One of my favorite actors Bryan Cranston was in Washington, DC earlier this week to stop by the White House, promote his new (and might I add, incredibly interesting film) Trumbo and to be present at the Breaking Bad donation ceremony at the Smithsonian Museum of American History. While I didn’t go to the White House, I was fortunate enough to attend the red carpet DC premiere of Trumbo on Monday night at the Newseum, where I spoke with Cranston and director Jay Roach. I also interviewed Cranston and Roach in a roundtable setting Tuesday morning in DC to discuss Trumbo, and later in the day attended the Breaking Bad ceremony at the Smithsonian where his fellow actors Aaron Paul, Dean Norris, Jonathan Banks, RJ Mitte and creator Vince Gilligan were also in attendance. Well anyone who knows me knows how OBSESSED I am with Breaking Bad, so to interview Mr. Cranston two days in a row and then attend this rare ceremony was more than enough to produce a fangirl freakout.
Also, it’s super important to mention that Mr. Cranston wore a Heisenberg tie bar at the Breaking Bad ceremony. The same tie bar I bought for my fiancé Kevin that Kevin then gave to Cranston on the red carpet, that he ended up wearing to the ceremony! Mr. Cranston, we are honored that you wore it that night!
Cranston is absolutely mesmerizing as Dalton Trumbo, the Hollywood screenwriter who was blacklisted in the 1940s for promoting communist values, while Jay Roach’s direction of this story make its all the more fascinating. Cranston discusses why he was drawn to the character of Trumbo and what made him different from all the other characters he has played.
Lauren: Congratulations on the movie! I know you were on Howard Stern this week, but in you first interview with Howard Stern, you mentioned you received several roles after Malcolm in the Middle that were also the “funny dad” type roles and you didn’t want to do them because you were looking for something different. Clearly, every role you have taken since then has been a different character and I was wondering what it was about the character of Dalton Trumbo and this screenplay in particular that drew you to this film.
Cranston: Really it’s first and foremost the story. I look at that and see if it resonates with me when I read the script. You can have a great character, but if the character is part of a story that seems unimportant and unimaginative it just falls flat. How does the character play into the plot; is it relevant; is there a turning point; is their a character arc; does the character learn from this experience? All of those come into play when you are analyzing it. I also want to talk to the director and see if he or she has a vision for this. Is it along the lines of the story that I sensed? That was true with Jay [Roach]. He had a very clear idea of what he wanted to do, but he also welcomed a collaborative form that we wanted to be a team and to work to the best of our ability. And there are many directors who are too threatened or ego-driven to want or nurture input. That combination of all those things is what happens and that’s why Trumbo came to me.
Trumbo also stars Diane Lane, Elle Fanning, Louis C.K., Michael Stuhlbarg, John Goodman and Helen Mirren. It opens Friday November 13 at Angelika Mosaic, Bethesda Row and Landmark E Street.