Bryan Cranston backstage at the 2017 Screen Actors Guild Awards

January 30, 2017

by Carla Hay

The 23rd Annual Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards took place on January 29, 2017, at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.

BRYAN CRANSTON

SAG Award win:

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie

(“All the Way”)

Here is what this SAG Award winner said backstage in the SAG Awards press room.

Bryan Cranston at the 29th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on January 29, 2017.
Bryan Cranston at the 2017 Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW

What can you say about a sequel project to “All the Way” covering the rest of Lyndon Johnson’s career as president?

“The Great Society” is actually a play that has already been written and is actually being produced in Austin, Texas, right now. I’m not doing it. I’m here tonight. It was a big temptation to be to do it and to follow through, but after having lived with it for a couple years—doing the play in Boston first, and then New York, and then doing the movie for HBO, I felt I examined it, and I felt like I needed to move on and do something else. But thanks. It’s good. It’s a good play.

There’s a lot going on in the world right now that might make it hard to celebrate at award shows like this. Do you think it’s a challenge?

Is that a challenge? Yeah, there’s a lot of strife in the world and in our country, but I think it’s important to embrace the good things that we have as well. And the collective of creative people coming together and talking about the issues which you’ve seen tonight, it’s alive. And this is what artists do best is we take it take the anguish anxiety or fear and put it back into work and hopefully that creates a groundswell of understanding and acceptance and compassion. And I don’t feel that it’s you know the wrong thing to do to celebrate good work that has nothing to do with other things. It’s important to mark occasions.

When Meryl Streep gave her speech at this year’s Golden Globes, a lot of viewers were complaining on social networks that the show became too political and should be entertaining. And tonight, a lot of the actors gave political speeches. What do you say about to this people who think that this is only entertainment?

Well you know, we’re human beings and citizens before we ever became actors and activists or artists of any kind. If something is important to you. If something appears before you and in a way that that feels oppression, it’s up to the citizenry to speak out.

Not everybody agrees, but that’s part of the democracy is that were allowed to do that. In so many countries around the world, you’re not even allowed to voice objections or any dissent, but our country was founded on that so we shouldn’t be afraid of it should embrace everything so that the voices are all heard. And then people make up their own minds as to how they want to you know continue with it.