Penn Badgley tells Jimmy Fallon about Breaking Bad audition
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Netflix star Penn Badgley may have never played serial killer Joe Goldberg after he almost quit acting altogether when failing to secure a major job back in 2008. He was getting towards the final stages of being cast as Jesse Pinkman in Breaking Bad, but lost the gig to Aaron Paul.
Penn revealed feeling he “couldn’t do any more TV” after receiving the devastating news that he didn’t land the role in the popular crime drama.
Set to film alongside Walter White (Bryan Cranston), Penn was up against Aaron for the now iconic role of Jesse, losing out at the final “testing” stage.
He made the revelation while chatting with Jimmy Fallon earlier this week on The Tonight Show.
Despite admitting Aaron “killed the role”, he still detailed his disappointment and explained he nearly quit everything there and then.
Penn explained: “So I [auditioned] for Breaking Bad and in my memory, Aaron and I were testing against one another for the role of Jessie.
“You know that’s great, Aaron killed that role, it’s obviously his.
“The years prior we had been going out for things together.”
Jimmy quickly asked Penn to clarify if he went up against Aaron for other roles, and he said: “Yeah. When you’re coming up in Hollywood you test for things.”
He added: “This was the best script for television I’d ever read and actually after I didn’t get it, I thought ‘great, that’s fine’.
“But ‘I don’t know if I can do anymore TV’, that was the one.”
Reflecting on his colourful career after refusing to quit acting, he added: “And now I’ve been working for nearly 20 years since, in television.”
It comes after he admitted being not too sure about his character Joe Goldberg.
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Appearing on ITV’s This Morning, Penn discussed his “reservations” and addressed rumours he “didn’t want to play” Joe.
He admitted: “Yes, in some ways for obvious reasons.
“As an actor, you can take things on for a limited amount of time, but then with a show, you don’t know how long it’s going to be.
“It wasn’t that I just didn’t want to play a serial killer, it wasn’t that. I thought that could be interesting for a time
“But then if I’m the only person who really has to embody this and add expression to all of his rage… it’s constantly embodying suspicion and judgement and cynicism.”
He also teased a series of major “twists” in the next five episodes available now on Netflix.
“This isn’t a spoiler but the twist you think you’re waiting for in part two happens almost right away,” he said on This Morning.
You seasons 1-4 are now available to stream on Netflix.
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