Breaking Bad's Cranston speaks at UT about playing LBJ - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Breaking Bad's Cranston speaks at UT about playing LBJ

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He is the one who knocks! Heisenberg himself, the great Bryan Cranston is in Austin.

"I really like Austin. It feels different to me than any other Texas city I've been in," Cranston said.

The Breaking Bad star is in town for a UT lecture series. He and Pulitzer prize-winning playwright and UT grad Robert Schenkkan are talking about Schenkkan's new play "All the Way."

It's about Lyndon B. Johnson's first year as president...and Cranston plays LBJ.

Schenkkan says he was looking for an actor who could be both charming and terrifying and Cranston's got that covered.

"If you look at the range of his work simply on television, you know between Malcolm and the Middle and Walter White on Breaking Bad, that's a pretty staggering range and that's what it takes to I think...to really fulfill this character," Schenkkan said.

Earlier this year, Cranston spent some time at the LBJ Library researching the part.

He was most moved by a letter from Jackie Kennedy to LBJ in the days after JFK's assassination.

Jackie was appreciative that he'd taken the time to write letters to their children about their father.

"Here is a situation where this man just took over the presidency under tragic conditions. And within those 4 days, he took the time...he's now the President of the United States! But he took the time to write 2 individual letters to his predecessor's children and I thought that resonated. That says something about the character of a man," Cranston said.

I asked Cranston how he's portraying the man. Is he going with the LBJ southern drawl?

"I changed things up a bit and gave him a Swedish accent! No one expected it...and that's what I'm all about," Cranston joked.

Heisenberg's a funny guy! But seriously, Cranston says he wore lifts to make him appear taller, prosthetic ears...and yes...LBJ's southern accent.

"You know you don't want to do an impersonation. You want to be able to get the sensibility of the man and the more that I read about him, the more my research takes me and the more people I talk to who knew him, I glean a little bit more each time," Cranston said.

The show had a pretty good opening in Boston already and it's headed for Broadway with Cranston in the lead role.

If you're interested in what he did while he was in the ATX, he said last night they had "fantastic" Mexican food at El Dorado on Rainey Street.

And Thursday, BBQ at Lamberts.

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