't miss playing the role. "It was a complete experience for me—rich, rewarding, clear beginning, middle, and end. We concluded, laughed, cried, and then went our separate ways," he said, emphasizing his preference to leave the character in the past, cherished but not revisited.

Looking ahead, Cranston revealed in a 2023 interview with British GQ that he plans to retire from Hollywood in 2026. This decision includes winding down his production company, selling his stake in the mezcal company Dos Hombres, and relocating abroad with his wife, Robin Dearden.

Reflecting on their shared future, Cranston wanted to balance their relationship dynamics, acknowledging the adjustments his wife had to make throughout his career. "For the last 24 years, Robin has led her life holding onto my tail.

She's been the plus one, the wife of a celebrity. Now, it's time to level that out. She deserves it," he shared. As Cranston prepares for this significant life shift, his story serves as a compelling reminder of the unpredictable paths careers in Hollywood can take and the personal evolutions that often accompany them.