Monday 18 December 2017

Cranston: Trump’s comments about North Korea concern me

Bryan Cranston said he has been particularly disturbed by President Trump’s language about North Korea.

Bryan Cranston
Bryan Cranston

By Laura Harding, Press Association

America must get away from the idea that anyone with a different opinion is the enemy, actor Bryan Cranston has said.

The Breaking Bad star added he was deeply concerned by President Donald Trump’s threats to North Korea and cautioned against an attitude that there can only be one winner in a battle of wills.

Cranston will soon be seen as a Vietnam War veteran disillusioned by power and authority in Richard Linklater’s new film Last Flag Flying, and said no one person can decide what patriotism is.

Arriving at the premiere at the BFI London Film Festival, he told the Press Association: “I think it’s different for every person, patriotism is in your heart, it’s not the flag that you wear on your sleeve or don’t wear on your lapel, that determines your own personal patriotism.

“I think generally, especially in our country, it’s gotten to the point where we have conducted ourselves in a manner that it’s like a sporting event, I think we have to get away from that.

“We have to get away from the idea that if someone has a different opinion than yours then they are the enemy, they are not the enemy, they just have a different ideology of how to approach a problem and we can learn a lot from each other, let’s find the areas where we agree and work from there.”

He continued: “We have to get away from the sense of competition, ‘if they win I lose and I can’t have that’. Let’s all calm down.”

The actor, best known for his starring turn as chemistry teacher turned drug kingpin Walter White in Breaking Bad, said he had been particularly disturbed by the president’s language about North Korea.

He said: “It does concern me, hyperbolic conversations and bluster rarely are the way to go, certainly when negotiating.

“You can’t have diplomacy by slapping someone in the face and then say ‘let’s sit down and talk’, it’s like ‘well wait a minute’.

“We have to come from a place of at least neutral understanding, if not respect, and start from there.”

The film sees Cranston star opposite Steve Carell and Laurence Fishburne as former Marines who have not seen each other since they served together but who reunite to bury one of their sons.

While it is set in the early days of the war on terror, the actor said it still has modern-day implications.

He said: “I think it has a lot of relevance in the sense that it’s not clear cut as far as the intentions of the government or the military.

“Certainly in World War Two it was the good war, it was clear and present danger, we had to stop this mad man.

“Since then with Vietnam and Iraq, there are a lot of questions, a lot of insecurity among the troops and citizens if we are doing the right thing and what is the purpose of it.

“If this is an anti-war movie, I think every war movie should be an anti-war movie, we should look at war as the absolute last resort to any conflict and diplomacy should be the name of the game, for as far down the line as you can.

“Hopefully that is where our country will eventually get to but it’s a rocky road right now.”

Press Association

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