Penn Badgley, star of Netflix’s hit series, You, has revealed that he lost out on a role that could have changed his career, a part in Breaking Bad.
In an interview with Buzzfeed, wherein Badgley was asked questions while he played with puppies, he discussed the “the one that got away.” He explained that he auditioned for one of the show’s leading roles, crystal meth cook and dealer Jesse Pinkman.
“One I got close on was Breaking Bad. It was between me and Aaron Paul, we tested.” Ultimately, the role went to Aaron Paul, who portrayed the character for five seasons, beginning in 2008 before the show ended in 2013. Badgley shared, “Actually, that was the best television script I’d read at that point.”
Breaking Bad is one of the most critically acclaimed shows of all time, and by the time its finale aired, it was among one of the most-watched cable shows on American television. Mixing intensely thrilling drama with comedy and emotion, Breaking Bad has continued to build a cult following since it stopped airing a decade ago.
Paul’s chemistry with Bryan Cranston’s Walter White was so strong that the show’s creator, Vince Gilligan, ditched his plans to kill Jesse in the first series, rewriting him as a main character. Subsequently, Paul has enjoyed a successful career, landing roles in more successful shows such as BoJack Horseman and Westworld.
Instead, Badgley secured a leading role in CW’s teen drama Gossip Girl in 2007, playing Dan Humphrey. He played the character for five years before the show came to an end in 2012. The actor has recently portrayed obsessive serial killer and stalker Joe Goldberg in the popular show You, which began airing in 2018. The show has run for four seasons so far, with the second instalment of the fourth season set to arrive on Netflix on March 9th.