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10 Things You Didn't Know About 'Breaking Bad'


 (Frank Ockenfels/AMC)

It's a bittersweet time for fans of AMC's "Breaking Bad." As much as we're anticipating the show's series finale on Sunday night, it's awfully sad to see it go.

For the time being, we'll just have to console ourselves with the news that Saul Goodman is getting his own spin-off called "Better Call Saul," or that series creator Vince Gilligan is already working on another show for CBS called "Battle Creek." And if things get really bad, we can always snuggle up with the eyeless pink teddy bear from season two, if we're lucky enough to win it online.

Then again, this really isn't the time to be blue. We should be psyched for Walt's last stand — after all, the finale is sure to give us plenty to talk about for weeks to come.

But just in case it leaves us speechless, here's a few talking points for die-hard fans of "Breaking Bad":

#1. John Cusack and Matthew Broderick were both offered the role of Walter White, but both actors passed.

#2. AMC had reservations about casting Bryan Cranston as Walt, as they really only recognized him from "Malcolm in the Middle." To convince them otherwise, "Breaking Bad" creator Vince Gilligan showed AMC executives an episode of "The X-Files" in which Cranston plays a troubled racist who's head is on the verge of exploding. "That was all it took," claimed Gilligan, who also wrote that episode while working as a writer and producer for "The X-Files."

#3. Aaron Paul's character of Jesse Pinkman was originally supposed to die at the end of the first season. Vince Gilligan told Paul he changed his mind because he liked Jesse and Walt's chemistry, but Paul still felt very nervous that Jesse "could die at any moment" from then on. Cranston, fully aware of Paul's vulnerability, would use this fact to play practical jokes on the set. "Bryan would come up and give me a hug and say, 'I'm not going to say anything but it was such a pleasure working with you. It's been an amazing past year-and-a-half, and you have a huge career ahead of you,'" Paul remembers.

#4. Zombie drama "The Walking Dead" gave a friendly nod to its fellow AMC series "Breaking Bad" in a second season episode titled "Bloodletting." In it, a character named Daryl pulls out a sack of drugs and painkillers, and Walter White's blue methamphetamine is clearly visible at the bottom. "Walking Dead" creator Robert Kirkman called it "a little Easter egg we were doing for AMC fans."

#5. Sony Pictures Television and Teleset are currently working on a Spanish language remake of "Breaking Bad" to air on Univision. Called "Metástasis," the show will star Diego Trujillo (as Walter Blanco) and Roberto Urbina (as Jose Miguel Rosas).

#6. In season one, Walt and Jesse dissolve a body (and a bathtub, and a floor) with gallons of hydrofluoric acid, which they later use to dissolve more bodies, and even a dirt bike. But on an episode of "Mythbusters," the hosts pretty much determined that hydrofluoric acid — although dangerous and possibly lethal — couldn't do anything close to that.

#7. During an interview on "The Howard Stern Show," Bryan Cranston revealed that DEA chemists actually taught him the exact process for cooking meth in preparation for some of his scenes — but he claimed he never actually got to cook it. Stern didn't believe him, and questioned him about how his "batch" turned out. "Well, I made one with and one without nuts," Cranston joked.

#8. Before ending up on AMC, Vince Gilligan and Sony Pictures Television pitched "Breaking Bad" to HBO, TNT and FX, who actually bought the series, then passed after reading over the first script. FX president John Landgraf said that FX didn't need another show with a male anti-hero, after already having "The Shield," "Nip/Tuck" and "Rescue Me." (Gilligan also says that TNT's execs looked at each other and said, "If we bought this, we'd be fired.")

#9. During filming for "The Avengers," Samuel L. Jackson wanted to make a cameo appearance on "Breaking Bad" as a customer in the Pollos Hermanos chicken restaurant — completely in character as Nick Fury. "The Avengers" was shooting at a nearby studio to "Breaking Bad," so Jackson thought it would be fun to quickly walk into a shot wearing his Nick Fury costume. But the producers wouldn't allow it. "I just wanted to order a three-piece and really freak people out," Jackson joked.

#10. Bob Odenkirk, who plays bus-bench lawyer Saul Goodman, says he doesn't know how the show will end. "I did not read the last episode and a half. Wherever I was not in it, I did not read it," he told Rolling Stone. "Not only did I not read the parts I was not in, I put them in the trash in my e-mail, and then I deleted my trash." The reason? Odenkirk is such a fan, he doesn't want to spoil it for himself.