Where Are They Now: Bryan Cranston and life after ‘Breaking Bad’


Actor Bryan Cranston and his wife Robin Dearden pose together at the 68th Directors Guild of America Awards at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza on Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Actor Bryan Cranston had an incredible run as the antihero Walter White on AMC’s highly-acclaimed drama “Breaking Bad,” earning six Emmy nominations for Outstanding Lead Actor from 2008 to 2013. So, where is he now?

Cranston was simultaneously involved in film during the run of “Breaking Bad,” albeit in supporting roles. He was part of the casts of “The Lincoln Lawyer,” “Drive” and “Contagion” all premiering in 2011. In 2012, he played an important role in Ben Affleck’s “Argo,” which eventually earned him the Oscar for Best Picture.

After the final episode of “Breaking Bad” aired in Sep. 2013, it took a few months before Cranston popped up again on the silver screen. He reappeared in the 2014 reboot of “Godzilla,” playing a nuclear scientist. Unfortunately for his fans, Cranston’s final scene comes before the titular monster even appears.

“I wouldn’t be here if it was just, ‘Look out, this monster is crushing everything!’ Instead of trying to humanize the beast what this film does – and, I think, rightfully so – is humanize the people. You root for them and sympathize with their plight,” Cranston said of his appearance in “Godzilla.”

Where Cranston could be consistently found after the end of “Breaking Bad” was on the stage. In Sep. 2013, he began playing U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson in “All the Way,” a play which depicts Johnson’s efforts to enact and enforce the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

“All the Way” appeared both at the American Repertory Theater and on Broadway and was extremely successful at the 2014 Tony Awards. It won the award for Best Play, and Cranston took home Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play for his portrayal of Johnson.

Cranston earned strong reviews from critics for his performance. “Cranston offers up a restless, hypnotically intense physicality coupled with an intimately forged vulnerability,” wrote Chris Jones in the Chicago Tribune. “This elongated actor does not disappoint for a moment, driving the show with a truly riveting life-force and, it seems, painting every up and down in this insecure but notably self-aware president’s life on his visage, which seems to pull and stretch in limitless directions.”

“All the Way” is set to be adapted into an HBO film, with Cranston reprising his role and Steven Spielberg serving as executive producer. “We could now reach millions more and tell this important story by way of HBO,” Cranston said of the adaptation, which is set for a May 2016 premiere date.

Cranston made a more triumphant return to the silver screen in 2015, as Hollywood screenwriter Dalton Trumbo in the biographical drama film “Trumbo.” The film itself did not receive a tremendous critical response, but it earned Cranston an Oscar nomination for Best Actor.

“Cranston’s performance is the motor that runs [the film], and that motor never idles, never flags in momentum or magnetism or idealistic scorn,” wrote Ty Burr in The Boston Globe.

Cranston has many projects lined up for 2016, but first he will attend the Academy Awards on Feb. 28 and take on favorite Leonardo DiCaprio for Best Actor. Win or lose, it is likely he has more award nominations in his future.

Tyler Keating is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at tyler.keating@uconn.edu.

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