Bryan Cranston interview - ‘I’ve appreciated how honest British audiences are‘
“What I don’t like about the US is that a standing ovation is part of what is expected of an audience”, Cranston told LondonTheatre.co.uk before accepting his award for Best Actor for his performance in Network. “That’s not appreciated from the performer’s standpoint. You want to earn that, if you get that. I really appreciate that about the London audience.”
Cranston also spoke about his love for working at the National because of its supportive atmosphere, but added that he loved the fact Network has been in repertory in the Lyttelton with Pinocchio, meaning he “feels energised” when he performs.
“Instead of doing eight shows a week like you would on Broadway and the West End, we average at about five, and I like that”, he said. “You don’t get exhausted and you can feel energised when you get to the theatre. The reason I was allowed to sub for James Corden on The Late Late Show was because Pinocchio was in at that time, so it’s great.”
Ivo van Hove directs Lee Hall’s adaptation of Network, the 1976 film by Paddy Chayefsky, which tells the story of newscaster Howard Beale who is told he is to be fired from his job, so tells his audience he is going to kill himself on air within the week.
On working with van Hove, Cranston said he enjoys how the director has “embraced the uncertainty” of certain unscripted moments in the piece.
He said: “I don’t even know what’s going to happen. Certain moments are scripted, but it’s different every night. That’s what keeps theatre alive.
“I’m just happy to be able to tell this story with this extraordinary group of people on stage and off. This was a great opportunity for me to jump into a great story and a great character, and I just look forward to going to the theatre every night.”