Seven years have passed since his triumphant participation in Breaking bad for the Golden Globe winner for that role to accept another leading role in a series. But as he himself admits in this interview, there are certain similarities between the character who consecrated him after years of supporting roles and the one he embodies in Your honor (Movistar +), based on the Israeli series of the same name. As in everything he does, Bryan Cranston shines as a New Orleans judge named Michael Desiato who throws all his beliefs overboard after his first-born collides with a motorcycle driven by the son of a dangerous local mob boss.
What made you decide to commit to a series again?
I was interested in the question that the series asks itself, which is what a father is willing to do to protect his son. He is an honest, respected man and always seeks to do the right thing. But his son has made a mistake and he believes he has to take responsibility for his actions, until he realizes that doing so will put his life in grave danger. And there the dilemma arises of what to do, what is honorable, what is legal and what is correct. I believe that any father will say that he will become a criminal if necessary if that is how he manages to save the life of his son.
Can Michael Desiato be compared to Walter White?
Yes. Obviously the two are played by the same actor. There are some similarities between the two, and it’s up to me to create the differences between the two characters, although it’s not something I do consciously. I just focus on the story and let this be the one to guide me. The man I play is older than Walter White, he has his flaws, his greatness and his weaknesses. They are things that both have but that become differences if you pay attention to the specific requirements of the arguments of each series. Here the focus is on who this man is as a father, while in the other series the accent was on his responsibilities as a man and as a husband. Michael only thinks about saving his son’s life and gets no personal reward for what he does. On the contrary, he knows that he is destroying his soul and his integrity, but he has no other choice.
Are you looking for these characters or are they offered to you?
I am passionate about characters that have flaws. If I am offered to play someone who has all the answers, does the right thing and makes good decisions, I quickly get bored. I can’t connect with that person. What catches my attention are the characters who are good people but who have gotten lost along the way and are diverted by the circumstances in which they live. We all like to see characters who try to improve in life, to do the right thing, but who make mistakes and must constantly face obstacles. When we see them, we know that this is usually the way real life is. Viewers know about the experience and that’s why they cheer on that character. That, of course, when it comes to the protagonist. If I have to play the antagonist, I want it to be real and authentic, but it will have to collide with the protagonist so that dramatic tension is generated in the story. In any case, I’m always looking for hurt characters. They’re my favorites.
“I was interested in the question that the series asks itself, which is what a father is willing to do to protect his son”
Are you still carrying Walter White inside you?
Sure, it will always be there. But as the years go by, he has become a relative whom you have not seen for 10 years, and whom you miss less and less.
Have you seen the Israeli series Your honor is based on?
I deliberately didn’t see it because it didn’t seem like it was going to help me in my work. I didn’t want to copy anything that the actors in that series did, which, from what I know, was very well received at the time. I’ll surely see her when I’m done rolling Your honor to see how it compares, but I think that in essence there are no cultural differences, because the feeling that parents have towards their children is universal.
In the series, his character manages to get a fine forgiven for being a judge. Have you ever been able to achieve something like that for your celebrity?
Yes, the perks inherent in celebrity allow you to do that. It all depends on the situation. You can’t be aggressive, you can’t attribute it to you as a right, but certainly if it happens to me I’ll take off my glasses and apologize to the police officer for my excessive speed, to see if it’s a fan of Breaking bad . Maybe he’ll just give me a warning and if not, I’ll pay the fine. There are others who are not as lucky. I remember years ago I did a tour to promote my book and several frustrated writers asked me how I had managed it. And I told them that the best way is to first become a television star and then everything will be much easier. I was saying it jokingly, but at the same time I recognize the privileges that have touched me in life simply for being born in a world that rewarded you for being white and male, so I am glad that social conscience is changing that type of things so that we all live in a more just world.