Bryan Cranston on Being a Leader on Set: "I Choose to Do That"

"When you lead a cast, you have the opportunity to wear the mantle of a leader."

"The character I played in Last Flag [Flying] was huge," Bryan Cranston told The Hollywood Reporter's Live Roundtable. "He is a massive consumer. He takes the air out of the room. He says yes to everything: drug, drink, women, but he also says yes to being a friend. He's the first one to say, 'What do you need?'" 

Cranston earned his first Oscar nomination for his leading role in 2016's Trumbo. He earned four Emmys and Golden Globe for his iconic role as Walter White in Breaking Bad.

Cranston says he does not consider himself a mentor on set, but added, "others may."

"When you lead a cast, you have the opportunity to wear the mantle of a leader, and I choose to do that, but I don't have to be. It depends on where the energy goes," Cranston told THR. "I don't have to, but I think it's important to do it, if that is your responsibility, if you're number one on the call sheet."

"I make sure that when anybody comes on to a movie or a television show that I'm doing, or producing, or whatever, and they have that one line, and they're nervous as hell, to reach out." Cranston maintains this hospitable practice for two reasons, "One, it's the right thing to do, to reach out and help them out, but when they calm down, when someone is calm, they do better."

The full Live Roundtable airs on SundanceTV, Sunday, Mar. 4. Tune in to for more roundtables featuring talent from the year’s top films.