How Bryan Cranston stays sane in the Trump age

The le­gend says his new film “Wake­field” taps into our need to es­cape re­al­ity.

Metro USA (New York) - - Entertainment - MATT PRIGGE @mattprigge matt.prigge@metro.us

Bryan Cranston’s post“Break­ing Bad” life has been go­ing great. He played Lyn­don B. John­son on Broad­way and won a Tony. His role in “Trumbo” re­ceived an Os­car nod. He’s co-cre­ated an Ama­zon show, “Sneaky Pete,” star­ring Gio­vanni Ribisi. His even popped up in the “Power Rangers” movie. Now the 61-year-old le­gend is in “Wake­field,” which re­ally al­lows him to shine. He plays a wealthy man who whim­si­cally de­cides not to go home one night. In­stead, he holes up in the at­tic of his garage, pre­tend­ing to be miss­ing, pre­sumed dead, all while spy­ing on his wife (Jen­nifer Garner) and kids. And this goes on for months and months. Ig­nor­ing how cruel it is to aban­don his fam­ily, what your char­ac­ter does here — drop out of so­ci­ety — is pretty al­lur­ing th­ese days. This need we have to slow down or to get away, to re­lease your­self of any kind of re­spon­si­bil­ity, has been eter­nal. Es­pe­cially now, in this day of ex­treme tech­nol­ogy, when we’re ex­pected to do more. The ad­vent of all this won­der­ful ma­chin­ery has raised our lev­els of ex­pec­ta­tion. We’re just now feel­ing the pres­sure of it. It’s also im­por­tant to our men­tal health to take breaks ev­ery now and then from ev­ery­thing Trump does. That is true. What we have to do is find a com­pro­mise. I have not read any news to­day. We can start with that. You can start by al­low­ing your brain to shut off from the bom­bard­ment of in­for­ma­tion. That on its own is like a mini­va­ca­tion, if you don’t read any news.

When I was do­ing Broad­way three years ago, Au­dra McDonald gave me a tip that she used: She said she didn’t speak on Mon­days. She needed to rest her vo­cal chords to be able to con­tinue strong for the rest of the week. I started to do that. And I kept it up. It was not only good

for my vo­cal strength, but it saved my en­ergy. By not speak­ing, my whole de­meanor through­out the day was calmer — and qui­eter, ob­vi­ously. I would walk at a slower pace. I would take a nap. Boy, I re­ally shut out — and in the mid­dle of New York City. We are ca­pa­ble of do­ing that, if we choose to do so.

IFC FILMS

Bryan Cranston plays a man who pre­tends that he’s miss­ing for months and months in “Wake­field.” Now in the­aters.

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