Actor Bryan Cranston has gained a new perspective on human communication after silencing himself for one day a week in a bid to save his voice for his Broadway play All The Way. The Breaking Bad star is portraying former U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson onstage and reveals he had to stop talking for one day a week after finding himself losing his voice early on in the production.
He says, "We did the show in Boston and near the end of the run there, I could feel my throat getting hoarse and I need everything because LBJ was ferocious.
"I talked to a wonderful actor, Audra McDonald, and she did Porgy and Bess and she told me her ear, nose and throat (doctor) told her, 'You shut down on Mondays, don't say anything on Mondays', so I started 'silent Mondays'... and it's really helped."
He adds, "It's changed my perspective on things too. It makes things simpler... We're so keyed into talking all the time. You have a thought and normally you'd say it, but, on Mondays, I'm starting to write it and then realise, 'Oh, it's not even worth writing'. I slow down my thinking, I look at architecture more. It is fascinating, it's a whole other appreciation for human beings."
Bryan Cranston once served as Mark Harmon's understudy in a Los Angeles production of Wrestlers. The Breaking Bad star, who is currently portraying former U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson on Broadway, had to step in to take over for the NCIS star on three separate occasions.
However, during one show, Cranston found himself struggling to remember his lines.
He recalls, "It's a three-character play, mostly about these two brothers, and I was asked to understudy both of these characters and one of the actors was Mark Harmon and the other was the playwright...
"One time we were doing the play and I have all the dialogue raging in my head... and we're down there in front of the audience and Mark says his line and I just go blank. Couldn't think of the word at all, all eyes are on me. So I did a terrible thing to him and I said, 'Well you never know', and I know I looked at him like, 'Please help'. And he looked at me like, 'Oh, thanks a lot', because now the audience is all looking at him and going, 'He's not saying anything, he must have forgotten his lines'.
"Then, all of sudden, he threw out a line that got us back on track."
Bryan Cranston reunited with his Breaking Bad co-star Aaron Paul on Tuesday night (11Mar14) after dashing from his Broadway show to join the young actor at the afterparty for the New York premiere of his new film, Need For Speed. The former Malcolm in The Middle veteran was still sporting grey streaks in his hair from All The Way, in which he portrays former U.S. President Lyndon Baines Johnson.
Bryan Cranston won rave reviews for his performance in All The Way after its opening night on Broadway on Thursday (06Mar14). The Breaking Bad actor impressed critics with his portrayal of America's 36th President, Lyndon B. Johnson, in the Bill Rauch directed play about the struggle to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Cranston's performance was hailed as "effortlessly captivating" by theatre critic Mark Kennedy at Associated Press, while Joe Dziemianowicz at the New York Daily News called him "a force to be reckoned with".
USA Today's Elysa Gardner writes, "Strutting gut-first and affecting a gruff Southern drawl, the leading man delivers the emphatic, crowd-pleasing performance that the play, and Bill Rauch's vigorous direction, require, while also making Johnson affecting as a flesh-and-blood human being."
Hermione Hoby at Britain's Daily Telegraph writes, "The play might be a star vehicle but its star delivers. It's thrilling to watch Cranston go from his default, comic stance of forward-thrust hips and slumped shoulders, to fearsome, chest-puffed, confrontation."
A star-studded audience was in attendance, which included Gayle King, Josh Lucas, Jennifer Morrison, Chris O'Dowd and Hank Azaria.
The production - which also stars This Is Spinal Tap's Michael McKean - is due to run until 29 June (14).
All The Way Broadway/YouTube
Bryan Cranston is going to be appearing on Broadway for the first time ever in his career - he'll be playing President Lyndon Baines Johnson in All the Way - and I can't wait. He already looks like him in the commercials, doesn't he? I'm sure he studied a lot of his mannerisms and refined it as he went along performing it in Cambridge, MA over the fall.
He's shown that he's more than capable of inhabiting a role. He was so believable as the hapless father on Malcom in the Middle and then his slow change in Breaking Bad from a frustrated man who was facing unfair events in his life to someone who was pure, malevolent evil was something to behold. When you're watching a show or a movie that he's in, you are not thinking, "I'm watching Bryan Cranston act right now." No, he becomes the person on the screen and adds so much nuance to each role, it's really amazing to see him talk so differently when he's not on set.
Sure, Cranston won't have what actors on movies and television shows have: a safety net. If he flubs a line, he won't have a chance to stop, laugh at it and then do the scene over again. No, it'll be the theatergoers who exit chuckling and saying, "Can you believe Walter White forgot his lines?" Not that I'm worried about that happening, since the veteran actor is a consummate professional. The Great White Way won't intimidate this man. He's also got one of the masters of ad-libbing in Michael McKean, who will be playing J. Edgar Hoover (who would have thought the Spinal Tap actor would be right for this role?). So if things go sideways, they'll be able to pull it off.
The only thing that might pull me out of the play is if he suddenly tells someone, "What? Do you think I'm just some ordinary president who cowers when danger knocks? No. I'm the leader of the free world ... and I am the One Who Knocks. I. Am. The. Danger!" Or if Aaron Paul bursts on to the stage and blurts: "Veto? But you're the President, b---h!" Then there might be people there demanding some kind of re-write.
Chances are good that this will do very well, since Cranston is still an extremely hot commodity given the popularity of Breaking Bad. It wouldn't be surprising to see him add Tony awards to his ledger.
If you managed to stay away from all means of communication this past week and have no idea what's up in Hollywood, look no further. From Scar-Jo as World's Sexiest Woman to Bryan Cranston on Broadway, here are the week's top stories from our favorite websites:WENNShould We Be Talking About Chris Brown's Latest Interview?Chris Brown, whose new album X is set to drop at the beginning of December, raised some eyebrows in his published interview with the UK's The Guardian last weekend. The singer revealed that he lost his virginity at an extremely young age, and Flavorwire's Tom Hawking explores the reason behind the lack of discussion on what would normally be called sexual assault. Could Lady Gaga Have Done Without Jeff Koons?Lady Gaga refuses to be just another pop singer, but is her latest attempt a bit curious? ARTPOP will be released on Nov. 11 with an album cover designed by NYC-based artist Jeff Koons, but would Gaga have been better off without him? Flavorwire is wondering if her attempt at high art is missing the mark.Bryan Cranston Confirmed for Broadway PlayWalter White is headed for the city that never sleeps! Kind of... As much as we'd all love to see Breaking Bad-gone-Broadway, it's Bryan Cranston who will be making his debut on stage as Lyndon B. Johnson later this fall in All The Way. Hollywood.com has all of the details on Cranston's latest role.Scarlett Johansson Named Sexiest Woman Alive, AgainSeven years later and she's still got it! As if the release of her new movie isn't enough, Johansson, who can be seen in theaters alongside Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Don Jon, was once again named the Sexiest Woman Alive by Esquire. Celebuzz has the full story.
In anticipation for the upcoming David O. Russell movie American Hustle, we're celebrating the 1970s with a look at our favorite modern-day films set in the disco era. Based on the FBI Abscam operation in the late '70s and early '80s, the movie centers around a cunning con man (Christian Bale) and his partner (Amy Adams), who are forced to cooperate with the FBI. Besides being excited to watch Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper reunite on screen, we're also looking forward to the leisure suits, perms, and boogying. The '70s, which has been called "a pivot of change" and the "Me Decade," had one of the most distinct looks and feels (everyone wanted to look fabulous and go dancing), and lends itself well to cinema. Before American Hustle comes out, let's revisit all the best modern movies set in the 1970s.
Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, Boogie Nights featured a phenomenal cast playing various characters in the 1970s adult film industry. Mark Wahlberg turned out a career-making performance as Dirk Diggler, an up-and-coming porn star who rose to fame in the Golden Age of Porn. Movies about the porn industry are never warm and fuzzy, though, and the movie presents a very real and harrowing look at how easily one can spiral out of control in the business.
Forrest Gump is easily one of the most iconic movies of all time. The title character (Tom Hanks), though limited in his intelligence, experiences the most significant historic moments of the '60s and '70s. Forrest fights in the Vietnam War, meets Lyndon B. Johnson, speaks at anti-war rallies with hippies, discovers the Watergate break-in, defeats China in ping-pong, and runs across the country several times. Everything from the political climate to the fashion and soundtrack paints a picture of the time period to a tee.
Summer of Sam
Spike Lee's Summer of Sam centers around a group of people caught up in the frenzy of one of the most infamous summers in U.S. history. In 1977, a serial killer calling himself Son of Sam terrorized New York City as he went on a killing spree shooting women in parked cars and wrote letters to the media warning that he would kill again. The movie depicts the fear that New Yorkers lived in during those fraught months, while also touching on the rise of punk music and the relationship between organized crime leaders and the NYPD.
As if the '70s weren't pronounced enough as an era, the '70s in Las Vegas was a visual overload of bell-bottoms, colorful leisure suits, and gold jewelry. Martin Scorsese's Casino follows three characters intertwined in a corrupt casino as they rise to power and then crumble as the FBI, government officials, and the mafia take down their empire. Sharon Stone (as Ginger) shines in the film, both in her performance and in her glittery gowns.
Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy
The time period may not be the first thing you think of when you think Anchorman, but Ron Burgundy and his news team did rock some pretty serious '70s moustaches, sideburns, and leisure suits between them. Not to mention Veronica Corningstone's sharp skirtsuits.
The 1970s created some of the best rock bands in history, and Almost Famous is a celebration of the rich decade for music. Based on director Cameron Crowe's own experience as a teenage rock journalist for Rolling Stone, the coming-of-age film sees protagonist William go from his typical high school life with a strict mom to life on the road with fictional band Stillwater. The movie's soundtrack alone will completely take you back to the time period.
Dazed and Confused
Dazed and Confused makes high school look so much more fun in 1976 than 2013, especially the last day of school. The movie follows the course of one day and night, as the incoming freshmen get hazed by next year's seniors, kids try marijuana for the first time, and everybody lets loose at a keg party. And who can forget Matthew McConaughey in his tight t-shirt and pink bell-bottoms as the creepy older guy who still picks up high school girls?
The 68th Annual Tony Awards will be broadcast live from Radio City Music Hall on June 8, 2014, according to Deadline.
Hopeful nominees must meet the April 24 eligibility deadline, which is a few day before nominations will be announced (April 29).
The 2013-14 lineup is expected to be chock full of Tony-worthy performances. Some of the shows include musicals The Bridges of Madison County, Rocky, and Alladin, and plays Betrayal (starring Daniel Craig), Romeo and Juliet (starring Orlando Bloom), The Glass Menagerie (starring Zachary Quinto), and All the Way (starring Bryan Cranston).
A host for the 2014 ceremony has not yet been announced, but it wouldn't come as a surprise if Neil Patrick Harris was tapped again to spearhead the event considering that the 2013 Emmys jokingly pegged him as having an "excessive hosting disorder."
The awards show will air live on CBS, where it has aired since 1978.
More:Neil Patrick Harris Will Host the Tony Awards AgainWhat You Didn't See on TV at the 67th Annual Tony AwardsBryan Cranston is Headed to Broadway as Lyndon B. Johnson
From Our Partners:
A Complete History Of Twerking (1993-2013) (Vh1)20 Grisliest TV Deaths of 2012-2013 (Vulture)
Dispatches from the set of the Doctor Who Christmas Special last week reported that Matt Smith had wrapped his final scenes as the Eleventh Doctor. Dry your eyes, fangirls and boys, because the amibitious rising star isn't taking a break. News broke this morning that Smith is trying his hand at musical theater. But Cats, this definitely is not. Matt will definitely be showing London audiences a different side of himself this winter as the lead in a new adaptation of the controversial Bret Easton Ellis novel American Psycho. On Monday, director Rupert Goold tweeted this photo of the actor's first rehearsal as Wall Street psychopath Patrick Bateman.
The production at the relatively tiny Almeida Theater was already highly anticipated even before the announcement, thanks to the involvement of Spring Awakening composer Duncan Sheik and a Kickstarter campaign promoted by Easton Ellis himself. (Check out the video below for his endorsement). But all it took was Smith's name to mobilize his fans into buying out the run in a matter of minutes. We hope that viewers who worship him for his sweet, childlike portayal of the 1000-year-old time traveler sufficiently prepare themselves to witness Matt doing all manner of un-Doctor-like things.
More:Bryan Cranston is Headed to Broadway as Lyndon B. JohnsonDear 'Elementary': Do Not Pair Up Holmes and Watson'Broadchurch' Was Perfect And We Don't Need an American Remake
From Our Partners:40 Most Revealing See-Through Red Carpet Looks (Vh1)15 Stars Share Secrets of their Sex Lives (Celebuzz)
Adriana M. Barraza/WENN
So long, AMC and hello, Broadway. Bryan Cranston of Breaking Bad fame is taking his role as our 36th president in All the Way from Cambridge, Mass. to New York City, according to The New York Times. (We know you were all hoping it would be a musical.)
Receiving positive reviews for his performance as Lyndon B. Johnson, Cranston is expected to drive up ticket sales for the play written by Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Schenkkan (The Kentucky Cycle) when it hits Broadway late this year or early 2014. Assuming Cranston is vying for a Tony nomination for next year, he will be facing off against actors like Zachary Quinto in The Glass Menagerie, Denzel Washington in A Raisin in the Sun, Daniel Craig in Betrayal, Ian Mckellen and Patrick Stewart in No Man's Land and Waiting for Godot, and Ethan Hawke in Macbeth.
The three-hour historical drama chronicles LBJ's first year as president following the assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963 and his election win the following year. All the Way is currently nearing the completion of its sold-out run at the American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge.
So far, Cranston is the only actor confirmed to appear in the Broadway play.
More:Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: Bryan Cranston as Hal and WaltGet Out Your Tissues Because This 'Breaking Bad' Tribute Video Will Make You SobBryan Cranston to Star in 'Trumbo,' But Will He Be Able to Escape the Walter White Character?
From Our Partners:
A Complete History Of Twerking (1993-2013) (Vh1)15 Stars Share Secrets of their Sex Lives (Celebuzz)