Part­ing Shot

Bryan Cranston

Newsweek - - Departments - PART­ING SHOT

if he’s try­ing to prove he can do it all, it’s work­ing. whether play­ing the goofy dad on Mal­colm in the Mid­dle, a ruth­less drug dealer on Break­ing Bad or an un­hinged, mad-as-hell TV an­chor in Net­work on Broad­way, the 62-year-old Bryan Cranston draws eu­phoric ac­claim—and awards. Among many oth­ers, he has won four Em­mys, a Tony (for his por­trayal of Lyndon John­son in All the Way) and an Olivier for Net­work’s Lon­don run. His method? “What­ever I’ve just done, I tend to not do that,” he says. “I had op­por­tu­ni­ties to play a hap­less dad after Mal­colm, and my ab­so­lute in­cli­na­tion was to say, ‘Thank you, but no thank you.’” His cur­rent job, in Net­work, he de­scribes as “ex­hil­a­rat­ing and ex­haust­ing.” Things were slightly more, well, sta­tion­ary, film­ing The Up­side (open­ing Jan­uary 11), a re­make of the 2011 French block­buster The In­touch­ables, which is based on the true story of Philippe Pozzo di Borgo, a quad­ri­plegic aris­to­crat who hired an ex-con as his un­ortho­dox care­taker. So, yes, Cranston has only his face to work with this time (Kevin Hart plays the care­taker). But the role of­fered some­thing else he’d never done be­fore: the chance to play “a man whose free­dom was taken away from him.” In the ɿlm, you nav­i­gate your wheel­chair with just your chin. How did that go"

It was much harder than I thought it would be and took a lot of time. I had one sent to my house—i was rolling around, bump­ing into the fur­ni­ture. My wife was like, “You’re chip­ping paint and knock­ing into things!” I had to just calm down—and that’s ac­tu­ally how I re­al­ized how I was go­ing to re­main im­mo­bile through­out my scenes. I had to be so re­laxed I didn’t need to move.

Did play­ing a dis­abled per­son con­cern you"

2h, most deɿnitely. It was not my de­ci­sion to of­fer the role to me, it was some­one who felt they could make money by do­ing that. Are there any dis­abled ac­tors who have the no­to­ri­ety that I have? Maybe not. That high­lights a rel­a­tively new sen­si­tiv­ity and one wor­thy of a con­ver­sa­tion: Why aren’t there? Why don’t dis­abled ac­tors have more op­por­tu­ni­ties to be able to be play char­ac­ters who hap­pen to be dis­abled? It’s good for our so­ci­ety to be aware of these things.

Is there a role or pro­ject of yours that you think is un­der­rated"

I did a bizarre lit­tle movie called :DNHƟHOG that I re­ally liked. More re­cently, there was /DVW )ODJ )O\LQJ— a beau­ti­ful movie di­rected by Richard Lin­klater, with Steve Carell and Lau­rence Fish­burne and me. It’s about how men grieve, and it was also very funny. It didn’t get the play I thought it should have got­ten. Ŝ$QQD 0HQWD

“Why don’t dis­abled ac­tors have more op­por­tu­ni­ties to play char­ac­ters who hap­pen to be dis­abled"”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.