Bryan Cranston has moved on from his mesmerising role as meth maker Walter White by donning a suit and a Trumbo moustache.
Does anyone really remember the Dad from Malcolm in the Middle? One pioneering TV writer did; Vince Gilligan, who’d worked with the actor on a single X Files episode in the late 90s and tapped him to play the suburban father and husband-turned drug kingpin in a show he’d got a green light for called Breaking Bad.
As Walter White, audiences fell in love with Bryan Cranston’s arc from aw-shucks chemistry teacher to the stone cold killer hiding in plain sight and rather than a series, the narrative was so tight it played like a 60 hour movie.
Cranston was suddenly the hottest thing in Hollywood, appearing in one high profile pic after another (following a long career of movies nobody took any notice of, that is) like Argo, The Lincoln Lawyer, Drive and Godzilla.
With Trumbo, the 59-year-old Los Angeles native puts on his actor’s hat, inhabiting the role of the blacklisted 1940s screenwriter Dalton Trumbo and giving another great performance in a crowd pleasing film. But as he tells GQ, a lot of preparation goes into find the soul of a rebel.
How did you find the character of Dalton Trumbo?
There’s a lot of source material but you can kind of get lost in that and if you only focus on that you start down a road of impersonation so I wanted to be very careful not to do that.
That being said, he was a very flamboyant character with contradiction and irascibility and passion. He was a wonderfully big character dramatically. It’s kind of an amalgam of research from the books about him, talking to people who knew him, so you’re almost like a detective assembling clues.
Every time I start a show or a character it’s always outside of me, I always envision him out there somewhere, then the more research I do and the more I talk to people the closer he gets to coming in and at some point you have to have trust and have faith that he becomes a part of you, not just the sound of him but how he carries his body and his sensibility, his point of view.
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