Craig Elvy and ScreenRant present Breaking Bad: 15 Things You Didn’t Know About Walter White. Here are three of my favorites…
15. HE HAS MUCH IN COMMON WITH THE REAL HEISENBERG
Like Walter, the real life Heisenberg also suffered from cancer, albeit not of the lung. Both men also followed a similar career trajectory, in the sense that they started off on the straight and narrow before becoming involved in something darker. In the case of Werner Heisenberg, the scientist won a Nobel Prize in 1932 but would eventually form part of the Nazis’ Nuclear Research team.
Perhaps the main reason why Walter White was given the Heisenberg alias, however, is because of the scientist’s famous Uncertainty Principle. This theory claims that a particle’s momentum and exact position cannot both be known for certain. This acts as an metaphor for Walter White’s transformation from humble teacher to hardened criminal – as he gains momentum, his moral position becomes less clear.
9. JOHN CUSACK AND MATTHEW BRODERICK WERE CONSIDERED FOR THE PART
John Cusack and Matthew Broderick Breaking Bad: 15 Things You Didnt Know About Walter White
Before AMC was sold on Bryan Cranston’s suitability for the role of Walter White, several other actors were strongly considered, including big names such as John Cusack (High Fidelity, Being John Malkovich) and Matthew Broderick (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off).
Although AMC’s apparent determination to cast an eighties coming-of-age movie icon is certainly odd, both actors would’ve likely been talented enough to portray White’s everyman-turned-criminal character. Cusack in particular has proven himself to be equally effective as both a protagonist and an antagonist.
With hindsight, however, it’s impossible to imagine anyone other than Cranston in the role, and Vince Gilligan has previously stated that he was actively against casting big-name actors, as he felt this would be detrimental to the show. Breaking Bad’s major success proved he knew exactly what he was doing.
4. WALT WAS ORIGINALLY GOING TO DIRECTLY KILL JANE
One of the most despicable acts Walter White commits during Breaking Bad is allowing Jesse’s girlfriend Jane to die of a drug overdose during the season two offering “Phoenix,” especially since he could have at least made some attempt to save her. As uncomfortable as this scene is, however, the original draft was far, far darker.
Vince Gilligan’s original intention was for Walt to kill Jane in a more direct way, either by injecting her with drugs himself or by actually moving her into a position that would make her choke. Other members of the writers’ room disagreed with this idea and felt that it would make viewers hate Walt more than was necessary at that point in the show.
Eventually, Gilligan came to the same conclusion, and Walt stood by and watched Jane die, rather than killing her directly. As if that’s any better.