'Larry Crowne's' Bryan Cranston stresses out playing Mr. Julia Roberts

bryan-cranston-larry-crowne.jpgYou'd think that after an actor wins three consecutive Emmy Awards as best actor, as Bryan Cranston has done for AMC's "Breaking Bad," he would feel ready to take on any role. But when Tom Hanks called to ask Cranston to play Julia Roberts' hubby in his new romantic comedy "Larry Crowne," the 55-year-old actor got very nervous.

"When Tom offered me the role, at first I thought, 'Oh, man... ,' " Cranston tells Zap2it. "I was in full Walter White mode. I was hunched-over, wrinkled and bald. I told Tom, 'I'm a little anxious about this. I'd love to do it, but I feel like I'm closer to Julia's dad than her husband.' He said, 'Oh, no, you'll be fine. Your hair will grow back, shouldn't be a problem.' But I was nervous about it. I didn't want the audience to go, 'Why is she with this old guy? That doesn't make sense.'

"I went on this strong diet and firmed up, got really tight, went and got spray-tanned and bleached my teeth and put my hair up in a mousse. I was doing everything I could think of to try to appear younger. But I think it worked. It's a fun, fun movie."

At the moment, Cranston's in Toronto shooting a big-budget remake of the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie "Total Recall" for "Underworld" director Len Wiseman.

"I get to play the lead bad guy. How much fun is that?" he says. "I'm just the luckiest guy in the world, getting to torment Colin Farrell and Jessica Biel and Kate Beckinsale. And before I came out for that, I saw the premiere of a movie I did with Ryan Gosling called 'Drive,' which comes out in September. It's unusual, very artistic, a very stylized noir film, very compelling.

"I play Ryan's mentor who owns a garage where we put together cars and, uh, a lot of stuff goes wrong. My character is a rascal and a schemer who is always looking for a shortcut, but he still has a twinkle in his eye. He pays for it and gets beaten up, that sort of thing, but it was so much fun to play, and Ryan is a terrific actor. He's really centered and grounded for someone so young."
Photo/Video credit: Universal Pictures
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