Bryan Cranston: 'Remaking The Intouchables was a daunting task'
The star had to get completely "zen" to feel comfortable in his character's wheelchair.
Actor Bryan Cranston was a little apprehensive about tackling a Hollywood remake of 2011's The Intouchables, because he is a big fan of the French-language film.
The Godzilla star forms an unlikely duo with Kevin Hart to play a quadriplegic aristocrat and his ex-con caregiver in the revamped project, renamed The Upside.
Cranston admits he was nervous about taking on the gig because he didn't want to do the original - and the real-life friendship the film is based on - a disservice.
"It was daunting because I really love that movie," he said of the critically-acclaimed The Intouchables. "It was done so well, the actors are terrific and the story, based on a true story about these unlikely friends, who, to this day, are still friends."
However, the idea of introducing English-speaking audiences to the touching "male bonding" movie was ultimately what convinced Cranston to sign on.
"They're just from different situations, their culture's different, their economic opportunities, everything was different, and how these two men became friends, it's really a great story about male bonding and how this happens and how we bond as men, and it's very hopeful," he told U.S. breakfast show Good Morning America.
"It's full of laughs and a lot of heartfelt experiences, and I'm just really proud of it."
Cranston spends the majority of the movie confined to his character's wheelchair, and it took him a little while to figure out how best to physically play a man suffering from paralysis in all four limbs following a tragic paragliding accident.
"I thought at first that I would have to get my body so rigid that it wouldn't move at all," he recalled. "The first 20 minutes of practising in my wheelchair, I realised I have to do the complete opposite. I had to become so zen, so completely relaxed, that I didn't need to move, and so I would just sink into the chair and stay in that position."
Spending the shoot wheelchair-bound made the Oscar nominee realise how tough it can be for those who aren't able bodied.
"It really made me think of these people who are in that condition all the time and the challenges that they face," he said. "I met with three different men who are quadriplegics (as research) and it's a day-to-day journey for them to be able to face the physical restrictions and how that feeds on you emotionally. It's tough."
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