Penn Badgley reveals he was almost cast as Jesse in Breaking Bad

20 February 2023, 14:40

Penn Badgley says he gets nauseous filming You’s gory scenes

Sam  Prance

By Sam Prance

Penn Badgley would have played Jesse in Breaking Bad instead of Dan in Gossip Girl.

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Penn Badgley has let slip that he was nearly cast as the one and only Jesse Pinkman in Breaking Bad instead of Aaron Paul.

It's hard to remember a time before Penn Badgley played Dan Humphrey in Gossip Girl. Not only did Penn bring lonely boy to life better than anyone else could but the part also launched Penn into global superstardom. Since acting in Gossip Girl, Penn has starred in everything from Easy A to You and he continues to be one of Hollywood's most in demand actors.

However, before landing the role of Dan, Penn auditioned for some other major parts and now he's opening up about them.

READ MORE: Penn Badgley says You can't end with Joe Goldberg being killed

Penn Badgley almost played Jesse Pinkman in Breaking Bad instead of Dan in Gossip Girl
Penn Badgley almost played Jesse Pinkman in Breaking Bad instead of Dan in Gossip Girl. Picture: Roy Rochlin/Getty Images, Frank Ockenfels/AMC/Alamy Stock Photos

Speaking to BuzzFeed about the roles that got away, Penn said that there "a bunch" of well-known parts that he was almost cast as but didn't quite get. He then explained: "One I got close on was Breaking Bad. It was between me and Aaron Paul, we tested. Actually, that was the best television script I’d read at that point. That was the one that got away."

Aaron went on to win three Emmys for his performance as Walter White's student turned drug-dealing sidekick. Meanwhile, Penn ended up getting the part of Dan in Gossip Girl so it all worked out alright in the end. Had Penn been cast as Jesse, there would have been filming conflicts and he wouldn't have been able to play Dan at the same time.

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Aaron previously opened up about auditioning against Penn for the role in 2019. Speaking on People's Couch Surfing, Aaron said: "I tested against three other guys. Penn Badgley was one of the guys that was testing. It was so long ago that I’m blanking on the two other guys. I did not recognize them at the time."

What do you think? Would you have liked to see Penn in Breaking Bad?

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