Exclusive Interview: Bryan Cranston on Andrew Stanton’s JOHN CARTER OF MARS and Anthony Hemingway’s RED TAILS

     March 9, 2010

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While AMC’s Mad Men gets most of the press, the network has another amazing show called Breaking Bad.  The show’s about a brilliant high school chemistry teacher that finds out he’s dying. To help provide for his family after he’s gone and also to pay for medical treatment, he gets into cooking crystal meth. The problem is…the guy has always been a straight shooter and completely honest, so he doesn’t understand how the drug trade works. Trust me, this is a show you should be watching and the lead performance by Bryan Cranston is amazing.  That’s probably why he won the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series the past two years.

With season three getting ready to air in a few weeks and season two about to be released on home video, I was able to speak with Bryan Cranston yesterday to help promote the series.  While I’ll be posting the full interview closer to the air date of season three, since he’s in both Andrew Stanton’s John Carter of Mars and Anthony Hemingway’s Red Tails, I wanted to get what he said about the two films online today.  In both movies he plays a member of the military, but his characters could not be more different.   He talks about exactly who he plays and when he shot both films after the jump:

Bryan Cranston  (2).jpgCollider: You’re going to be in Andrew Stanton’s John Carter of Mars.

Bryan Cranston: Yeah, I am. We already started shooting that. I shot for a week in London a couple weeks ago.

Can you talk about who you play in the film and are you excited to be in this huge movie?

Cranston: Very excited. I liked the script first and foremost. That’s why I went in to meet with Andrew. And then his infectious enthusiasm for the movie and for characters and it just….I caught his bug. And I said, yes, so I’ll be a part of it. I’ll do whatever you want me to do. And so I play, during the Civil War America time….this story takes place part-time Civil War America and Mars, which has no time. So my character is a Northern Colonel who is dogging John Carter to be a part of the government. We need his help. He’s an excellent tracker and marksman and that sort of thing. And in the Arizona Territories, the Apaches are running wild, so I need his help and he won’t do it. He doesn’t want to have anything to do with anything. His family was obliterated during the War. It was horrible and he wants to be a part of no man’s government. So I keep after him and keep after him and track him down and have a conversation with him and have to use some physical force on him and he keeps breaking out and I keep tracking him down. And finally we end up in a cave and in this cave are some magical things that happen.  And that transports him and it’s really quite fascinating and I look forward to it.

I’m so excited for this movie. Andrew’s first live-action. You’re on hiatus now and you’re filming…now you just did the one week on John Carter, does that mean you’re wrapped?

Cranston: No, I have 2 more weeks to go.  We’ll pick that up in Utah in April.

Bryan Cranston  (3).jpgYou also did Red Tails and you play a Major in the film. Could you talk about what that was like?

Cranston: It was an important film to do. I mean this is the first feature-length film about that story. They did a television movie about it, but this is a feature release. A lot of CGI. George Lucas is producing it. A great guy named Anthony Hemingway was the director. And I worked with Terrance Howard, who was really a fine gentleman and a terrific actor. And it was important. I played a bigoted white man who didn’t want to give, as he would say “the coloreds shouldn’t have an opportunity to be put in that position because they don’t have the wherewithal to handle it” you know, extreme conditions. So it would be like sending a dog to their death and that’s just not right. So it was fun to play kind of guy amongst the Civil Rights movement, which was almost non-existent in the 40’s.

George Lucas is producing…he’s known for green-screen and added effects afterwords.  What was it like on-set?  Was it very practical based or was it a lot of green-screen?

Cranston: There was green-screen in the backgrounds, so we shot in a controlled environment set in Prague and it was fun. Very educational and entertaining. And I think they have a tremendous amount of green-screen to do and they’ll put, you know, whatever backgrounds they think are appropriate behind us. That sort of thing.

And one last question on Red Tails, when did you film that? Did you film that…how long ago?

Cranston: Filmed that in…let’s see when was this…that was I want to say March. I want to say a year ago this month.

So basically during last year’s hiatus?

Cranston: Yeah, it was a year ago this month that we were doing that, I think.


Look for my full interview soon.  John Carter of Mars gets released sometime in 2012 and Red Tails doesn’t  have a release date.

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