From a slew of minor television roles and film cameos, to playing Malcolm’s insane dad, to nabbing himself the lead in one of the most acclaimed TV drama series of all time, Breaking Bad, Bryan Cranston has become the most sought after actor in Hollywood. And considering he’s been a working regular in the business since the late eighties, it’s been a long time coming.
While season four of Breaking Bad goes to air later this month, Cranston has roles in several films due out this year: Larry Crowne with Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts, Steven Soderbergh’s Contagion alongside the likes of Kate Winslet, Matt Damon, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive starring Ryan Gosling. In 2012 he has a similarly hectic schedule with Rock of Ages, John Carter, Total Recall and possibly Red Tails.
He’s now set to star in Ben Affleck’s next directorial film, Argo, which begins filming in September, (Affleck opted out of the Great Gatsby due to conflicting schedules with this project).
Affleck has cast himself as lead, CIA agent Tony Mendez, in the hostage-rescue thriller also starring Alan Arkin and John Goodman. Cranston is reportedly playing the role of CIA agent Jack O’Donnell, former bodyguard to President Eisenhower and Mendez’s boss.
The actor’s is also in talks to join the cast of The Gangster Squad – a period crime drama – starring opposite Ryan Gosling, Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, Anthony Mackie and Michael Pena. Supposedly Affleck was offered to direct the film before the wheels of Argo were set in motion.
Instead Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland) has taken up the directing role for the story based on a series of LA Times articles titled “Tales from the Gangster Squad” by Paul Liebermann, following the efforts of a special LAPD unit in their attempts to curb the illegal activities of organised crime in LA in the ’40s.
Cranston will play Max Kennard, “a laconic LAPD officer from Texas who enforces the law ambitiously,” and has his own brand of justice. Sean Penn will star as gangster Mickey Cohen of the East Coast Mafia, while Gosling and Brolin will play cops alongside of Mackie who will play Rocky Washington, the first black lieutenant in the LAPD recruited into the elite unit.
Stay tuned. Casting agents are all over Cranston like a pug’s face on a pug. And we are so so glad about that.