The Emmy-winning actor, who stars on “Breaking Bad” as increasingly loathsome cancer-stricken meth cook Walter White, alias Heisenberg (yes, it’s a mouthful), almost had the chance to star in “X-Men: First Class.” Speaking on the set of “Total Recall” with numerous outlets some months ago, Cranston revealed that he was briefly up for the part of Sebastian Shaw.
“I read for the Kevin Bacon role in ’X-Men: First Class,'” said Cranston. “And it was like, ’Ah, there’s a possibility.'”
Just a possibility, it turned out, as Shaw went to Bacon in the end. What happened to keep Cranston away from Marvel’s finest mutants? “Drive” happened, according to the actor. Cranston had a choice to play the meaty villain role in “X-Men” or a scrappy supporting character in the Ryan Gosling-starring thriller, and he chose the latter, largely because of its irresistible script.
“At the same time, I read ’Drive,’ and I thought, ’Oh, this is what I’d rather do,'” he said. “I turned down ’X-Men’ for the role in ’Drive’ because I liked the character better. Much better. The experience with Ryan Gosling and Albert Brooks and Ron Perlman and Carey [Mulligan]—it was terrific.”
Although the idea of Cranston being the one who knocks on the “X-Men” universe is amazing to consider, I don’t think I’m alone in believing that he made the right call here. “Drive” was a truly one-of-a-kind flick and even though his role in the movie was small, it was memorable. Besides, Bacon absolutely owned the role of Shaw in “First Class.” Fassbender and McAvoy get a lot of the credit for anchoring that film, but I’d argue that Bacon was just as important an ingredient in that cast.
As cool as it would have been to see Walter White up against Magneto, Bacon turned in an amazing performance himself, and I wouldn’t trade that for anything. (Except, perhaps, an early viewing of the “Breaking Bad” finale. I’d trade it for that.)
Thanks to Collider for the news!
Would you have preferred “X-Men: First Class” with Cranston as Shaw over Bacon? Let us know in the comments section or hit us up on Twitter with your take!