Your Friday Morning Treat: The ‘Breaking Bad’ Audition Tapes

To all of our hearts’ discontent, this weekend marks the beginning of the end for one of televisions greatest dramas. We’ve spent the past six seasons navigating our way through Walter White’s dangerous and emotionally painful world, following his evolution from everyday family man and chemistry teacher just trying to better his family to a morally unsound and possibly evil head of a meth-making empire. But this Sunday, the second half of the Breaking Bad’s final season will kick off, and although we’ve been waiting with baited breath to see just what happens post-Hank’s mid-toilet revelation, you can’t help but wish it would never end.

So before we mentally transport ourselves down to Albuquerque with Walt, Hank, Jesse, Skyler and the rest of cast of brilliant characters stemmed from showrunner Vince Gilligan’s wild mind, let’s take a look back on the auditions that landed them there. From Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn, and Dean Norris, we see the seeds of character taking hold that would later blossom into truly memorable and fantastic performances. Open Culture also recalls Rachel Syme’s New Yorker post in which she said: 
Breaking Bad is the first story to truly commit the full spectrum of New Mexico to film…The grandiose vistas, the soaring altitudes, the banal office complexes, the Kokopellis and Kachina dolls, the seamy warehouses, the marshmallow clouds. The show seems to root itself deeper in the landscape with every new montage. It has become our newest monument.
When we spoke to Paul back before the show’s fourth season, he admitted: “I thought there was no way in hell this was going to see the light of day…I read the pilot before AMC had any original programming, before Mad Men had even come out.” And speaking of his loving co-star Bryan Cranston, said: “He gives me so much and he’s truly such a mentor of mine…I’ve learned from him that since we’re on a show like this, we have to break the tension with humor, and if we don’t, we’ll get sucked down into a dark depression.” As for Cranston, his audition might have just been that excellent episode of The X-Files, "Drive," in which he starred.
Take a look at the tapes below.



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