Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Get a Job, Hold a Job, Work Hard - That's the Way I Choose to Live; in All the Way, Bryan Cranston Plays Lyndon B. Johnson during His Tumultuous First Year in Office When He Staked His US Presidency on a Civil Rights Act but Found Himself Caught between the Moral Imperative of Martin Luther King Jr. and the Expectations of Southern Democratic Party Leaders. SUSAN GRIFFIN Catches Up with the 60-Year-Old Actor

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Get a Job, Hold a Job, Work Hard - That's the Way I Choose to Live; in All the Way, Bryan Cranston Plays Lyndon B. Johnson during His Tumultuous First Year in Office When He Staked His US Presidency on a Civil Rights Act but Found Himself Caught between the Moral Imperative of Martin Luther King Jr. and the Expectations of Southern Democratic Party Leaders. SUSAN GRIFFIN Catches Up with the 60-Year-Old Actor

Article excerpt

You've described your character in All The Way, former US President Lyndon B. Johnson, as King Lear-like. Can you expand on that? HE HAS Shakespearean qualities to him. He's a warrior in his own right.

He's got tremendous insecurities and greatness, ambition, shortcomings. He's a good storyteller, a leader of men, so you know he's got that bigness to him and the fragility that goes along with it.

He was an amazing person. You cannot give one adjective to accurately say, 'Oh, that's who he is'.

It's just impossible.

What do you think was behind his decision to push through the Civil Rights Act in the United States? HE HAD an experience when he was shortly out of college and broke.

He got a job teaching - in a place called Cotulla, Texas - immigrant kids, children of migrant farm workers, dirt poor kids - and he noticed how the white enclave in the town treated them like second-class citizens.

He knew them differently, as these bright-eyed willing, obedient, attentive, sweet children who are going to (suffer) prejudice throughout their lives because of the colour of their skin.

That impact at 23 years old was deep and resonant in him, and he realised if anything was going to change, he'd have to do it.

Do you think things have improved? WELL, it's funny because we were shooting the scene in the movie where I'm signing the Civil Rights Act and there's Bradley Whitford (who plays Johnson's Vice President Hubert Humphrey) and Anthony Mackie (Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.) and as a joke Bradley says, 'And with that signature is the end of racism'. As if with a signature there will be no racism.

Creating laws that prohibit segregation or prejudicial treatment towards any other human being is what's needed, but does that erase racism? Of course not.

As President Johnson Sky Atlantic drama, The Way Is it prevalent? Does it find its way through jealousy, ignorance, anger, lack of education, lack of nurturing? I mean, are we ever going to see the end of it? Of course not.

If you were President, what's the one law you would make sure was signed? IT WOULD be about climate change, it would be about making sure that we're not going to kill ourselves. …

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