Bryan Cranston Says He and Kevin Hart Are Making a THE UPSIDE Sequel Even Though He “Got a Lot of Sh*t” for Playing a Disabled Man — GeekTyrant

Feb 6, 2023

The 2017 dramedy The Upside was a film based on a true story in which a billionaire (played by Oscar-nominated and Emmy-winning actor Bryan Cranston) becomes a quadriplegic in a paragliding accident, and despite the urging of his personal assistant (Nicole Kidman), he hires an ex-convict (Kevin Hart) to become his daily helper. Aside from being a true story, the film is also a remake of the French film The Intouchables, which was a really fantastic movie. So this had a lot to live up to.The Upside was good, though not as good as the original in my opinion. It told a great story, and served up solid performances from everyone onscreen, especially its leads. But the film’s star, Bryan Cranston, didn’t come away from playing the part unscathed. In the last decade or so, we have seen a lot of actors and filmmakers have to answer for casting roles and taking on parts that were inappropriate, like white actors portraying people of color, or even straight, cisgendered people playing members of the Queer community. The issue with this, is that oftentimes, people of color and people in minority communities aren’t hired for jobs as readily as their white, straight, cis, heteronormative counterparts. So the people who are living the lives depicted in films aren’t even hired to represent their own stories, and that’s frustrating. And that’s what was pointed out when Cranston played the part of a man with quadriplegia. There are many disabled people who are not being hired for roles in the mainstream, so it must be hard to see an able-bodied man win out over someone who has really struggled with being disabled in some way. Despite this, Cranston says they’re actually making a sequel to the film. In a recent interview on Bill Maher’s Club Random podcast, Cranston said, “We’re doing a sequel to it,” but went on to say he “got shit” for playing a quadriplegic in the movie.“I got a lot of shit for that. I am an able-bodied actor playing a disabled actor.”Maher responded: “I mean, it’s called acting. It’s almost the whole point, that you are doing something that you are not, right?”Cranston continued: “I was pretty surprised that I got some blowback to it, and I thought, ‘There’s a good point, that disabled actors are not given an opportunity.’ It’s a kind of a catch-22 that… it’s like, ‘Do you have the cache to be able to carry a film?’”The Breaking Bad star went on to name able-bodied actors who have been lauded for playing characters with disabilities, such as Al Pacino (who played a blind retired army officer in Scent of a Woman) and Daniel Day-Lewis (who played a man with cerebral palsy in My Left Foot), saying “we would have missed some great performances” if those actors hadn’t portrayed their characters.However, Cranston added: “You can only have the perspective of a 66-year-old white male… you can understand but you cannot really know what it feels like to live in that skin.”I see both sides of it. It would certainly be appropriate for someone who is disabled to play a role like this, but are there that many paraplegic actors looking for roles? And as Maher said, it’s kind of the whole deal with acting, people learning as much as they can in order to portray someone else in the world and tell their story. It’s complicated. But we will keep you in the know about the upcoming sequel. The full interview with Maher and Cranston will be released on Monday.via: Variety

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