It's hard to imagine anyone embodying the role of Walter White on "Breaking Bad" as well as Bryan Cranston, but the executives working on the show weren't convinced he was the right man for the job.

"We all still had the image of Bryan shaving his body in 'Malcolm in the Middle,'" a former AMC executive told The Hollywood Reporter. "We were like, 'Really? Isn't there anybody else?'"

After offering the role to John Cusack and Matthew Broderick -- both of whom turned it down -- the executives changed their minds after seeing Cranston in an episode of "The X-Files."

"That was a tricky part to cast on 'X-Files,'" "Breaking Bad" creator Vince Gilligan said. "We needed somebody who could be dramatic and scary yet have an underlying humanity so when he dies, you felt sorry for him. Bryan nailed it."

Five seasons later, Cranston is synonymous with Walter White and physically transforming into the character is the least of it. In fact, getting into Walt's mind takes some work.

"If I need to stay in [a dark place] for the episode or for any given shot, I will sequester myself so that I am not around a lot of chatter, and that sort of thing, so I can come in and just focus," Cranston told HuffPost UK.

"Breaking Bad" airs on Sundays at 10 p.m. ET on AMC.

Do you think Broderick of Cusack could have pulled off the role of Walter White? Let us know in the comments.

Loading Slideshow...
  • Dean Norris as Hank Schrader

    "Breaking Bad" Season 5 Exclusive Gallery Photo.

  • Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman

    "Breaking Bad" Season 5 Exclusive Gallery Photo.

  • Jonathan Banks as Mike Ehrmantraut

    "Breaking Bad" Season 5 Exclusive Gallery Photo.

  • Bob Odenkirk as Saul Goodman

    "Breaking Bad" Season 5 Exclusive Gallery Photo.

  • Betsy Brandt as Marie Schrader

    "Breaking Bad" Season 5 Exclusive Gallery Photo.

  • RJ Mitte as Walter White Jr.

    "Breaking Bad" Season 5 Exclusive Gallery Photo.

  • Anna Gunn as Skyler White

    "Breaking Bad" Season 5 Exclusive Gallery Photo.

  • Bryan Cranston as Walter White

    "Breaking Bad" Season 5 Exclusive Gallery Photo.


Related on HuffPost: