Bryan Cranston may play the villain in Total Recall, but when we sat down with him at a recent press day for the movie, he told us he saw his character Cohaagen as more than just a basic bad guy. We also asked the actor about a connection we noticed between Cohaagen and Breaking Bad's Walter White and why he thinks the 1960s sci-fi story that Total Recall is based on still feels relevant for today's audiences. Watch our interview, and catch Total Recall in theaters now.
It could happen and then your imagination fills the gaps. I love him like a teenage rebellious son. Your character in this movie is definitely the bad guy but he's more complicated than just being sort of a flat villain - so how did you start to understand where he was coming from? I just went to the simplicity of it - and I thought I think he feels fatherly toward how Hauser. Right, Colin's character. Yeah. We know the history that he worked with me. I was a mentor to him. He was a brilliant military man. Together, we were accomplished, and so for this part of his life, I had to wipe his memory clean. Right. We'll take care of that later. And then infiltrate the resistance. And then I'll get him back and we'll be strongerMale Interviewee: again, and I love him like a teenage rebellious son. Female Interviewer: Yeah. Male Interviewee: That was my approach to it. Female Interviewer: Now the movie to me felt really timely, even though it's based on a story from several decades ago. So what is it about Philip K. Dick's work do you think translates all these years later? Male Interviewee: I think there's a level of believability that needs to be reached in any science fiction. If it's too far out there, then I think the audience pushes away from it and can't relate to it at all. But if it's somewhat recognizable, and possible, plausible, that's the carrot that dangles front of the audience, that's like, that could happen, and then your imagination fills the gaps, and you go, "Oh yeah. I believe this world could be a reality at some point", and that's what keeps fans of sci fi involved and still you know, actively entertained, as well. Female Interviewer: Yeah. Were there any parallels between the film and the world today that you kind of drew yourself. Well, there always is, you know a quest for power by the very few. I mean we're seeing it now in the Occupy Wall Street movement. It's still the same. Yeah and there's a lot of echoes of that. And there's a lot of echoes of that and that's what I was saying that there's some level of believability to that, that in the future, there will be a massive amount of people who are still under the thumb of a few people who are running the world. That's very believable. Right. And most likely very much a reality. Now going back to what you said about your character's relationship with Colin, I have to say it kind of reminds me, in a way when you were describing it, of Walt's relationship with Jessie on Breaking Bad. Ah, yeah You know kind of the fatherly aspect. Yeah. Yeah. You saw that, too? I did. I mean, I saw that as far as five seconds ago when you mentioned it. Right. Yeah, I do divorce myself when I'm focusing on a different character. But now that you mention that there isis that sense. And that's probably - you know - I mean it's simplistic because of the age difference. Yeah. That's usually the first thing you go to, and you go, "Well, I'm old enough to be his father", and so what if he's like a son? Yeah. And to explore that. And in sci-fi, I didn't want to complicate too much, because, like you said, this movie starts off on a rocket ship. Right. It doesn't slow down. And it just doesn't slow down. So you can't complicate women. I have too much back story. Right, exactly. My character would pause for a moment, you know, he's gotta go, he's gotta go. So I think it's the keep it simple stupid method.