Bryan Cranston’s ‘Breaking Bad’ Past Makes Him ‘Scared’ Of Playing A DEA Agent

A trailer for upcoming crime thriller The Infiltrator, starring Bryan Cranston, has been released, and although director Brad Furman insists former Breaking Bad star Cranston is “the only guy” who could pull off his role, Cranston himself says he is deathly afraid of the out-of-character DEA enforcer part he has been assigned.

“He’s the executive producer of a television show I’m working on,” Furman said in reference to Bryan Cranston, according to Design & Trend.

“And so when this came to fruition, and I knew I wanted to work with my friends, he was the only guy.”

In The Infiltrator, which is based on a true story, Cranston plays Agent Robert Mazur, a DEA enforcer who is trying to bring down Pablo Escobar’s 1980s drug cartel.

Certainly, most would say, Bryan Cranston does have the acting chops to give a great performance in nearly any role, and especially as an undercover agent in The Infiltrator. After all, Cranston is still hot off his career-defining role as drug kingpin Walter White in the mind-meltingly successful AMC crime drama Breaking Bad, a role for which Bryan received unprecedented amounts of critical and public celebration.

Bryan Cranston himself is not as assured of his suitability for the role as fans and the director may suggest, however. In fact, Cranston claims, he is intimidated by the role, likely because it so directly contrasts the drug law-breaker character he played on Breaking Bad.

But Cranston is not afraid of a challenge, he told The Sydney Morning Herald last month, and he went on that he actually seeks out challenging roles because they force him to elevate his performance, something which Bryan thinks makes his acting more interesting.

“I do like to move around and keep people guessing and take chances on things. If I’m a little scared of a project, I know that’s probably a good one to do. If everything else lines up, the story, the script, the character, but this is a little scary, then that’s a good sign for me.”

Is Cranston’s Infiltrator role really so different from his Breaking Bad work, anyway? Both of them involve DEA law enforcement, both of them involve Bryan Cranston’s character going undercover, and they even both involve Cranston dealing with a wisecracking but loveable partner – in The Infiltrator, Cranston’s Robert Mazur works with an agent played by John Leguizamo, and Breaking Bad saw Walter White working with naive thug Jesse Pinkman.

The trailer itself is edited in a similar style to most action movie trailers, with quick cuts, a menacing soundtrack with a steady baseline that cuts out briefly for characters to speak meaningful lines from the film, and lots of violence. And, as Cinema Blend points out, it reveals that the movie’s events present the law enforcement side with a very rocky path to their drug-dealing target, another similarity to Cranston’s role in Breaking Bad.

You’ll have to watch the trailer for yourself to decide if the movie looks worthwhile. If Bryan Cranston is to be believed, though, the film’s intricate and fast-paced but still intuitive storyline makes The Infiltrator shine and made him even more invested in giving a great performance.

“I would retire tomorrow if I ever got bored with what I do,” he said.

Breaking Bad really opened up the level of opportunities for me and a lot of things that have presented themselves that I’m interested in, [but] it’s all about story. I would not be doing ‘Kung Fu Panda’ if I didn’t like the story. Why would I spend the time?”

You can watch the full movie and see if you agree with Bryan when it opens in theaters on July 15.

[Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images]