Bryan Cranston almost starred in Pineapple Express

Seth Rogen and Judd Apatow did not find Cranston believable as a drug lord.

Bryan Cranston is best known for his role as Walter White on AMC’s award-winning Breaking Bad series. However, there was a time when he was not considered to be believable as a drug dealer.

Pineapple Express is one of the most successful stoner comedies of its era. Released in 2008, the film finds Dale Denton (Seth Rogen) and his weed dealer Stone Silver (James Franco) on the run from a deranged drug lord.

Gary Cole does a terrific job as Ted Jones, the balls-to-the-wall kingpin hunting down the two stoners. It is hard to imagine any other actor in the role.

On the 10th anniversary of the film, its producer, Judd Apatow, took to Twitter to disclose a shocking revelation about the film’s casting. As it turns out, Bryan Cranston nearly secured the role as Ted Jones but Apatow and Seth Rogen did not find him convincing enough.

As time went by, Bryan Cranston proved to Rogen and Apatow that they were far from right. As Walter White, Cranston spent five years playing a terrifying chemistry teacher turned drug dealer, overshadowing his previously best known role as the dad on Malcolm in the Middle. If he had secured the role in Pineapple Express, perhaps the world would have never gotten to see his range on Breaking Bad.

This article was originally published on April 12, 2021 and updated on Jan. 8, 2022.

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