Trumbo didn’t name names and paid a heavy price, losing his lofty Hollywood perch and almost his family.
“In a way I relate to Trumbo,” says Cranston, but admits he’s not sure what he would do if his career was ever placed in a similar kind of jeopardy.
“What would you do if they subpoenaed you and said, ‘We want to know who else likes baseball? Who is it?’ Would you point the finger at other people who found enjoyment out of playing baseball?
“Of course I would love to think I would be honourable and not do it, but I have to be honest and say, that’s a hypothetical. I think I would be resistant to that pressure and perhaps even pay the price, but do I know for sure? No.
“I don’t know for a certainty because I’m not faced with it.”
After wrapping his five-season career-making run as Breaking Bad’s Walter White, Cranston has kept busy, winning a Tony Award for playing Lyndon B. Johnson on Broadway in All the Way and has eight films in various stages of completion. He made time for Trumbo because “the story itself is brilliant and that is the first thing I look for,” but admits he’s gotten picky about the parts he plays.
“I don’t want to now take a job for money. I take jobs because I’m attracted to them by the creative element or because it challenges me in some way and my agents are incentivized to work out the best deal they can.
“I don’t want to portray this idea that I’m just about the art. I’ve been poor and I’ve been rich and rich is better.”