Welp, ‘Pineapple Express’ Nearly Cast Bryan Cranston Before ‘Breaking Bad’

In addition to informing Tom Cruise that internet porn exists, Seth Rogen has had a fair few golden moments in the entertainment industry. A particular highlight was 2008’s Pineapple Express, a movie which was very transparently an excuse for Rogen to hang out with his Freaks And Geeks mates James Franco and Judd Apatow while making bulk jokes about weed.

[jwplayer qtXAEtfy]

It’s ten years to the day since that archetypal stoner comedy hit screens, and Rogen has spent the past few hours rattling off little-known facts and tidbits about the film’s production.

That’s fine and dandy, but once again it’s Apatow who has delivered what could be the film’s most interesting behind-the-scenes anecdote.

According to him, Bryan Cranston – whose final episodes of Malcolm In The Middle only aired halfway through 2006 – actually auditioned for the role of a hardened drug dealer in the film.

That role eventually went to Gary Cole, who pretty handily melded comedy and menace in the flick.

In a tweet, Apatow claims that Cranston may have even reached the table-read stage of the audition process, before he said “I don’t think he seems scary enough to seem like a real drug dealer.”

Of course, Cranston went on to star in the lauded meth-peddling drama Breaking Bad, which premiered seven months before Pineapple Express hit cinema screens. Evidently, the casting directors over at AMC didn’t share Apatow’s take.

“If he did PE maybe the Breaking Bad people would have said, ‘not him, he always plays drug dealers,’” Apatow added.

It’s a nifty little sliding doors moment, but we can all feel pretty certain the timeline in which Cranston embodied Walter White turned out alright. Besides, he went on to star alongside Franco in Why Him?, so not all of that chemistry was lost on… well, cooking meth.