Bryan Cranston on Trump: Trumbo Is "Happening Again, Now With Fear-Mongering"

Cranston drew parallels with today's controversial rhetoric and the Hollywood blacklist era Dalton Trumbo had to suffer.
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Though his star turn as blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo picked up Golden Globe and SAG nominations this week, Bryan Cranston was less inclined to celebrate than to draw modern-day parallels, particularly given Donald Trump’s pledge to ban Muslims from visiting the United States.

“You’d expect in a third-world dictatorship that civil liberties are taken away, but not in a civilized society,” the Trumbo star told THR at a party in his honor held Dec. 13 at Elyx House NYC. “It happened then [during Trumbo's career], and it’s happening again, now with fear-mongering, which is an extremely effective wedge in a society.”

The mood was festive at the party — hosted by a group that included Jonah Hill, Aaron Paul, Josh Sapan and Harvey Weinstein and drawing such guests as Trumbo co-star Helen Mirren — but Cranston got most heated when talking about the Republican presidential candidate.

“It’s not surprising from this man, who has presented himself as a carnival barker,” Cranston says. “He’s a propagandist and a demagogue. He is actually presenting no approach about what we would do and how we would do it except to say these fantastical ideas that are contrary to our Constitution and who we are as a people.” 

As for the recent surge of Trumbo accolades, Cranston says he is as surprised as anyone.

“My publicists know not to call me at 5:30 in the morning,” he jokes. “I don’t want to get to the point where I’m anticipating anything like that. I just like to work, and if a group wants to acknowledge me, I’m thrilled.”