Long before he ascended to the top of his profession, Cranston faced no shortage of personal and professional challenges until the success of Breaking Bad, the show that changed his life.
Author of the memoir A Life in Parts, he usually voices audiobooks, such as The title the Things They Carried. A book lover, he confesses his passion for drama and theater, such as the works of Lorca.
Q: I heard you speak Spanish
A: I can say Buenos Dias and order food. But I love Spanish culture and I admire how is extended through America in the last years
Q: Would you say it is important to read Spanish for the new generations of American kids?
A: Very. The more open we are to other cultures, the more significant it is to accept in the social structures.
Q: Any favorite Spanish author?
A: I read a lot of drama and I always loved Lorca.
Q: You stored it up for all these years?
A: I only want to do stuff I really believe in. And now it’s time to promote this. I want everybody to believe in it and to see it. It’s not a big movie, but it’s an important movie. And this really did happen just like we are talking right now.
Q: Where does the energy come from doing what you like?
A: There is an old saying: “Make Hay when the sun shines”. I was very happy at the age of 26 to become a professional actor. And that’s the only thing I wanted to do. That’s the only job I’ve had since then and I make a living doing that. I am very proud of that circumstance alone. There are too many that don’t make a living doing what they love. The avalanche of attention that comes from working is something I am trying to get away from. I am just focusing on doing the work. Someone taps me on the shoulder and wants to give me an award, I appreciate that but that’s not what I work for.
Q: How would you describe yourself as an actor?
A: Well, maybe. We all have a level of abilities, and if you are open to it, extremisms, exhibitionisms, and or our ability to be egocentric, there are different scales. As an actor you want to go in – it’s like selecting a bouquet of flowers. You do that with your own abilities and emotions. You can only draw from yourself, from your imagination…
Q: .. you are close to your daughter …
A: I work hard, I work a lot.. I do enjoy work. I love to work. I don’t play golf, I don’t have a hobby like that. I enjoy bike riding, I enjoy swimming and surfing in the ocean.
Q: Do you miss Walter White in “Breaking Bad”…
A: Walter White was a different man from where he started and where he ended. Out of necessity. There was more of a light switch, he was pushed against the wall, he was going to die in two years. he had to fight. He had nothing to lose. He had to come out fighting.
Q: How did your life change after Walter White?
A: It created great opportunities for me, and I am forever grateful for that. I am still negotiating my relationship with fame. I am not very comfortable with that in a sense. I feel better when I am working. When I am not working at home I have a tendency to become more reclusive. I find the conversation different. When we meet at a bus station and start a conversation about life, I am now longing for those kind of conversations. I look for older people at an airport and talk to them. They have a lesser chance of knowing who I am.
Q: If you weren’t an actor, what do you think you’d do today?
A: If I wasn’t an actor, I feel like I would do something outdoors, something in a National Park to express the appreciation for the outdoors.
Q: Weren’t you worried that the smoking affected your health negatively?
A: I mistakingly thought – he was a chain smoker – well, that’s a part of who he is and what killed him eventually. The affectation of the cigarette adds something to that character, at least that’s what I thought. So, I smoked herbal cigarettes because I thought it would be better for me. but I am still inhaling smoke. And I felt terrible. The thing is, I had the cigarette just didn’t inhale. I didn’t want to fake it. I had to endure. But I did look for scenes where I didn’t have to smoke. It was awful.
Q: How do you keep healthy?
A: DNA, I don’t know. I don’t smoke, I try to sleep well. I run a lot to stay healthy.
I like having a set that’s friendly where everybody is respected. That’s the way I like to work.
By María Estévez