Watch this week’s edition of my Deadline video series The Actor’s Side with Bryan Cranston and get a master class in acting as well as a view into a career of tremendous versatility and purpose. Unquestionably one of the greats of our time, Cranston has six Emmys, two Tonys, a Best Actor Oscar nomination and countless other honors in a career that spans Broadway (LBJ, Network), movies (Trumbo, The Upside) and TV (Breaking Bad, Malcolm In The Middle). Cranston also produces and directs, and has written a successful memoir.
We discuss it all, notably his latest small-screen triumph in Showtime’s Emmy-contender limited series Your Honor, in which he plays a New Orleans judge who gets caught up in a moral quagmire as he tries to protect his teenage son, who gets into a traffic accident that kills the son of a local crime boss and then tries to cover it up. Cranston is again towering in the role, one that can be compared in some ways to his eponymous Walter White in Breaking Bad, but he details the key differences between these two characters as well as what draws him to taking on a role. He also talks about the seven-month delay in production caused by Covid, how that actually helped him hone the part, and what his approach was to directing the series finale.
In addition to all things Your Honor we cover the waterfront of Cranston’s career including his earliest days as an actor who was actually born in Hollywood and the son of two other actors; playing iconic real life people like Dalton Trumbo and Lyndon Johnson; taking on the role of Howard Beale in the London and Broadway productions of Network; and why he didn’t want to look at Peter Finch’s Oscar-winning portrayal of the part that won Cranston a Tony and Olivier award.
We also discuss why he thinks Breaking Bad was best suited for the TV series format and would have made a “bad movie,” his preference between stage, TV and films, plus his thoughts on one of my favorite characters: his voiceover work as Chief in Wes Anderson’s animated Isle of Dogs. Cranston also reveals he will be returning to the stage at the Geffen Theatre in Los Angeles in February 2022.
To watch our conversation and hear “the actor’s side” from Cranston, click on the video above. Join me every Wednesday during Emmy season for a new episode.