Actor Bryan Cranston tackles evil role in "Total Recall"

Thu Aug 2, 2012 11:57am EDT
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By Zorianna Kit

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Bryan Cranston's role as a cancer-stricken chemistry teacher who manufactures methamphetamine on television's "Breaking Bad" has earned him three Emmy Awards and a massive cult following.

Before the show he was best-known as the father on the comedy series "Malcolm in the Middle," but his role as a sympathetic bad guy has made Hollywood take notice.

Now the 56-year-old actor is sought for feature films, having starred in "John Carter," "Red Tails," "Rock of Ages" and "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted."

Cranston has his most high-profile film role to date, as the evil Chancellor Cohaagen in a remake of the 1990 Arnold Schwarzenegger blockbuster "Total Recall," which opens in the United States on Friday. It stars Colin Farrell in the Schwarzenegger role as the ordinary man who discovers he is actually a super spy.

Cranston spoke about the new film and what he plans to do when "Breaking Bad" ends next year.

Q: You play the evil Chancellor Cohaagen in "Total Recall." What was it about the role that attracted you?

A: "The idea of having a bad guy for the sake of being a bad guy, I don't relate to that. I always need to justify the characters' actions. If you can't then the character stays outside of you and you're never comfortable because you never quite understand that character. An actor needs to ingest a character, to swallow it and let it sink down into the center of your body and live there in order for you to truly be comfortable."

Q: So after you ingested Cohaagen, what's he all about?   Continued...

Cast member Bryan Cranston poses at the premiere of "Total Recall" at the Grauman's Chinese theatre in Hollywood, California August 1, 2012. The movie opens in the U.S. on August 3. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni