Bryan Cranston Compares Lyndon Johnson to Dalton Trumbo

TCA 2016: “Both were very ambitious, very exceptional at what they do, can be irascible, can be selfish,” actor, who has portrayed both historical figures, says

Bryan Cranston believes that there are many similarities between the two real-life figures he has portrayed recently, Dalton Trumbo and Lyndon Johnson.

During a TCA panel on “All The Way,” the HBO biopic about Johnson’s Presidency, Cranston said, “If you drew a Venn diagram there would be a lot more inside the circles than outside the circles. Both were very ambitious, very exceptional at what they do, can be irascible, can be selfish … I mean, there’s a tremendous amount.

Cranston also revealed what qualities he felt he shared with Johnson, particularly that they were both risk-takers. “I think inherent in actors is a sense of risk-taking,” he said. “Like when you were playing sports as a young kid, actors are the ones who said, ‘Hit it to me. Give me the ball.'”

He also touched on his research for the role, which included visits to the LBJ library. The most impactful moment for Cranston came when he read a letter from Jackie Kennedy to Johnson thanking him for writing letters to her children explaining what a great man John F. Kennedy was shortly after his assassination.

“Within four days of taking on the most pressure-packed responsibility — the biggest job in the world, this man sat down and wrote to two children when he has all these other things he needed to pay attention to,” Cranston said. “That spoke me. That told me a lot about the nature of that person.”

“All the Way” will debut on HBO in May.