July 29, 2021

Bryan Cranston: “In the US we still do not understand that public health is human” | Culture

By now, Bryan Cranston (Los Angeles, 64) may just be concerned with making the world a little better. That tranquility will probably be achieved by already becoming a world star, thanks to Breaking Bad, after a life of work ups and downs. Today they do not seem to eat away at the paths of his career, nor does he calibrate his next project to the extreme. That is why in March he did not mind being placed in the public background again when he was diagnosed with coronavirus. After Tom Hanks recounted his case, he thought there was no need for another famous person talking about the disease, so he shyly shut himself up with his wife.

Cranston was also trying to make the world a little better by embarking on The magnificent Ivan, a family film that Disney + premieres on September 11 after ruling out its theatrical release due to the pandemic: “Precisely now that we feel restricted in our movements and freedoms, this film should raise a question in children: why do we have zoos? ? Is it the right thing to have animals in cages? I like to ask these questions while doing pure entertainment, although we do not seek to answer them. It is important for families to consider it, ”he tells EL PAÍS by videoconference from his home in Los Angeles, which he turned into a clinic while he and his wife suffered from covid and which is now a television studio to promote.

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“It’s a crazy story, and we pass the fancy filter on it.” This is how Cranston describes this story directed by Thea Sharrock and written by Mike White (School of Rock) where animals speak and rebel, but whose origin is a real event. Iván was a primate who lived 27 years locked up behind the scenes of a shabby mall, where it was one more piece of the leisure of the visitors, next to the shops or the arcade. Cranston is the owner of the animals, affectionate and fatherly, but at the same time a captor. A Tiger King sweetened for Disney. “I am comfortable only with flawed characters. It is not a single thing. I like that he rethinks everything, and that he looks for a better life ”.

Cranston hadn’t worked on a Disney family movie since 2001 when he was a pseudo Santa Claus in the TV movie Save christmas. Today it is already a visible face of the promotion, despite not being the first name of the poster. That honor goes to the animals, who in the original are voiced by Sam Rockwell, Angelina Jolie or Danny DeVito. “I have been an actor for 41 years, many times in theater, and I always apply imagination and impressionistic ideas to my performances, so it was not difficult to shoot with men disguised as animals and a green background,” he says before stressing the importance of not using any animal on set: “Circuses were always in my life, and it wasn’t until 20 years ago that I thought it was unethical to put animals in that position. That persists in society, and we must reflect, ”he explains.

But right now his speech is focused on another fight: raising awareness about the coronavirus. “It is the most extraordinary year of our life and we have to be strong. The important thing is respect, be sensible. The good thing is that we are adaptable. I can’t stop recommending the same thing: put on your mask, keep social distance, wash your hands… ”, exclaims the actor, who also spent part of the confinement on television for many, due to his participation in Contagion by Steven Soderbergh, who anticipated part of the protocols.

Bryan Cranston and the gorilla from ‘The Magnificent Ivan’, in an image from the film.AP

The covid did not attack him in a very virulent way. He and his wife were tired for a week, with a dry cough and itchy bodies. But no fever. When he got out of confinement, what he knew was that he had to help, so he asked Tom Hanks where he had donated plasma, so that they could investigate his antibodies. He recorded the process and uploaded it to his networks. One of his most active cries is to make healthcare affordable in the United States, a social stalemate that his Walter White, of Breaking Bad: “I am proud of my country, but therefore it goes without saying that we have to be honest about our mistakes. In addition to our complicated racial history, we should look at countries like France or Spain and ask ourselves questions. You have to worry about citizens and be clear that public health should be a right, not a privilege of the rich. I hope that one day we will be able to understand that simple concept to make a transition that seems impossible. It is the human, the obvious, but here they still do not understand it. People come first ”.

The magnificent Ivan already adapts to the covid times. The film, one of the few non-franchises on the Disney calendar, was to have been released in theaters in August, although it ended up accompanying the films Mulán, Artemis Fowl Y Direct Hamilton a Disney+. “Luckily the TVs at home are better than ever, and families need this entertainment. But we can never replace the simultaneous reaction, a laugh with strangers, a scream of terror … That joint goose bumps is not repeated at home. I want to go back to see blockbusters like Star Wars, but also more intimate films. The public should not forget to go see small plays. Although to return we need to know how we will fight it when it happens again, because it will happen again, and here people still do not wear a mask “, he insists, worried but hopeful:” especially in 2020 it is important that the world have happy movies like this one. “