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Bryan Cranston Fantasized About Getting Jumped While Preparing For All The Way

Whether it's playing a meth kingpin or a stop-motion animated superhero, Bryan Cranston doesn't seem to have any problems playing a wide range of characters. The Emmy winner is most known for his TV efforts from "Breaking Bad and "Malcolm in the Middle." However, the well-renowned actor has also excelled on the big screen with flicks such as "Trumbo" and "Argo." Honestly, to name every single endeavor Cranston has pursued would take considerable time seeing as he has over 160 credits making up his body of work. He has been very prolific, and some projects have a tendency to stand out for a number of reasons. 

Cranston's proficiency in providing powerful performances in the many roles he has taken on throughout his career has been an entertaining affair to witness, and it's no secret the actor has to go through thorough preparation for each part. However, some might be shocked to learn that when it came time to get ready for his portrayal of former President Lyndon B. Johnson in the motion picture adaptation of "All the Way," part of Cranston's process involved having thoughts of himself on the wrong end of a violent encounter.

Cranston's panic during a table read led him to fantasize about being jumped

2016's "All the Way" saw Bryan Cranston reprise the role of President Lyndon B. Johnson, after playing the same role in a 2014 Broadway production of the same name. When preparing before taking the stage, the actor had complete access to Johnson's presidential library to help him develop his performance. He was so focused on getting to know the former president that it quickly became clear that he neglected one crucial aspect of the preparation process. 

"And all of a sudden, we did a table read, and I panicked. I had made a calculable error," Cranston said in an interview with GQ. "I neglected the logistics, the balance of learning the lines to the point I even fantasized about someone jumping me in my lowest of low. Someone jumped me and beat me up. And I got put into the hospital, which delayed the opening ... That's how bad it was." Cranston was so panicked that dreams of beatings and hospitalization put him at ease. Luckily, he overcame the fear and got back on track before opening night.

It seems his preparation was different for the movie, at least according to co-star Anthony Mackie. Mackie told IndieWire what he liked most about working with Cranston, saying, "It's one of the few times I came to set, and I knew that the leading man was a leader. It wasn't so much about him showing off; it was about him showing up prepared and knowing you had everything you needed to succeed." 

Cranston learned his lesson, and when it came time for the film, he delivered yet another powerful performance for the list of his most memorable roles.