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The Malcolm cast at the 2001 NATPE conference

Here’s a little ‘flashback’ treat for you, especially the owners of the French and German DVD sets that are being released right now.

Apparently, French journalist Alain Carrazé, who we know from the S2 DVD release, wasn’t the only one to interview the main Malcolm cast (minus Jane) on camera at the 2001 NATPE (National Association of Television Program Executives) Market & Conference in Las Vegas.

Malcolm_French_S2_DVD_bonus_NATPE_4_MITMVC_small, “Your Video Streaming Entertainment Magazine”, was also on hand for a brief chat.

Listen how Bryan Cranston calls NATPE “The National Association of Transsexuals and Perversion Exhibitors”, and what they have to say about meeting Bob Dylan and Tom Cruise!


January 7th, 2015 (0) Comments - Post a Comment

Early radio interviews with Bryan, Justin and Chris from 2000/2001 from PMP Network

mark_snyderWe just found some great, longish old radio interviews with Justin Berfield and Bryan Cranston from 2000, and one with Chris Masterson and a brief one with Bryan Cranston, both from 2001.

They are with host Mark Snyder of PMP Network, based in Randolph, Massachusetts – that’s why you get some references to Erik Per Sullivan coming from the area and such.

They offer some great insights into the early casting procedures, the initial reception of the show, and other productions the actors were involved in at the time. Because they are RealAudio streams, we converted them to mp3, reduced some rumble, increased the volume and compressed the signal here and there, because the interviewees on the other end of the line were often a bit more muffled.

Bryan Cranston interviewed in early 2000:

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Justin Berfield interviewed in early 2000:

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Bryan Cranston, 2001:

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Chris Masterson, 2001:

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The source can be found here:

We hope you’ll enjoy them!

January 3rd, 2015 (0) Comments - Post a Comment

Another Emmy Win for Bryan Cranston


At the Emmy Awards 2014, Bryan won his fourth Emmy Award for ‘Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series’ for his role as Walter White in Breaking Bad. Emmy win and acceptance speech can be viewed here.

Breaking Bad also won an Emmy in the category ‘Outstanding Drama Series’. Aaron Paul and Anna Gunn won an Emmy in the categories ‘Outstanding Supporting Actor’ and ‘Outstanding Supporting Actress’ for their roles in Breaking Bad.

During the announcement for ‘Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series’ Bryan had a little surprise in store for Julia Louis Dreyfus who said she couldn’t remember him being on Seinfeldclick here to see the video


August 26th, 2014

Bryan Cranston to write memoir


Breaking Bad

Source: Los Angeles Times, April 4, 2014.

“With this book, I want to tell the stories of my life and reveal the secrets and lies that I lived with for six years shooting ‘Breaking Bad,’ ” Bryan Cranston said in the press release announcing his upcoming memoir. The as-yet-untitled book will be published by Scribner in 2015.

Cranston won three best actor Emmy Awards portraying Walter White, the cancer-stricken chemistry teacher who turns to making methamphetamine to support his family. In the show’s five seasons, White — who in a desperate moment came up with the pseudonym Heisenberg — went from everyman to drug kingpin.

The role has become iconic — Heisenberg T-shirts are available just about everywhere, including Wal-Mart. But Cranston, 58, has had a long career as an actor whose skills allowed him to play all kinds of roles.

He was the father in the goofy TV comedy “Malcolm in the Middle,” quietly appeared in the Oscar-winning drama “Argo” and is currently portraying Lyndon Johnson on Broadway.

Link to the full article:,0,1172124.story#ixzz2y6eMvRfQ

April 6th, 2014 (0) Comments - Post a Comment

Malcolm France’s Video Chat with Bryan Cranston [Video]

Back on the 13th March 2010, our friends at Malcolm France had a live video chat with Bryan Cranston (Hal). The chat was hosted by Antoine of Malcolm France and followed a similar questions and answers format to our chats with Bryan and Chris Masterson (Francis).

The chat lasted for more than two hours as Bryan answered questions on Malcolm in the Middle, his new show Breaking Bad and many other topics.

A full video recording of the chat is available below.

Thanks to Malcolm France for allowing us to republish the chat here!

January 1st, 2011 (0) Comments - Post a Comment

Bryan Cranston Nominated for Screen Actors Guild Award

Bryan Cranston as Walter White in Breaking Bad

No stranger to award nominations (or wins!) now, Bryan Cranston was recently announced as a nominee for the 17th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series.

For this award, he is up against Steve Buscemi as Nucky Thompson in Boardwalk Empire, Michael C. Hall as Dexter‘s title character, Jon Hamm as Don Draper in Mad Men and Hugh Laurie’s Dr. House.

The award ceremony for the SAG Awards will be live across the US on Sunday, January 30th 2011 at 8 p.m. (ET), 7 p.m. (CT), 6 p.m. (MT) and 5 p.m. (PT) and it will be broadcast on TNT and TBS.

Source: SAG Awards PR, AMCTV Blogs

December 19th, 2010 (1) Comments - Post a Comment

“Oh, all right!”

Everyone’s favourite TV dad, Hal from Malcolm in the Middle, often didn’t get his own way throughout the series. In fact, more often than not, you’ll find Hal conceding to other’s wishes (especially in the case of Lois), often with a frustrated exclamation of “oh, all right!”, or something similar.

It’s not said frequently enough to be a ‘catchphrase’, but it is something unique to the character — and something that I thought would be interesting to put together into one video.

So, here is a quick video montage of every occasion in the series where Hal ‘admits defeat’.

Does this video manage to sum up the character of Hal in just one minute? I think I’ll let you decide.

November 13th, 2010 (15) Comments - Post a Comment

Bryan Cranston and ‘Breaking Bad’ Nominated for 7 Emmys

Bryan Cranston as Walter White and Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman, Breaking Bad

As predicted, Bryan Cranston (Hal) and his new TV show Breaking Bad have been nominated for several Emmy awards.

Bryan is up for Outstanding Actor for the third year running, having won the award for the past two years, but is up against some tough competition — including Hugh Laurie as Dr. Gregory House (House), Michael C. Hall as Dexter Morgan (Dexter) and Matthew Fox as Jack Shephard (Lost).

But it’s not just Bryan himself that is up for a gong, with co-star Aaron Paul up for Outstanding Supporting Actor for the second year running, as well as the show itself nominated for Outstanding Drama. Four other nominations were also announced to various crew members on Breaking Bad:

Michael Slovis was nominated for Outstanding Cinematography for the second straight year, Michelle MacLaren for Outstanding Directing, Skip MacDonald for Single-Camera Picture Editing and Nick Forshager, Kathryn Madsen, Mark Cookson, Cormac Funge, Jason Boegel, Jason Newman and Gregg Barbanell for Outstanding Sound Editing.

The 62nd Primetime Emmy Awards will air on Sunday August 29th at 8pm Eastern / 5pm Pacific on NBC.

Source: AMC Blogs: Breaking Bad, Emmy Nominations

Bryan Cranston, a two-time Emmy Award winner for his role as a high school teacher turned crystal methamphetamine manufacturer on “Breaking Bad,” learned on Thursday morning he was nominated for a third time in the role. Doesn’t he ever get tired of the recognition?


In a telephone interview, Mr. Cranston compared his Emmy experience to a certain youthful rite of passage. “It’s like when you were in high school, if you were ever lucky enough to have the pretty girl say, ‘Hey, let’s go make out in the corner,’ ” Mr. Cranston said. “Are you kidding me? Are you kidding me? And after you get over that, I keep thinking, Why me?”

But why should Mr. Cranston dwell on bygone teenage crushes? Today he’s also celebrating his 21st wedding anniversary (or “50 years in Hollywood,” as he put it).

So does today’s Emmy nomination mean he’s not obligated to get his wife a gift?

“You see, you’re a typical man,” Mr. Cranston told this reporter. “You are such a typical guy, trying to get away with something. And yes, I tried the same thing. ‘Honey, congratulations, here’s a nomination. And a toaster. Sweetheart, what do you think?’ And then she throws the toaster. No, that’s not going to fly. It’s a nice dinner out and a lovely card.”

Source: NYTimes Arts Beat

The third season of Breaking Bad was a relentless revelation. The show that began as a darkly comic fable of a meth-cooking high school teacher plumbed  new depths of moral decay, while simultaneously delivering some of the most spine-tingling thrills on television. (There was also an entire episode about killing a fly.)

At the center of it all, Bryan Cranston brilliantly portrayed the continuing descent of Walter White, and was rewarded this morning with his third straight Emmy nomination for Best Actor in a Drama. PopWatch caught up with Cranston to talk about some of the season’s twists, the trajectory of the show, and the crucial importance of the shaved head.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: You’ve won in this category the last two years running. Are you excited to go for a three-peat?

BRYAN CRANSTON: It’s funny, [basketball coach] Pat Riley actually copyrighted that phrase, so if it’s used in a show you have to pay him. I’m not kidding. Three-peat was something he uttered and then copyrighted. If you print it up, EW owes him a stipend.

I’ll talk to our lawyers. Was there anything in particular in this last season that really surprised you?

This whole season was about Walt accepting the dark side of his nature, and understanding and embracing the possibility that these thoughts can co-exist in a human being. It’s not mutually exclusive that you could be a murderer and a good father, a husband. That’s a bizarre thing to embrace for me, as a person. I don’t know what that’s like. But trying to get into the psyche of it, in Walter White’s head…He had to fully allow himself to be a crook in order to stay alive.

In the season finale, we saw a brief flashback to many years earlier, with a much younger and very unencumbered Walter White. Was it interesting to explore the character from such a different angle?

Those are always fun to play, because you get to go opposite of what your character is going through. Certainly a welcome thing for me, to say: “Okay, this was before any children, so the mood was lighter. His walk was lighter. He stood more erect. The pressure of the world wasn’t on his shoulders. There was more of a breeziness to him. The air of hope was present.” It was fun to be able to do that. And then you realize, we’re watching a flashback. That’s what was. If he could turn back the clock. ..

Did you have a favorite episode of the season?

The most impactful episode, for me, was the twelfth episode. On an impulse, Walt is going to the street corner where Jesse was determined to kill these two thugs, not knowing what he would do when he got there. He just ran his car into them, and knocked them down, and one was still alive, and Walt just picks up a loose gun and shoots the guy in the head.

Do you think Walt had any idea what he would do when he got in the car?

No. It’s just, “Get there, Get there.” He was just going on a feeling, and he stumbled across a traumatic situation, and just put his foot straight down instead of breaking, you know? That little millisecond of decision, which was, interestingly, off-camera. To give you a little insight into editing, when I played that moment, I got out of the car, went to him, saw the guy was crawling towards the gun. So I picked up the gun right away, but I didn’t shoot him right away. I picked up the gun, I looked at Jesse, I looked around to see if there were any witnesses, I looked at him again, thinking, “What to do, what to do, what to do,” and then I realized the only thing I can do. And then I shot him.
When they edited it together, [executive producer]Vince Gilligan felt that, by not having that moment of indecision, it pushed the character a little closer towards what he’s going to become. That’s the delicacy and the fragility of editing. And I was surprised to see that! He gets out of the car, he picks up the thing, BAM! I jumped when I saw the finished product, I went, “Oh my god! Oh my god!”

That scene added an interesting new layer to Walt’s relationship with Jesse. How do you think Walt views his partner? At times there’s a father-son aspect to their relationship, at times it’s just absolute annoyance.

I don’t think that it’s mutually exclusive to have father-son relationships that are loving and annoyance. [Laughs] You look at what a teenager does, and you go, “Are you kidding me? You’re an idiot.” And certainly Walter White has many of those moments with Jesse Pinkman. Everything about him and Walter are polar opposites. Walt enjoyed education, and thrived on it, and was good at it. Jesse Pinkman was not. Walter loved details and study and the science and how things work. Jesse Pinkman? Looking for shortcuts. What we wear, our references, our age, our likes and dislikes of music, what we deem important, our vices. Under normal circumstances, you wouldn’t have those two together. And that’s the happy accident that we have found. And I say “happy accident” because the Jesse Pinkman character was supposed to be killed off in the first couple episodes.
It would have been a very different show.
Vince saw the lightning in the bottle when he was able to put these two opposites together in a symbiotic relationship and have that be the spark, the fireworks.

Breaking Bad seems like a resolutely un-commercial show, but this past season saw a significant uptick in viewership. Did you expect that?
Not at all. When you hear the premise – a high school chemistry teacher dying of lung cancer becomes a drug dealer, you go “What?!” If I just heard that one line, I would have thought, “Never mind, that’s not going to work.” But I didn’t. What I heard was my agent saying, “Vince Gilligan worked with you on X-Files ten years ago, and thinks you’d be great for this role. He wants to meet you on it. You should read this script called Breaking Bad.” Oh, okay, great! It’s always nice to be thought of. I read the script and didn’t stop for a moment, went all the way through to the end, got on the phone right away, and said, “As soon as possible, get me in to see him.” It was an exceptionally well-written story.

Do you have a sense of what’s coming up in the fourth season?

I don’t. The only thing I know is what we initially talked about, when I had my first meeting with Vince. We’re doing something – it wasn’t his words, but my assessment –something that’s never been done on television: to completely change a character from one type of person to another. That’s never happened in a series. Certain experiences will change how someone looks at things and reacts to them, but to completely change from a mild-mannered chemistry teacher to become a drug kingpin murderer…is it possible? Quite frankly, we don’t know. We have set the hook. The audience seems to relate to Walt and what he initially attempted to do: provide for his family. We understood his plight as a human being, an everyman trying to do what’s right, trying to make a living. And now he’s changing. Will the audience spit the hook, or will they be pulled into the boat? We just don’t know. And that is exciting too. Just like the show itself, the concept of the show is unpredictable. We really don’t know if it will fly. And that’s exciting and dangerous.
As an actor, is that an interesting space to be in: a story with a clear trajectory that could also veer off in any direction?
In the larger context, you have a bracketed overview of where this character is going, and who he’s going to become. There is no road map. We’re finding our way — and when I say we, I mean “Vince.” I know the endpoint. I have no clue how I’m going to get there. And I don’t want to know. I’ve never asked Vince, “Okay, what’s happening this season? Where’m I gonna go, What’m I gonna do?” Honestly, he doesn’t know either! He may have an idea of what he may attempt, but so many things happen, and different characters come into play. The addition of Bob Odenkirk as Saul, Giancarlo Esposito as Gus, and Jonathan Banks as Mike the PI, has changed the tone somewhat, justifiably. It’s such a wonderful thing. Reading each episode’s script is like getting into a really good chapter every night of a book you can’t wait to get to at night. You get into bed, like, “Ahh, what’s gonna happen now?” You look forward to it.

So you’re looking forward to many more years of shaving your head?

As a character actor at heart, I welcome the idea of completely looking this way. Thin, and bald, and now with this Van Dyke facial hair. If people know me as this bald-headed guy, with glasses and the look of consternation on my face, then when I’m not doing that show, I grow my hair back, I completely look different, I can do other things. It’s a way for me to able to hide in plain sight.

Source: Entertainment Weekly

July 9th, 2010 (5) Comments - Post a Comment

Bryan Cranston Likely to Be Emmy Nominated Again for ‘Breaking Bad’

For the past two years, Bryan Cranston (Hal) has won the Emmy award for Best Lead Actor, for his role as Walter White in Breaking Bad.

Now almost finishing its third season, Breaking Bad and Bryan seem likely to be nominated again, with network AMC producing their campaign DVDs, including six consecutive episodes of the show and The Hollywood Reporter publishing an ‘Emmy Roundtable’ which includes Bryan.

AMC's 2010 Emmy Campaign DVD pack for Breaking Bad

Competition will be tough, however, with Bryan and Breaking Bad up against other ‘tough guy’ characters.

Bryan Cranston, a two-time Emmy winner for playing meth-dealing high school teacher Walter White on AMC’s “Breaking Bad”: “This is the character of my career. He has such broad parameters that I can go from being sensitive and concerned to heinous and evil in the same episode. You never know what to expect when you get the script.”

That’s a big change, Cranston says, from when he began his acting career playing cookie-cutter villains on police dramas and action-adventure shows. Cranston met his wife playing such a part on an episode of “Airwolf” 23 years ago.

“I was the ‘bad of the week’ and she was the ‘victim of the week,’ and that’s how men’s and women’s roles were written back then,” Cranston says. “Fortunately that’s changed, and we’re seeing a more equal-opportunity bad guy come forth.”

Bryan will also be up against plenty of previous nominees as well, including big names such as House‘s Hugh Laurie and Michael Emerson from Lost.

Bryan also speaks of his transition from Malcolm to more serious roles in this article from The Hollywood Reporter:

“You can become a victim of your own success,” adds Bryan Cranston, who has won two Emmys for his serious “Breaking Bad” role but who spent six Emmy-free years on the comedy “Malcolm in the Middle.” When that show ended, he recalls he was offered a lot of “derivative, silly dad” roles.

“It’s up to the actor to get themselves out by carefully picking and choosing,” he says. “The only real power we have as actors is to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ and identify well-written material. I never want to be embarrassed by what I’m doing.”

For each of his major roles, Cranston recalls having someone go to bat for him; first it was “Malcolm” executive producer Linwood Boomer, when word came down that executives might want to recast Cranston’s Hal role after the pilot. With “Breaking,” Cranston says, “I heard through the grapevine that the studio questioned whether the goofy dad from ‘Malcolm’ was the right choice. I was confident that the transition could be made, and Vince (Gilligan, “Breaking’s” creator) spoke for me. That’s a big leap of faith.”

The Emmy Nominations will be revealed on Thursday, July 8th at 5:40am Pacific Time. The event will be live from the Leonard H. Goldenson Theatre on the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences campus in North Hollywood and will apparently also be streamed live on

Mad Men” not only made Emmy history by becoming the first basic-cable TV show to win a best-series award in 2008, but it also repeated the triumph in 2009. For the last two years, AMC also pulled off surprising consecutive wins in the race for best lead actor by Bryan Cranston (“Breaking Bad“).

Next: Can AMC pull off the victories for a third year in a row?

A lot depends on what Emmy voters think of the campaign DVDs shipped to 14,000 members of the TV academy. Though some networks are skimpy and merely send two or three sample episodes, AMC sends six. It’s curious that AMC chose six consecutive episodes of “Breaking Bad,” but it broke up the “Mad Men” selections. Below is the rundown.

Also included in the DVD box: “The Prisoner,” AMC’s miniseries update of the bizarre 1960s TV series about a government agent trapped on a mysterious island. Stars James Caviezel as the prisoner and Ian McKellen as his tormentor

Compare this year’s Emmy campaign box with the one AMC shipped last year. Underneath the photos below are links to DVD campaign boxes sent by other networks.

Episode 303 – “My Own Kentucky Home”
306 – “Guy Walks Into an Advertising Agency”
307 – “Seven Twenty Three”
311 – “The Gypsy and the Hobo”
312 – “The Grown-Ups”
313 – “Shut the Door, Have a Seat”

Episode 301 – “No Mas”
302 – “Caballo Sin Nombre”
303 – “I.F.T.”
304 – “Green Light”
305 – “Mars”
306 – “Sunset”

“Who canceled that got me here?” Ray Romano joked as the first of The Hollywood Reporter’s Emmy Roundtable series began. Humor dominated the hourlong discussion in a penthouse at the Chateau Marmont, during which the drama panel poked fun at their wives, declared themselves narcissistic and told a major TV critic to “suck it.”

The Hollywood Reporter: When you guys watch your performances, what do you criticize most?

Matthew Fox: I don’t (watch). Never. I’m a fan of the show and I watched early on because I wanted to see how it was put together. But I don’t find any benefit in seeing what I’m doing.

THR: How about the others? Do you watch your shows?

Matt Bomer: Sometimes. You want to see the character come to life in an authentic way and hope you’re not mugging or being inorganic.

Alexander Skarsgard: I watch it and I’m blown away by my own performance! (Laughs.) No, every single scene, I’m like, “Oh man, way too big. That look is so redundant. Again with that flat delivery?” I really don’t enjoy it.

THR: Yet you keep coming back.

Skarsgard: I do. I’m like a drug to myself. (Laughs.) I did movies in Sweden before I came over here, and I would never watch dailies because I didn’t want to see myself in the character. But that obviously had to change (on a series) because I couldn’t wait seven years until the show’s over to go back and watch it. I still don’t watch the monitors; but when the season airs, I do watch it.

Jon Hamm: We don’t have playback on our show, but watching playback is a whole different experience because you’re right there and you’re like, “Ah, I can’t watch it. I wanted to do something else, it’s not coming through.” Watching a complete version of the show, you’re far enough away that you can feel separated enough to sit and enjoy it.

THR: Do you approach a dramatic role differently than a comedic one?

Bryan Cranston: You have to know the tone of your show. This show (“Breaking Bad”), for instance, is very dark, so the things I look for are the subtle opportunities to lighten it up a little bit. Every good drama has a nice sprinkling of levity to it, and every good comedy has its sincere moments to surprise the audience. What I don’t like is whenever the lay person in Nebraska can sense it — set-up, set-up, here comes the punchline. If the audience can sense it and is way ahead of you, you’ve lost them.

Ray Romano: The harder part on this show (“Men of a Certain Age”) is doing the comedy because it has to all come from a real place, (whereas) in a sitcom you can stretch it and get away with it a little bit. The difficult part is doing the comedy on the drama, believe it or not, because I feel the dramatic parts are just as real they can be.

Hamm: As depressing and sad and slow and boring (laughs) as our show can be, there are some really funny moments … that are usually given to (John) Slattery. (Laughs.) It’s important because that’s life.

THR: Do reviews hurt?

Hamm: Yeah, if they suck. If someone says you stink at your job, that doesn’t feel great. I can viscerally remember Tom Shales’ review of the first season of “Mad Men,” which said this would have been a good show if someone good had been the lead. And I was like, “Hmm!” (Laughs.)

Skarsgard: Who’s laughing now?

Bomer: Suck it, Tom Shales!

Skarsgard: I stay away from all that. It’s not just the bad stuff; I feel like the positive stuff might make my ego explode.

Cranston: When I first started 31 years ago, I took any job I could get and I was glad because I had rent to pay. But you would never put it on your resume if you were embarrassed about it. Now you can’t do that. In a way, it kind of keeps you honest. It’s going to be on IMDb before we start.

Romano: The sick part is, I don’t really believe the good (reviews).

Skarsgard: You believe the bad ones?

Romano: Yeah, the bad ones really get to me. If my father had hugged me once, I would have been an accountant right now. (Laughs.)

THR: Do you ever get frustrated by how your performances are edited?

Fox: Hell yeah.

Romano: That’s why you’ve got to create your own show!

Skarsgard: Do you guys shoot a lot of scenes that don’t end up on the show?

Fox: Writers intentionally write their scripts at 58 pages when they know they have to get the whole show down to 43 minutes; they want the control in the post process. That’s OK, but it does make it tough to play a character and be really specific about the moment, knowing that all the air is going to get taken out of it.

Bomer: The opposite can be true, too, where the air needed to be sucked out of it.

THR: Do you adjust your performance, knowing that might happen?

Cranston: No, you can’t second-guess what’s going to be cut, so you just have to hope that you go from A to C and they keep B. It’s when they cut out B, it’s a little jarring to watch.

Hamm: But the audience doesn’t generally know that B ever existed.

Fox: That’s always really amazing to me.

Hamm: There are always so many steps from shooting a scene to the finished product that goes on the air. You don’t know that they’re going to play music under something or how they’re going to tweak the levels and the light and the colors.

Romano: We can build a moment where a moment wasn’t there.

Hamm: Editing is an unbelievably manipulative tool.

Romano: You can write a different scene with editing.

THR: Bryan, what’s the biggest challenge you’ve found in directing yourself?

Cranston: I always start with a compliment about me! I respond well to that. I sleep with myself, too. (Laughs.) The hardest thing about directing is you’re also in it. I directed nine episodes of “Malcolm in the Middle” and I was in every one; and then this show, I’ve directed two so far. Hardest thing is to be able to know what other characters are doing, when your character is in the scene. There’s not a real way of definitively knowing, so I just print everything that I’m in and look at it in the dailies. It’s really difficult and I feel like there is a part that does suffer. For instance, I directed the first episode of the last two seasons. I did that because we weren’t in production yet and I needed the time. I would work all day, 12-13 hours, and I’d come home on my computer and write my notes and send my notes via e-mail to my editor and he would recut it and send it back two days later. You miss a lot if you’re not in the room with the editor and feeling the sensibility of it, so it’s a little frustrating. I think I may not direct again on the show.

THR: What’s the hardest thing about the acting side of the job?

Hamm: It is a big time commitment — especially on a network show — and you’re on an island, for some of us. It’s hard to be fully engrossed in it for so long. Family, other commitments — you’re so focused on one thing that everything else gets pushed behind you. And a lot of things tend to back up at the end of a run.

Fox: The publicity requirements: People don’t see how much time goes into that. Early on, when we were trying to launch a show, the publicity demands were just enormous.

THR: Did everyone in the cast bring their families to Hawaii for “Lost”?

Fox: Everyone with kids, yeah. As soon as the show took off and we felt it would be on for a while, everyone with kids moved them over and got them into schools. My wife and I have a rule where it’s never more than three weeks. No matter what I’m doing, we’ll pull the kids out of school if we have to because it’s never more than three weeks that I’m away from them.

Cranston: I have the same rule with your wife — never more than three weeks. (Laughs.) Just to keep it fresh.

Romano: I’ve been married 22 years, so with mine it’s the opposite: She wants me away for three weeks!

Bomer: “Get another show, dammit!”

Skarsgard: The hardest thing is the lack of control working on a television show. When you do a play or a movie, you have everything in front of you and I have my process, I know the arc, I know what’s going to happen and how I want to play the scenes. Suddenly you’re on a show where — we’re shooting Episode 9 right now and I haven’t read Episode 11 yet. I have no idea what’s going to happen.

Cranston: Episode 11? Sometimes it’s last-minute and the scripts don’t come in and we’re shooting the next day and we get it that night.

Hamm: That’s the same with us. We get the script at table readings, which is the day before (shooting).

Bomer: That’s nice, to get a table read. We get the pages day-of at times. The speed of this medium is so fast. We shoot an episode in seven days and a lot of times it’s 10-page days, so you’re just plowing through material so fast that you’ll do it in two or three takes and you have to let it go. A lot of times, that’s right when I’m getting comfortable.

Cranston: The work you do on the ride home is always the best.

Skarsgard: You wish they had a camera in the car, right?

THR: How often do you ask where your character is going?

Cranston: I don’t want to know. I’ve kind of gotten used to that, where I pick up the script and I’m excited to read it, almost like our fans are excited to see the next episode. So I play it that way. We do get showrunner-approved outlines about a week and a half before we start shooting, so at least you know in broad strokes where it’s going.

Hamm: You have to have a lot of trust in the people that are running the show. I’m the same way as Bryan: I don’t really want to know, I don’t want to play the end of the arc. I get very excited (to) read the next story. It’s fun to be surprised.

Fox: I do think not knowing –and, trust me, I’m on a show where we didn’t know … my background is in television. And in television you get involved in a premise, a concept and a character. Then you end up in a long run-on sentence. In a more contained medium, in a two-hour script, you do get to take more chances. You can reach for more when you’re looking at the entire arc of the character, how it exists in the context of the story. Series television, when you are in that situation where you don’t know where the characters are going, may subconsciously make you reach for less because you’re just going to have the rug pulled out from you down the road.

Bomer: I have a dialogue with the creator (Jeff Eastin) at the beginning: What’s the super-objective? What’s really motivating everything so I can take it one step at a time?

Romano: I just write whatever I can play. If I can’t play it, then I gotta change it.

THR: What’s the best way to resolve a dispute with a showrunner?

Cranston: Yeah, how do you do that, Ray? (Laughs.)

Romano: I have my guy, my partner (Mike Royce). We see things differently. But this is why I picked my guy, because I knew our sensibilities are the same — and if they’re not, we can talk about it. I am more easily talked out of things than he is, but only if I see his point. I never compromise. If I believe it, then I’ll go with it.

THR: Jon, do you ever say, “You know, I don’t think Don Draper would say this”?

Hamm: No. I don’t. It’s not because I don’t want to bring it up; it’s just that (creator Matthew Weiner) is very good at his job and —

Romano: You’ve never questioned any line?

Hamm: The only question I ever have is: “Where are we going with this?” And the answer always comes back, “Trust me, trust me.” It’s borne out. It’s not like I’ve been burned.

Skarsgard: Alan Ball and all our writers are very open to ideas. The other day, there was a scene and I had some suggestions, so I e-mailed the writer and he came back to me and we worked it out together. I do believe it’s important for the showrunner and the writers to invite the actors’ (involvement). If I don’t feel like I’m contributing, if I feel like I’m being shut down all the time, I’m not going to be able to do a very good job. At least convince me. Don’t just say, “It’s on the paper, do it.”

Romano: When I was on “Raymond,” I would argue with the showrunner, Phil Rosenthal. I would say, “It’s a sitcom, but I need to feel like (my character) would say that, and he would never say that.” And his argument would be, “That’s why you do it –because he would never say it that way!” I can’t argue, if the reason I would do it is because he wouldn’t. (Laughs.)

Fox: I’ve had experiences before with writers who were not open to the notion of me even changing a word, but my experience on “Lost” has not been that way at all. (Co-showrunner) Damon (Lindelof), I have an incredibly good relationship with him. We talk about Jack a lot and he’s always giving me the freedom to make it more fluid as long as the gist of what the scene was meant to accomplish was getting done.

THR: How much did the “Lost” writers prep the cast on the mythology of their characters?

Fox: They kept most everybody very much in the dark. They were very smart about only giving out pieces of information that they thought would influence the performance in the direction it needed to go. Damon gave me things that were going to happen and the directions in which the show was going to go for Jack, and I didn’t really know why he was giving me that at the time. Then six months later, I realized it was going to somehow color the entire way I was attacking the role.

Cranston: There really is a symbiotic relationship between actor and showrunner. Like Jon said, there’s a trust exercise that goes on.

THR: Is there a personality trait that all actors

Romano: We hate ourselves and love ourselves.

THR: You think actors share that trait?

Romano: Well, comedians. I mean no offense, but we’re really the most screwed up people around. In a good way. We’re narcissistic, but we also hate ourselves.

Fox: All human beings hate themselves.

Romano: I read an article where Dustin Hoffman asked Laurence Olivier, “Why do we do this?” And his answer was, “Look at me! Look at me! Look at me!”

Hamm: And then he farted. (Laughs.)

Source: Los Angeles Times, The Hollywood Reporter, Variety

June 14th, 2010 (2) Comments - Post a Comment

Bryan Cranston & ‘Breaking Bad’ at PaleyFest 2010

March 10, 2010 – The PaleyFest is an annual celebration of media, this year Breaking Bad formed a panel.

See our GALLERY for photos from the event.

Breaking Bad
season 3 finale airs tonight 10/9C on AMC.

Bryan Cranston on season 3 of ‘Breaking Bad’
by Fred Topel – March 23, 2010 –

The Paley Center for Media included a panel on AMC’s Breaking Bad as part of their PaleyFest2010 series of events. They screened the first episode of season three, which premieres March 21. You can also get the DVD and Blu Ray of Season Two to catch up. We caught a few quotes from series star Bryan Cranston first on the red carpet, and then in the panel discussion.

Q: What should we expect coming up this season?

Bryan Cranston: What I think is very courageous of what he’s done is that the conceit was that Walt knew that if this news ever got out of what he was doing, if his wife ever found out, game over. He would lose everything. That’s what he’s trying to keep and maintain, the core of his family together. In the first episode of the third season, she finds out through and educated guess. From that point on, it spins even further out of control.

Q: How far removed are we not from where you originally thought you’d be in season three?

Bryan Cranston: It feels like we’re a little bit past where I thought we were. When I knew that this was going to change from the very beginning to the end, I knew we were going to change characters from a nice guy, sweet guy to becoming a drug kingpin. I don’t know, where is that center? How quickly does he change? It’s a little quicker than I thought it was going to change and at first I started resisting it, but then just trusting him [Vince Gilligan], you let it go and let him take you away. It’s a big trust exercise.

Q: Have you been able to adapt easily along the way?

Bryan Cranston: I suppose so because initially, your own personality steps in and when you read something that’s not very favorable that someone does, you go, “Oh, God, he’s very selfish” or “God, he’s mean to her.” Then you go [inhales] take it back, go with it and allow yourself to be those things. Allow, and that’s what Walt is going through now. He’s starting to go through a period where he needs to accept himself for who he really is and who he’s becoming.

Q: Where did you find those two actors who play the hitmen in the first episode back?

Bryan Cranston: They came through casting in Los Angeles, Daniel and Luis [Moncada], they’re brothers. One had never acted before in his life, which is Danny. Luis has but not as much. He didn’t have as much experience but these guys are the real guys. They have had an opportunity to turn their lives around. We had to cover up some tattoos. Any gang related things we have to cover up, but the tattoos are phenomenal to look at. They’re very visual. On Luis’s eyelids are two words, f*** you. I said to him, “Wow, did that hurt getting that on there?” He said, “No, what hurt was the spoon they had to put underneath the eyelid in order to engrave the tattoo on.” If you can go through that, I know you’re not going to flinch when I blow up this truck. But they’re great, sweet guys. They have found a new purpose in life and they found a home. When a guest cast member leaves or it’s their last shot of the series, there’s an announcement made by one of the Ads and a round of applause, appreciation for their talents and efforts on the show. Of course we did that for both of them separately, and both of them cried. I called them p*ssies. No, they’re absolutely very sweet guys and they play a very, very important role coming up.

Q: And they really didn’t flinch when you blew up the truck.

Bryan Cranston: Because I threatened them. I did, I told them not to. I said, “We can only explode one truck. If you flinch, it screws me completely. You cannot flinch.” So we did a test of it in a drum, a steel drum and I put them, I think they had to be 60 feet away from it. Although, on this shot we used a long lens which compresses the distance so it looks like they were closer. The order to blow up the truck was really given to the special effects guy. We put a line in the sand and he was watching when Luis was out on the far left of the screen. When Luis got to that point, he was able to blow it. I told the guy, “When you see that line and you pass it, it’s going to go. No flinching.” I can’t imagine reshooting that. That would’ve been terrible. So they did it and I told Danny too, I said, “Danny, when you’re walking away, if you think of it and you’re calm, just pull that cigarette back up. Just a nice casual drag as if you’re walking through the park.” This was the guy who’d never acted before. He did a wonderful job. He did it.

Q: Will we see Bob Odenkirk again?

Bryan Cranston: What I love about his character is he’s justifiably nonchalant. He’s laissez faire. Walt and Jesse come in and were angst ridden, tight and he’s like, “Ha ha, drug dealer getting shot, been known to happen.” It’s important for his character because his stakes are not the same as my character or Jesse. You have a wonderful juxtaposition between the energies playing really, really well. We’ve got some fun stuff coming up with Bob.

Q: Was it fun directing an episode again?

Bryan Cranston: Fun in retrospect. There are fun moments but it’s almost like you don’t have time to think of how fun this is, for me anyway. I think really seasoned directors can just sit back and know what they want. I’m constantly thinking, “Am I going to forget something?” For some reason, it always feels like your AD comes up and whispers in your ear, “We’re behind, we’ve got to move it.” I just started. Are you kidding me? It’s a time crunch and you’re hitting 14 hours a day. You want to shoot for 12 hours a day but you’re probably there for 14. I go home and then I do homework for the next day, so I’m up for 18 hours working.

Q: You’re shooting John Carter of Mars. Even though you don’t get to go to Mars, is that an important part of the story?

Bryan Cranston: It’s fantastic. Andrew Stanton is terrific. Taylor Kitsch is a great young actor and I’m having a great time doing it.

Q: When you read the Breaking Bad scripts, what shocks you?

Bryan Cranston: For me, when I first read the first page of the pilot script. It read just like you saw. Opened up on a beautiful setting, red mountains, trousers are falling from the sky. They hit the ground, an RV rolls over them. Insider there’s a middle aged man only wearing tidy whities and he wears a respirator, driving madly. Act 2, dead bodies sliding up and back in a sea of fluid and glass, another man passed out with a respirator. I’m thinking, “What the f*** is going on?” That was page one. It took off from there so it was one of those rare moments when you respond to a piece of material so strongly that I knew I had to get in as fast as I could to try to get this role, because the longer I waited, I knew that every actor in Hollywood would want this part. Fortunately, I was the one to get it.

Q: Do you think Walt could ever talk Skyler into accepting his new lifestyle?

Bryan Cranston: Well, there certainly is an allure to forbidden fruit. I think that’s what, in general, Walt is discovering about himself, certainly through this third season. He has to embrace who he’s becoming in order to survive. He has to start thinking like a dealer and acknowledge the true darkness that lies within him, which I think is allegorical to what lies in every human being, that we don’t want to face sometimes but it’s possible. I don’t know. I thought it was very courageous that the writers threw out the conceit of Walt needing to keep the secret and now we don’t know what’s going to happen. We don’t press it. We don’t really want to know what’s going on. It’s like our own little present as well, so we discover maybe a week before we shoot it what’s going to happen next. So Anna and I just kind of go in, all of us when we read the next script, we start reading in varying degrees. “Did you get to the part- -?” “No, no, don’t tell me, don’t tell me.” It’s fun to figure out what’s going to happen and try to guess. You’re usually wrong. He throws curveballs quite often but it’s like one big trust exercise. Beginning actors, there’s a lot of that fall back and your partner will catch you. For most of it, it’s really like that with Vince because we just fall back and we know that he’ll take care of the characters and nurture them in a strange, odd, unpredictable way but he’s going to go there. So it’s possible that it could go that way, that she would come around but I don’t know. I really don’t know. I like that about it.

Q: Are you worried at some point the show might get too dark?

Bryan Cranston: The very first time I met with Vince about this was about three years ago. The thing that struck me was he told me he wanted to do something, and I realized after he told me that what he just said has never been done on television, in the history of television. To put on a series where your main character changes from one person to another by the end, he said he wants to take Mr. Chips and turn him into Scarface. So that’s what is going to happen. We are in a transformation. My character is metamorphosizing from one kind of person to another. This has never happened before and that fascinated me. I’m on this journey that you think, I would think going in that I would know where I’m going and I have no idea where I’m going. It’s frightening and exciting at the same time. So we are changing this person. By the end of this season, I imagine if you take him to where you want to take him, that he is going to be a bloodthirsty killer. We’re not playing a game here. I really don’t know what’s going on in his head. It’s good. Not many people do. It is interesting to go on this journey, all of us together, and not really know where the end is.

Q: Even Scarface got to enjoy the fruits of his labor. Would you like to see Walt enjoy himself a little?

Bryan Cranston: Yeah, he certainly feels like he needs a break certainly. The interesting irony is that this man has never been more alive since he got this death sentence. He is a guy now who has the capability of intimidating someone. He’s never felt that as a man. He’s got a pocketful of money. He has adrenaline pumping in his veins and that’s an important thing. It says a lot. He feels important and he feels more virile. There are things I think he wouldn’t change. The question, would you rather live an exciting year and a half or a drab, boring, dull, depressing 20 more years, I don’t know. I’m not sure.

Q: We hear you’re a Dodger fan?

Bryan Cranston: Oh, I love the Dodgers. I’m in mourning right now. Willie Davis passed away. I used to watch him all the time when I was a kid. He always used to run like he was hurt, like Mickey Rivers. Remember that? Mickey Rivers was that way. Vladimir Guerrero has that kind of thing, always looks like he’s hurt.

Q: Did you go to any spring training games?

Bryan Cranston: I didn’t go this year but I try to go as often as possible. I went to the Dodger fantasy camp a couple times where for a week, you get to be a baseball player and that’s all you do. You play baseball, morning, noon and night, talk baseball, have lunch next to Duke Snider and all these other old time Dodgers and things like that. The younger Dodgers and the ‘70s Dodgers and the ‘60s Dodgers are there. It’s fantastic, so much fun.

Show gives Bryan Cranston wrinkles
March 12, 2010 –

Bryan Cranston has joked that filming Breaking Bad is giving him wrinkles. The Emmy-winning actor plays former teacher-turned-crystal meth dealer Walter White in the show.

“When I first started this series I had no wrinkles on my face whatsoever – this is what happens!” he laughed.

Bryan took time out to meet fans of the US series at a special Q and A as part of the Paley Centre For Media’s PaleyFest 2010.

“Oh my God, I am exhausted,” he explained. “Every night when I go home I can’t wait, [when I’m filming] it’s not only Walter running and dodging bullets, emotionally it’s the anxiety level that he’s carrying on his shoulders and you see it in his face.”

The former Malcolm In The Middle actor said he’s learned not to take that stress home.

“I have a ritual, at the end of every day I take two hot wet towels, moisturiser, and I take the make-up off and put the hot towels on my head and face and wipe all the energy away. Get rid of all of that bad juju!!”

Source: PaleyFest 2010, Chuck The Movieguy,, Zap2it

June 13th, 2010 (1) Comments - Post a Comment

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