I received a copy of this book for free via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Quick fire review:
This is one of the best celeb memoirs I’ve ever picked up.
Funny, witty and extremely talented don’t even begin to describe the scope of Bryan Cranston.
“At that precise moment I conjured a credo that would guide me for the rest of my life: I will pursue something that I love – and hopefully become good at it, instead of pursuing something that I’m good at – but don’t love.”
A poignant, intimate, funny, inspiring memoir—both a coming-of-age story and a meditation on creativity, devotion, and craft—from Bryan Cranston, beloved and acclaimed star of one of history’s most successful TV shows, Breaking Bad.
Now, in his riveting memoir, Cranston maps his zigzag journey from abandoned son to beloved star by recalling the many odd parts he’s played in real life—paperboy, farmhand, security guard, dating consultant, murder suspect, dock loader, lover, husband, father. Cranston also chronicles his evolution on camera, from soap opera player trying to master the rules of show business to legendary character actor turning in classic performances as Seinfeld dentist Tim Whatley, “a sadist with newer magazines,” and Malcolm in the Middle dad Hal Wilkerson, a lovable bumbler in tighty-whities. He also gives an inspiring account of how he prepared, physically and mentally, for the challenging role of President Lyndon Johnson, a tour de force that won him a Tony to go along with his four Emmys.
Of course, Cranston dives deep into the grittiest details of his greatest role, explaining how he searched inward for the personal darkness that would help him create one of the most memorable performances ever captured on screen: Walter White, chemistry teacher turned drug kingpin.
Discussing his life as few men do, describing his art as few actors can, Cranston has much to say about creativity, devotion, and craft, as well as innate talent and its challenges and benefits and proper maintenance. But ultimately A Life in Parts is a story about the joy, the necessity, and the transformative power of simple hard work.
4.5 out of 5 stars
This has officially become my new fave celebrity bio.
I am a huge fan of Bryan Cranston so when I saw this on Netgalley, I quickly snapped it up. because I knew it was going to be a fun read.
Cranston has not had an easy life by any means, but when he fell in love with acting, he used it as his escape and his salvation. From the outset it is clear that Cranston is a smart, witty, artistic and at times a downright menace but it is his love for his profession and for his family that keeps him grounded.
I don’t know about you, but when I see someone get famous, I forget about all the years they probably spent struggling to get started and brand them an instant success – or I’m sure the more dreaded term of overnight success. Cranston doesn’t let you think that for a second. He takes you briefly behind the scenes of his various jobs so you get a real feel for his journey.
By now you’ve probably heard that Cranston and his brother were real life murder suspects after an old employer was found dead. That’s right folks, old Walter White has been a bad ass from way back. If you need some context/a snippet of this story, check out his appearance on Jimmy Fallon.
Told in true autobiographical form with chapters life “Bike”, “Vagabond”, “Lifeguard” etc, Cranston gives a no holds barred look into his life. What I enjoyed most about this is that it didn’t feel like he held back. No stone was left unturned, no memory too painful and no triumph too great to share with his fans. It is also written more like a conversation between friends rather than an info dumping of someone’s life which makes it a breeze to read.
I’ve heard some wonderful things about the audiobook so if you are debating how to pick this up, I suggest maybe looking into that medium.
If nothing else, this book will make you want to get off your ass, work a little harder and have some epic adventures.
P.S. Hal will forever be my favourite.