- - Thursday, April 27, 2017

You would think that an award-winning actor, director, producer and screenwriter would be thankful for some downtime, but Bryan Cranston, 61, cannot stop creating. Beloved for his standout roles in “Breaking Bad” and “Malcolm in the Middle,” the veteran actor and Oscar nominee has created and executive-produced Amazon’s new crime drama, “Sneaky Pete,” and also stars in Crackle’s animated comedy “SuperMansion.”

When he’s not appearing on the big screen, (most recently in “Power Rangers”), Mr. Cranston is on a book tour for his memoir, “A Life in Parts,” which quickly became a New York Times best-seller.

At the TV Critics Press Tour, Mr. Cranston spoke about his autobiography, and he shared stories from his vibrant personal and professional life with The Washington Times.

Question: I heard you randomly left signed copies of your books in airports. Have you heard from anyone who received one?

Answer: It was just a fun thing to do. It was a lark; I did it early on in the book tour. I just wanted to give a gift.

I would sign it, buy it, and sneak it back onto the bookshelf. I did it in every airport, or every place where I could find the book. There were a lot of tweets and news reports and interviews where they bring it up and show pictures of the book.

Q: What was the experience like writing the book?

A: I enjoyed it. It was a chance for me to be creative without being in the public eye. I get tired of being in the public eye; it was rather exhausting at times. What I wanted to do is to be able to refocus on stories that I have told before, stories that I have never told, and have the responsibility now to go back in and really be detailed about what was happening with me emotionally [and] intellectually, and lay it all out there.

I thought it would be a futile exercise to withhold something. There are a lot of intimate things that I reveal — some things I am not proud of, some things I am. You read about the insecurities and the triumphs of life. It was very cathartic.

Q: Did you show it to your wife before you turned the manuscript in?

A: She definitely read it, and so did my brother and sister. I had a lot about them in it, and I wanted to make sure the details were correct. I didn’t want them to be offended about anything. It helped a lot to [with] some recollections.

Q: And you recorded an audio book for it. Was that difficult?

A: It was harder than I thought. I don’t think I will do it again.

I would hear my voice, [which was] like sending the reverberating back into your brain. It’s almost like — you know when you are on a bad phone connection, when you say something, and you can hear your [own] voice again? It was almost like that. I wouldn’t be able to get a fluid sentence or two out. It was like, oh, my God!

Q: If someone would voice an audio book for you, who would you want?

A: Morgan Freeman!

Q: What do you want to do next?

A: I need to slow down a little bit. I did a lot this year, and I have a lot of things coming up again. Each thing takes a lot of energy, and then energy to sell it. I just feel like at times I am breathing in my own exhale. Like I am just kind of working in a bubble.

I know that it doesn’t behoove me as an actor, certainly, but as a person, I want to be able to continue to explore and learn things, whether or not they have anything to do with the character I am playing. I just want to wander the streets in Budapest. I want to be alive.

Q: Where do you still want to travel to?

A: Africa. And I would love to go to the Scandinavian countries.

Q: How did you get involved with producing “SuperMansion”?

A: I was looking to expand and try things as a producer in the latter few years of “Malcolm in the Middle” as well as “Breaking Bad,” and it’s worked out. I enjoy supporting other writers and their visions. I read everything and give notes and try to offer suggestions, but the bottom line is that it’s really up to them, as it should be in the collaborative framework of [each project].

Q: Now that you are producing and directing, why are you putting so much pressure on yourself?

A: I mean, the simple answer is I don’t play golf. I work, and I go home, and that’s basically it. I want to be with my wife and family, or I’m working. It’s not laborious to me.

As you know, I love storytelling.So get me involved in any aspect of storytelling, and if it’s compelling to me, I’d like to be a part of it.

“A Life in Parts” is now available.

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