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Bryan Cranston To Share 'A Life In Parts' With Seattle Audience

Bryan Cranston can now add a new title to his resume: author. He’s out with a new memoir called “A Life in Parts,” which is a series of short stories focused on his personal and professional life. The actor is best known for his role as meth kingpin Walter White in the television show “Breaking Bad.” He’ll be at Seattle’s Benaroya Hall Sunday Oct. 16 to read from his new book and to talk with writer Sherman Alexie. Cranston spoke with 88.5's Ariel Van Cleave ahead of his appearance. 

Interview Highlights

Deciding to be an actor: "So I didn't really know what I wanted to do, and I found, quite by accident, an aptitude for police work. So I thought, well, that's where I was going to go. But then I had an experience my second year in college in an acting class that spun me around again. And I realized, well, maybe police work wasn't the path for me. And I was confused, and I took a motorcycle trip with my brother. And it was on that trip, when I was stranded on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia ... and one of the things that allowed me to pass the time ... was reading. And I happened to be reading 'Hedda Gabler,' an Ibsen play ... and I blasted through it. And I realized at that moment that that's what I wanted to be part of. I wanted to try to do something that I was falling in love with."

Becoming a character: "I love diving in. But there's an ulterior motive, also, for diving in to a character, and that's the constant invitation to have that character dive in to you. When you first start a project and you're thinking about a character, he's outside of you. And the more research you do, and the more you dwell, slowly, but surely, you have to trust that that character will at some point just seep into your psyche. And then once he does, you got him." 

His love for Washington: "It's just an incredibly beautiful state. And I know Washingtonians don't want me to say that because there's too many people moving. I often thought that it's probably better if Washington changed its name to 'Festering Scab.' And then nobody would want to move there."

A Not-So-Rapid-Fire Round

Cranston was kind enough to spend the last few minutes of his chat with 88.5's Ariel Van Cleave answering a couple questions that were meant to be rapid fire. But it didn't quite work out that way.


Ariel first entered a public radio newsroom in 2004 while in school at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois. It was love at first sight. After graduating from Bradley, she went on to earn a Master's degree in Public Affairs Reporting from the University of Illinois at Springfield. Ariel has lived in Indiana, Ohio and Alaska reporting on everything from salmon spawning to policy issues concerning education. She's been a host, a manager and now rides shotgun with Kirsten Kendrick as the Morning Edition producer at KNKX.