Jesse Pinkman Almost Had A Different Face In Breaking Bad

Penn Badgley almost starred as Jesse Pinkman in Breaking Bad.

By Douglas Helm | Updated

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Breaking Bad is one of those shows that is so perfectly cast that you couldn’t imagine anyone else playing the lead roles. Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston as Jesse Pinkman and Walter White particularly fit this bill, which is why it’s surprising that the final casting for Pinkman was so down to the wire. MovieWeb recently reported on an interview Penn Badgley did with Buzzfeed where he revealed he almost landed the role over Paul.

When asked which roles he auditioned for that he missed out on, Penn Badgley said “One I got so close on was Breaking Bad,” adding “It was between me and Aaron Paul.” We all know how that final decision went, as Paul became a household name after his breakout role as Jesse Pinkman. Since then, Paul has won numerous awards for his performance, starred in a spin-off movie about Pinkman, cameoed in the prequel series Better Call Saul, and recently appeared in a Super Bowl snack commercial as the character.

While Penn Badgley is a great actor and would have surely done justice to the role of Jesse Pinkman, it’s really hard to imagine Pinkman as anyone else but Aaron Paul. This seems like one of those situations where the casting directors definitely made the right choice. Plus, it’s not like Hollywood left Badgley in the dust – he was already starring in his hit role as Dan Humphery in Gossip Girl at that point, helping him to become a household name as well.

Now Penn Badgley is busy with another massively successful show, as the obsessive Joe Goldberg in the Netflix series You. The show just aired the first half of its fourth season, which is now available to stream. The second half of the season will be hitting Netflix in March.

penn badgley you

You stars Penn Badgley as Joe Goldberg, a man who becomes dangerously obsessed with his romantic prospects. After the events of Season 3, Joe has now moved to London and goes by the alias of Professor Jonathan Moore. Season 4 sees Joe looking to leave his past behind, but things likely aren’t going to be that easy.

The fourth season of You brings back both Penn Badgley and Tati Gabrielle as Marienne Bellamy. New members of the cast include Amy-Leigh Hickman, Charlotte Ritchie, Ed Speleers, Tilly Keeper, Niccy Lin, Aidan Cheng, Eve Austin, Ozioma Whenu, and Dario Coates. Many are wondering if Season 4 will be the final season of You, but Netflix has made no official announcements about a potential fifth season yet.

Unsurprisingly, the hit series has already climbed up Netflix’s rankings and is currently sitting at #1 on Netflix’s Top Ten at the time of this article’s writing. The first half of the first season came out just a week again, so it’s to be expected the Penn Badgley-starring thriller is sitting at the top. Netflix does like to keep shows around that bring in tons of viewers, so maybe there will be more seasons of the show after all.

You can stream the first three seasons of You on Netflix now. The first part of the fourth season is also available to stream with the other half coming in March. Stay tuned for more news about Penn Badgley and You.