"It was between me and Aaron Paul. We tested. And actually that was the best television script I’d read, at that point," said the 36-year-old star in a conversation with Buzzfeed
Last Updated: 07.22 AM, Feb 19, 2023
Every actor worth his/her salt has that one role that got away from their clutches. And to make things only more interesting, or worse, the same role would often go on to achieve a cult status of some kind, leaving them perplexed and also in a state of despair.
For 'YOU' star Penn Badgley, that 'one role' happens to be that of Jesse Pinkman in the blockbuster series Breaking Bad. And needless to say, both the character and its portrayer Aaron Paul found themselves perched permanently on the nose of television history. "That was the one that got away," Badgley in his recent conversation with Buzzfeed, reflecting on that one grand missed opportunity. While he did find his defining role sooner than later as Joe Goldberg in the hit psychological thriller series You, one might still reckon or wonder how the Breaking Bad prospects would have fared in his career.
"One I got so close on was ‘Breaking Bad.’ It was between me and Aaron Paul. We tested. And actually that was the best television script I’d read, at that point. That was the one that got away," said Penn Badgley in his conversation with Buzzfeed.
Badgley had shot to prominence as Dan Humphrey in the hit rom-com series Gossip Girl only a few months prior to the debut of Breaking Bad in 2008. His screen-test for the Jesse Pinkman role would almost yield him a great result until Aaron Paul edged him out but it is fascinating, nevertheless, to know that he was up for both parts at one point. And to make things all the more interesting, even Paul opined in a previous interview that he was convinced, at first glance, that Penn Badgley look perfect for the role of Pinkman.
For Aaron Paul, on the other hand, the long Breaking Bad stint would catapult him into international fame and recognition. Having first found popularity for his role as Scott Quittman in the HBO series Big Love, Paul's portrayal as the hot-headed, foul-mouthed drug addict Jesse Pinkman would invigorate his acting career to extremely positive results. In fact, reports reveal that his character was meant to die in the first season of Breaking Bad but the writers, having witnessed the amazing chemistry between his and Bryan Cranston's characters, decided on extending its arc further.