Bryan Cranston: “The only failure in art is when you move someone to no emotion whatsoever”
“Being [famous] is almost like being a pregnant woman” – Bryan Cranston
Between the early buzz on Trumbo and the excitement over the announcement that HBO is doing an adaptation of Broadway’s All The Way, Bryan Cranston doesn’t need to worry about his Breaking Bad fame fading anytime soon. However, in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Cranston reveals that he is realistic enough to know that his current fame is fleeting and touched upon how his agency currently handles offers and why he thinks more people give him their opinions on his work.
Cranston admits that he tries to capitalize on his Breaking Bad success, and instructs his agency to follow-through on maximizing interesting offers. He says, “I tell my agency [UTA], ‘Do the best you can.’ They say, ‘We want to tell you about the deal.’ I say, ‘Are you happy?’ ‘I think we could get a little more.’ ‘All right, try.’ I don’t want to appear smug, but I don’t need a job. I’ve been really poor, foreclose-on-your-house poor. And I’ve been rich. Rich is better. But I’m just now starting to get used to the hour of fame. I haven’t been able to let the dust settle yet.”
Regarding his “hour of fame,” Cranston points out that it does have its drawbacks. He says, “Being [famous] is almost like being a pregnant woman. People think they can just put their hand on your belly and tell you, ‘Oh, you’re going to have a boy!’ It’s like having a complete stranger fondling you. And they have this sensibility where they feel comfortable coming up to you and saying, ‘You know that thing you did? I didn’t like that movie.’… They’re not in the storytelling world, but they hear buzzwords. So they’ll go, ‘I didn’t like your character’s arc.’ But I’m open to all of it.”
In fact, Cranston says he’d rather provoke negative reactions than no reactions at all, adding, “The only failure in art is when you move someone to no emotion whatsoever. I’d rather have people fiercely angry with me so long as they’re moved to some emotion. Even if the emotion was off-target — even if I was trying to move the audience one place and they go another. You missed, but at least they felt something.”
Suffice to say, Cranston hasn’t been missing lately when it comes to moving the audience.