Los Angeles Lakers: Walter White

Podcasts: Kevin James and Bryan Cranston

October, 12, 2012
10/12/12
12:43
PM PT
Kamenetzky By Brian Kamenetzky
ESPNLosAngeles.com
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This week, we had a chance to talk with two very entertaining actors, each with movies opening Friday.

First, the always awesome Bryan Cranston returned to the show ahead of "Argo," based on the true story of six American diplomats forced to hide at the home of Canada's ambassador to Iran during the hostage crisis that began in 1979. (I saw a screening earlier this week, and it's very good.)

CLICK HERE OR THE INTERVIEW. Among the topics of conversation:
  • His memories of the hostage crisis.
  • Ben Affleck the leading man was frequently the object of ridicule. Ben Affleck the director, however, has built an impressive resume. Cranston's impressions after working with him on "Argo."
  • The experience as an actor of tackling such an important part of American history.
  • "Breaking Bad" is nearing an end, with the final eight episodes coming after the first of the year. His feelings on having to soon put Walter White to bed.
  • When Cranston -- a die-hard Dodgers fan -- first came on our show, he expressed interest in taking ownership of the Dodgers in a post-Frank McCourt era. Obviously it didn't happen. Any disappointment? How quickly could he take Ned Colletti's job if asked?

Kevin James opens "Here Comes the Boom," in which he plays a teacher moonlighting as a low level MMA fighter in order to raise money to save his high school's extracurricular programs.

CLICK HERE FOR THE INTERVIEW. Among the highlights:
  • James is a card-carrying member of Gang Green. His thoughts on the Jets and Tim Tebow.
  • James named his daughter Shea, after the now-gone Mets home stadium. Lovely name, but was there any hesitation naming her after a building universally seen as an eyesore? In the process, we learn the name of James' hypothetical autobiography.
  • How difficult was it for James to dive into the MMA world for "Here Comes the Boom?" How good did he get?
  • This is the second time he's worked with Salma Hayek ("Grownups" being the other.) Fair to say she's following him around?

 

Ursula Coyote/AMC
Things have gotten pretty messy for Walter White and the Dodgers.

For my money, there's no drama currently on the air better than AMC's "Breaking Bad." There also may be no better lead performance than Bryan Cranston as "Walter White" on that same show. He won three consecutive Emmy awards from 2008-2010 and his career has exploded as a result of his outstanding portrayal of a high school chemistry teacher turned meth cook. Cranston is also a Canoga Park native and a life-long die hard Dodger fan who's gone through this season's whirlwind like everyone else in L.A.

With "Breaking Bad's" season finale airing this Sunday, we talked with Cranston about the show, the Dodgers and acting in general. You can hear the entire show by clicking here, or if you want jump to specific parts in the breakdown below, click on the links:

- (4:18) Cranston shares how he fell in love with the Dodgers as a five year old watching Wally Moon hit "Moonshots" out of the Colosseum. These days, however, the Blue spark messier, uglier visions as the McCourt saga drags on with no end in sight. However, as Cranston notes, there's reason for optimism in the forms of Clayton Kershaw and Matt Kemp, his respective picks for the NL Cy Young and MVP. This led to a brief debate over the merits of Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander for AL MVP, plus Cranston's suggestions to create "The Kamenetzky Award" for the best performance on a bad team, as well as Razzie Awards in baseball.

- (7:58) Cranston discusses the moment Walter White truly "broke bad," and how show creator Vince Gilligan created the character with the goal of putting him through a radical transformation. A shift from "Mister Chips to Scarface," as Gilligan put it. Cranston's response: "I don't even know if that's possible, but if it is, how magnificent of a ride would that be?"

By leaps and bounds, they've pulled it off.

- (15:34) Cranston was once quoted as saying, "Actors basically are the type of person that with three seconds left, we want the ball. Give us the shot to make it or miss it." He describes it as "the actor's arrogance." We discuss the commonality of that mindset for an athlete like Kobe Bryant.

- (21:55) In his fantasy world, Cranston would become the next owner of the Dodgers. Were fantasy to become reality, would he spend money this offseason Prince Fielder, Albert Pujols or more pitchers?

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