'Wakefield's' Bryan Cranston on his 'very relatable' new character

Cranston appears on "Popcorn With Peter Travers" to talk about his newest role and other characters he's known for.
18:34 | 06/02/17

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Transcript for 'Wakefield's' Bryan Cranston on his 'very relatable' new character
Men shake ups. The actually it's this. Viewed. Look. Coffee cookies come on. Oh these companies whitener Jews call. Excuse Newton soon. Please. Teams to replace your treachery let cooks and dollar. Who gluten. But Fletcher it's. Hi everybody I'm Peter Travers welcome to. Popcorn they tell you what's happened in the movies and I'm telling you you you can stop seeing all this temple if you just have to stop. It's beginning of summer you need to see a movie called weak. I don't even care if you don't like. I'd care that you see it and you talk about it. And my guest today Bryan Cranston I don't know what they did to him to get him to do it but. This is one of the best things I've seen him do. Really severe enough you'll sell out for a paycheck anytime you can via I assure. Absolutely. He absolutely but this is really intelligent piece. It is it's Ed it's something hello by the way of new policy and. Tom IA. I read it and I try to read everything objectively and for Simon just. See how it hits me as an audience. And lights stayed with me it was. Challenging. The not just that the character but the plot line. That it was it was thought provoking and emotional and I couldn't get it out of my system we she give them a little clue as to what's happening. They're Howard Wakefield is a word Wakefield is is a successful Manhattan lawyer. Lovely wife two kids all the trappings of success of the house in Westchester County. And all lovely things except he too is on the hamster wheel of life he feels like in order to maintain. What I have I need to just keep going and keep going and keep going. And I work a little bit on the weekend and maybe have a half a day off and then it's the same thing Monday. It's the same thing Groundhog Day and really is and you get the feeling like. But what I thought this is very relatable because I don't think there's an adult alive. Who hasn't thought of we're elected just. Hit the pause button of my life. If I could be as easy as we can from the remote not just stop things so I can take a break and I can breathe a ticket and amp. And we look to you can do that that Stuart got some could Heath. Close to the garage attic you know from his and stays there are dying without telling his wife for his twin daughters. Where yeah well you make it sound like it's also. The little creep on outweighed his way to. The way to check what happens initially is that he just wants the ticket Britain and all are really wanna do is have a couple hours to myself. So he pulls up a chair in the attic and sits down and the next thing he knows it's the next morning. Now the problem that was before the argument with the wife is now exacerbated by this mishap. And he wants to delay at an alt tellers when they get home from school in. And she's off to works all do it then. And each decision he makes puts him further back in being able to confront. This initial issue written and in so what really I related Q was that it. You know is this who we are we just beans that are meant to work. And to function and that's been that way elect worker bees and or is there something more out there force and he wanted to just. Take a snow day and adults no day for himself I'd like how you're saying that because you know I you're married you have a family so on line. So I think at you're hitting the pause button aspect of it but. Did you Beth this through your wife and Europe a daughter. I always do you have no idea Iceland it's easy when you say will everybody thinks this and then some lives would say yeah. You do think it really crested at it yeah well my wife called it quits as she had its and so it's so great it's it's very intimate. Offered me Gorazde. My wife calls me by my less than when I'm in trouble. As their idea where it is like your mother to lately your full day that's right over were catered jaws about it. If that you just Joseph that is that yet. Because fleeing or saying you know everybody thinks this. I think so and I gave it to my wife and she looked read it month while. Yet you can't deny it you can you could argue with. With with his decision making what he decided to do about it. But the the reality is is that we do feel these things we do feel overburdened we do feel like. Is this all there is to my life is just this constant. Cycle thing I have to ought to trappers. With the popcorn thinks I know and then it's like it's weird to. I know when to throw that your the let's look at what. So you can't do it but it's interesting a one time you hear me we're talking about your. Awful I'd I don't know how to describe your youth it's so filled leading. And all youth it's fleeting but you were talking about I think that I thought of when I was watching Wakefield with your brother. And on the motor so I'll cut and basically. What ever was going on at home you said we're getting away from. And how long were you one actor I was on the road for two years to Ian yeah. Annie from everybody and that's right and that was certainly not a time I felt like I was in a cycle of anything I was on a cycle. All out. And but. But I wasn't I didn't feel I was ever in a rut because every day it was a new day you didn't. Know where you were going it was like what's over the hill and but we need money can we need to get jobs or where we goodness he or there's a national park here let's check that about it. You you felt really alive the unwillingness. Of your life. And I think a lot of people want more of that. Surprise factor in their life the unexpected in their life and this Wakefield certainly in reduces that aspect to it. This is an unexpected turn in this man's life. And what you do in that movie is we're seeing everything Jennifer Garner who put your wife would basically seen her. Through windows via except for a few flashbacks and you're doing the voice of what you think you like the saying rise. God it was it was would kill. The FD doing but wouldn't would. Who wouldn't want to be an undetected boy years into the into their own life clearly you would. You wouldn't know course but I didn't want anybody that now you're buying it and pattern YIA lying liar pants on fire. Yes if you could of course I would take it idol finalist in long as. As Howard we don't know though he's very Rolen appeared yet dumpster dining. Who's doing this if he can't get out of this is the heat. He he extracts himself from his life fully intended. To to introduce him self back in. And he has the reentry is the problem for him. Because he knows now. There's they're gonna think I'm crazy either lithium insane and so the more he justifies not doing it. The further away he gets from being able to make that reentry. It's a fascinating. Social experiment Lily is but did it feel that way for you and your brother when you came back after two years. No the world's look different well it always it looked different in was it was from twenty years old 22. For me and so was different. I matured a great deal and at they'll process that's going on you. And that's the hype and that. I I I I also knew that at 22 I was going to be a professional actor. So once that broke through it wasn't like I don't know I I had a goal. I really had a lot of going to beat this professional actor when I knew that's what I wondered whether or not it was going to happen for me. Was hum also. You know doubtful with so I mean you've had he done so many different things you've done voice overs war. Animated characters you've done mean what's it mean it was green. Lease the home police don't sounds like your porn. Actually you know what I what does this one I was it like twenty to 23 years old home. Because Lee is my middle name and crammed stone so I just said about Lee stone because I was doing. I was doing some things that I I needed a paycheck movement. Off to voice overs and stuff than an item on my real name connected to. And sorry just at least down at least and come to fine now. Someone says there is actually a point start named lease though I had no idea and yet I thought of that media. If and that you just keeping that secret you know during that time you were LBJ I think he warned that two year. No my Mike porn name would be what Y also thought would be a great soap opera de. Drake savage. Dissidents. Business lake. Drake 71. On eyebrows though he's he's quickly sat it was a combination would ever. You you've done everything done Everett but now you sit here. Now are now I've done the don't know you have 400 enemies. You won the Tony four playing Lyndon Johnson and all the way. Your Oscar nominated for playing dog from well so are you and possible. Oh my guys it's a test to be really it's hard to work for your family I need to separate trailer just from my ego ha. Something. Now. When you do a movie like this which I'm really sincerely happy did. That I they're people around you who say. You could be doing God's vilify. C'mon they say it's thick it's time to be towed and Neal of the money and a note guys you know once I realized. That I that I was just dedicated toward this you know this is what I was gonna do with my life I just never worried about money money was and still not. It's still not I don't see it's not important because it is important. And ought to act you know smug about that because I've been really poor when I was a kid we had nothing we're kicked out of our house we went to swap meets. You know to sell. Do our furniture to buy food. It was a tough time so I bid without eaten an ally I'm wealthy. And wealthy as much all I'm sure that's what I. And that's some of the things that really hit me when I was watching Wakefield because we were talking a little before about Nathaniel Portland had written the story for right. And doctoral modern that for Auckland it was a a socializing. But when icu up in that attic watching it for him wrong and that the years. And there fighting a raccoon for food yeah you can't really conscious of creature comforts. And what you myths now why would I give up to deed it is kind of fun to watch it until you conceive Stanley going on with them. You know they say okay well he's not here out of sight out of mind yet you'll you know. Human beings are adaptable people we we have it and ability to. Change to what are condition is then move on. And that's what they start to do. It's it's a really really interest in film so when you're sitting around between projects and that does happen now. Would you go back on stage and do it performances of week about what I'm going to go back on stated that the end of this year in London the national theater. And do network. Making really petty thefts he's network in to a place. And I'm playing Howard be. How connection that is now have a Mac and it taken. I'm getting tickets now please do yes group Bette Midler hello Dolly this is the take. Where you. Did you say screw Bette Midler comma comma and it and how low low value acted so it's two things are definitely count so it's two things on your to do it. Screw Bette Midler and as a dollar Hamels. Look at you hacked to death he won't now and ethnic is that they would that you carry that Harry. This now that you wore on crap you'll always wore to me Malcolm in the Middle I revered. If things sometimes when I just want to watch something that makes me smile I watch you. Teaching. Where Frankie how to do that dance you know where I've never seen its roller skates are always think it's like. The ballet that's crazy you know as a fun fun show very well written. And it gave me a great boost into where I wanted to. To live what kind of material I want it to. Attached myself to what's comedic material but by the time you breaking bad and Walter White it's a whole. Huge thing that happened act guarantees that he's got the tattoo and just got out of hand me as wirelessly at thing in instantly. It's it's as and BRB. Which is coincident what you can see that could that be our B day. And seven said wade why did you get a tattoo there. Because you can't see any and I go yeah I'm an actor I can't always hat I can see this was for me. Because it changed my life so. It was the something go and it's fun so now you're doing them you working with Kevin hall yeah that's that's that movie that was the untouchable than notre untouched. It's called untouchable its it was a French film but ten years ago beautiful lines beautiful for. And I was hesitant on taking the film because I didn't wanna bes set up. Because it was such a beautifully told. Film and a different language that spoke to me yeah regardless of the language barrier and but it was an opportunity to work with Kevin and and see if we can. It was a challenge to see if we can retell this story. In English and see if we can. Retained that the special quality that the original film and I think we did. I'm I'm really pleased of that saw some preliminary. Scenes from it. We just finish it but just a month ago so and you just finished Rick link later maybe 200 Richard linkletter. Movie colts last flag flying which is almost less detailed but not. It is written by Darrell ponson who wrote the last. And with Laurence Fishburne Steve Correll myself. And Richard linkletter. That was such as such great fun. Well you were doing Howard Wakefield. When did you feel closest to him. In terms of view him what was the moment in this movie there it it came together and you wore basically the same guy. If it ever happened. I think am I just got faring series it was very good and I had pledged to do that it's a really good question and so unlike you. It's true. At first I was too objective to it you know it I was like judging him. And I didn't like his manipulative way that he was a liar that he abandoned his children. And abandoned his wife. Affected me because my father abandon our family. I could never conceive that tomb with my daughter that was never gonna happen. So I had to get over the judgment of Howard Wakefield before it can get to a place of neutrality with him. And then start to build on who that I believe that character is. A man who searching for a way home away home not just the physical world of going home home. But also in his heart and his soul where does he belong and I think that C universal question. I think people are always. Wrigley Field in. In my in this group in my and that group is irreverent it might now calling myself a husband and a father or. What happened to me is an individual it were constantly trying to. Reconcile our. Our our pathway. Really fast. And I Hatcher. These few people are making signals a date but it always ends. And saw a time to go with. You once sang me about cover of Rolling Stone you at another time saying something that seemed likely. A move limerick. Really yes it was really good but so it always ends in songs and with me it would do it yet but with everybody using guest detectives have me sitting here. Just a mess so whatever is going on in. Your head. Well we've had this nice Chad that I won't dance don't ask me well bands. Don't ask me won't guns. Missy boo hoo. I'll take I won't dance because it wasn't I want. So thank you thank you my friend to figure this thing.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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