Bryan Cranston disabled role, “I don’t know, where does the restriction apply”.
Bryan Cranston has defended his latest role in The Upside after drawing criticism that he was taking the role from a disabled actor.
The Breaking Bad star plays a paralysed billionaire who decides to hire an unemployed parolee (Kevin Hart) to be his carer.
Speaking to PA about his casting, the 62-year-old said: “We live in the world of criticism – if we’re willing to get up and try something, we have to also be willing to take criticism.
“We’re very aware of the need to expand the opportunities for people with disabilities. I think being cast in this role as a quadriplegic really came down to a business decision.”
He continued: “As actors, we’re asked to be other people, to play other people.
“If I, as a straight, older person, and I’m wealthy, I’m very fortunate, does that mean I can’t play a person who is not wealthy? Does that mean I can’t play a homosexual?
“I don’t know, where does the restriction apply, where is the line for that? I think it is worthy for debate to discuss those issues.”
The film is based on a true story, and is a remake of the 2011 French movie The Intouchables.
Hart added: “I think having a conversation started is always a good thing.
“In this particular case, bringing awareness to the fact that hey, we would love to see more disabled people given the opportunities to participate in the entertainment world, and potentially grow.”