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Skyler, Hank & Jesse: Watch 'Breaking Bad' Audition Tapes Featuring Anna Gunn, Dean Norris & Aaron Paul

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist August 13, 2013 at 12:40PM

While we have to wait until next Sunday to fight just how deep Walter's threat of "Tread lightly" will go, let's take a step back time. Okay, more like a leap. It may be easy to forget, but when "Breaking Bad" first came around, it was a bit of an unknown quantity. Tim Whatley and Malcom's Dad playing a meth dealer? A cast of mostly character actor unknowns in a show on AMC? Whatever, bro. But of course, it didn't take a long before the show became a cultural force and a large part of that is due to the across the board, excellent cast. So how did they fare when they first got in front of cameras?
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Breaking Bad

While we have to wait until next Sunday to fight just how deep Walter's threat of "Tread lightly" will go, let's take a step back in time. Okay, more like a leap. It may be easy to forget, but when "Breaking Bad" first came around, it was a bit of an unknown quantity. Tim Whatley and Malcom's Dad playing a meth dealer? A cast of mostly character actor unknowns in a show on AMC? Whatever, bro. But of course, it didn't take a long before the show became a cultural force and a large part of that is due to the across the board excellent cast. So how did they fare when they first got in front of cameras?

Well, the audition reels for Anna Gunn (Skyler), Dean Norris (Hank) and Aaron Paul (Jesse, bitch) have made their way online and it's a pretty fascinating look at their early incarnations of the characters. Rather remarkably, Gunn takes the infamous hand job sequence from the pilot and kills it, when Norris is already throwing major Hank attitude and Paul has Jesse's cadence down cold already. It's easy to see why Vince Gilligan believed in these folks, and why they landed the gig.

Anyway, check it out below. "Breaking Bad" airs on Sundays on AMC, but you know that already. [Open Culture]

This article is related to: Television, Breaking Bad, Dean Norris, Aaron Paul