Bryan Cranston on His Early Roles, Dealing With Rejection and His ‘Erasable Mind’

Variety | 1/13/1982 | Jordan Moreau
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Following his 2014 Tony Award for best actor as President Lyndon B. Johnson in Robert Schenkkan’s play “All the Way,” Bryan Cranston is looking to add to his trophy collection this year with his performance as Howard Beale in “Network.” The deranged anchorman — who’s famously “mad as **** and not going to take this anymore” — is the latest in a string of iconic roles for the actor, best known for playing chemistry teacher-turned-drug lord Walter White in the AMC series “Breaking Bad” (earning him a Golden Globe and four acting Emmys along the way). On a more lighthearted note, Cranston starred as goofy father Hal in Fox family sitcom “Malcolm in the Middle.” He was first mentioned in Variety in an announcement on Jan. 13, 1982, when he signed with Leonard Grant & Associates for personal management.

Did you have any train-wreck auditions early in your career?

Hugh - Jackman - Was - School - Production

Hugh Jackman Was Rejected From His High School Production of 'The Music Man'

I was 22 years old, and the character was a cocky Southerner. I thought, “I’m just gonna go in character.” The casting director held out his hand, and I pretended I didn’t see it. I crossed my legs and put my boots on top of his desk. At that point he was done with me, and he was right because I was acting like an idiot. He goes, “Get your feet off my desk.” I had a moment of “Are you really this character, or are you going to acquiesce?” I just smirked. He said it again, and I realized we were done. The whole character dropped, and I took my feet off his desk. I said, “It wouldn’t really matter if we read the scene, would it?” He said no, and I left and apologized.

Rejection

How did you deal with rejection?

I...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Variety
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