Best known for his Emmy Award-winning portrayal of anti-hero Walter White in TV’s “Breaking Bad, Bryan Cranston now stars in Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures’ epic action adventure “Godzilla,” based on the character Godzilla owned and created by Toho Co., Ltd.
Cranston has vivid memories of being enthralled as he watched the monster rampage across his childhood TV screen. “Godzilla with his fiery breath…he just destroyed everything in his wake,” Cranston remembers. “It was actually a man in a suit stomping through a miniature Tokyo, but it was marvelous to a young kid. There’s a part of me that will always be that boy, but the whole sensibility of how to make a movie like this has matured; the audience has evolved. It’s not just about Godzilla smashing things up. People are still going to root for him, but you also want to be connected to what’s happening and root for the characters to make it through.”
From visionary director Gareth Edwards (“Monsters”), the new “Godzilla” is a powerful story of human courage and reconciliation in the face of titanic forces of nature, when the awe-inspiring King of Monsters rises to restore balance as humanity stands defenseless.
In the film, a series of tremors rock the Janjira Nuclear Power Plant near the Tokyo district where Ford, played as a youth by CJ Adams, lives with his parents Sandra and Joe Brody, played by Juliette Binoche and Bryan Cranston. In 1999, both are scientists at the power plant, and the morning after tremors hit, his father is the first to raise alarm bells. Cranston details, “Joe is a nuclear engineer and very good at his job. He has detected anomalous sound patterns in these tremors that others are trying to write off as mere earthquakes, but his data doesn’t support that. He knows there’s something more here and wants the nuclear plant shut down, but nobody listens. And when they finally do, it’s too late. He’s a whistleblower in all the good ways that one can be, and that troublemaker streak follows him into the present.”
Though Cranston is popularly known for bringing to life the thrilling, tragic arc of Walter White on “Breaking Bad,” Edwards remembered him as the father in the series “Malcolm in the Middle” and envisioned him as Joe from the start. “I was an avid fan of that show. I think it’s often harder to be a good comedic actor than it is to be a good dramatic actor, and Bryan can nail the joke every time, but he’s also able to convey so much emotion in everything he does. So the whole time we were writing this part, Bryan was always Joe in my mind, and, fortunately, he said ‘yes.’”
For his part, Cranston, in spite of his stated affection for Godzilla movies, never imagined that he’d be in one. “But, as Gareth said to me, this film is different,” the actor relates. “It’s steeped in character, which makes the fantastic elements of the story more fulfilling because, as you follow these people through this adventure, you see good and bad decisions being made and relationships being pulled apart and brought together. All the elements of any good drama are here, wrapped up in big, epic monster movie.”
Cranston recently essayed the role of CIA operative Jack O’Donnell, in Ben Affleck’s Oscar®-winning Best Picture “Argo,” for which he shared in a SAG Award® for Outstanding Motion Picture Ensemble. Last year, Cranston was heard as the voice of Vitality in “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted.” His long list of film credits includes Len Wiseman’s remake of “Total Recall”; Adam Shankman’s “Rock of Ages”; Nicolas Winding Refn’s critically acclaimed “Drive,” opposite Ryan Gosling and Carey Mulligan; as well as “Contagion,” “John Carter of Mars” and “Little Miss Sunshine.”
Opening across the Philippines on May 15 in 3D, 2D and IMAX 3D in select theatres, “Godzilla” is distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.