Think of Breaking Bad's troubled Walter White and you think of Bryan Cranston. So good is he in the role that it's now impossible to image anyone else stepping into the celebrated series.

But according to the Huffington Post not so long ago the show's executives weren't convinced at all that he was the right man for the job.

"We all still had the image of Bryan shaving his body in Malcolm in the Middle," a former AMC executive told The Hollywood Reporter. "We were like, 'Really? Isn't there anybody else?"

After offering the complex and contradictory role to Irish American film stars John Cusack and Matthew Broderick - both of whom eventually turned it down - the network executives changed their minds after watching Cranston in an episode of The X-Files.

"That was a tricky part to cast on 'X-Files," Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan said. "We needed somebody who could be dramatic and scary yet have an underlying humanity so when he dies, you felt sorry for him. Bryan nailed it."

Now five seasons later Cranston has become synonymous with Walter White. In fact, getting into Walt's character and head takes some work, the actor says.

"If I need to stay in a dark place for the episode or for any given shot, I will sequester myself so that I am not around a lot of chatter, and that sort of thing, so I can come in and just focus," Cranston told HuffPost UK.

Breaking Bad airs on Sundays at 10 PM on AMC.

Bryan Cranston as chemist turned meth-kingpin in AMC's "Breaking Bad"Google Images