Marlon Brando once said, “Most of the successful people in Hollywood are failures as human beings.”
Bryan Cranston seems to be the exception.
The “Trumbo” star was all smiles on Sunday at a party thrown to celebrate his achievements in television, film and theater.
“I would love this loft as a New York apartment,” he said, gesturing around the decked out party space at House of Elyx in New York’s Meatpacking District. “It’s fantastic.”
Cranston’s performance as Dalton Trumbo — the American screenwriter behind films like “Spartacus,” “the Brave One” and “Roman Holiday,” and one of the Hollywood Ten blacklisted by the House Un-American Activities Committee for his communist beliefs — has earned the actor two Screen Actors Guild nominations and a Golden Globe nod. But for Cranston, who was previously nominated and won both a SAG and Globe in 2014 for his lead performance in AMC series “Breaking Bad,” the recognition is just a bonus.
“It feels great to be recognized but I certainly don’t anticipate it; I don’t feel I have a sense of entitlement to it,” Cranston told Variety at the intimate fete. “I hope that because of the nominations, more people will be drawn to this little independent film that has a very important message,” he added.
For Cranston, that message — which he sums up as, “what goes around comes around” — is especially important, given the current political situation in America.
“I think (Trumbo) would say, ‘How ironic that, in all these years, we still haven’t learned that the fearmongers of the world are still mongering, and the demagoguery of it all.’ It’s unfortunate. But maybe, a film like ours gets people talking. Whether they agree with the message or not, if they talk about it, the movie has won.”
Guests included “Trumbo” co-star Helen Mirren and her husband, director Taylor Hackford, Gina Gershon, John Leguizamo, Margo Martindale, Celia Weston, Tina Louise, Sean Young, Krystal Brown, Jaime Cepero, Casey LaBow, Paul Iacono, Eric “Elew” Lewis, Daniel Benedict, David Zinczenko, Absolut Elyx CEO Jonas Tahlin and Cinema Society founder Andrew Saffir.
All present were unanimous in their praise for everything Cranston.
“Who isn’t a fan of Bryan Cranston?” said Michelle Monaghan, who stars with Paul in Hulu’s “The Way.” “I’m so excited for him! He’s a stalwart within the industry, so to see him come up in something like ‘Breaking Bad’ and then do something like (Broadway play) ‘All the Way,’ and come back and do an amazing film (‘Trumbo’) — this is a man who’s a true lover of his craft.”
Mirren — who’s nominated for both a SAG and Globe for her supporting role in “Trumbo,” and also scored a leading actress SAG nom for “Woman in Gold” — agreed. “This is one of the great living American actors,” Mirren told Variety. “In theater and in film, television, you think of his range. It’s absolutely incredible. It’s incredible to have shared the screen with him twice. I’d like to share the stage with him sometime. That would be great,” she divulged.
“I think anything he does, he should get an award for,” said Martindale, star of “Sneaky Pete.” The drama, written and executive-produced by Cranston, has been picked up by Amazon as an original series.
Weinstein and Paulus, who financed and produced Cranston’s Tony Award-winning Broadway debut in “All the Way” (which inspired the upcoming HBO film of the same name, also starring Cranston) summed it up neatly. “He’s a charmingly talented bad–ss mensch,” they said.
“We love him,” Weinstein added. “He deserves the nomination for ‘Trumbo’ — it’s a great movie, and he’s great in it.”
“He’s an extraordinary artist across film, theater, television,” Paulus said. “He’s one of those acting treasures, and he’s an amazingly terrific human being, which makes it all the more special to honor him today.”