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Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Bryan Cranston on The One and Only Ivan: The script stayed with me

Bryan Cranston-starrer The One and Only Ivan is about the titular Ivan, a silverback gorilla, who resides in captivity in a suburban mall with other animals. But unlike other animals, he is something of an artist.

Written by Kshitij Rawat | New Delhi | Updated: August 27, 2020 5:23:17 pm
Bryan Cranston, the one and only ivanBryan Cranston plays the role of Mack, the owner of the establishment where the animals are kept, in The One and Only Ivan. (Photo: DisneyPlus)

Bryan Cranston, best known for playing the role of high school Chemistry teacher and meth kingpin Walter White in the acclaimed TV series Breaking Bad, is currently seen in Disney Plus film The One and Only Ivan.

Recently, Cranston talked about why he chose to do the film. He said, “For me, it’s always about the story. So when I read the script for The One and Only Ivan I was taken with it. And I like to read it in one sitting because that’s the way an audience would watch a movie or a play. Then I put it aside, and it’s always an indicator to me if something stays with me. If the next day I’m walking around and thinking about it, that’s a good, good indicator. So, it did. It stayed with me, and then I wanted to read the book to find out how closely they followed each other.”

“The next step was to talk to Thea, our director, and figure out if we were on the same wavelength, not just about the story but my character of Mack, and we were. So, it was one green light after another, and I was like okay, then open up and take this in,” Cranston added.

The One and Only Ivan’s story is about the titular Ivan, a silverback gorilla, who resides in captivity in a suburban mall with other animals — an aging female elephant and a stray dog. He has a few vague memories of his childhood in the jungle when he was free and among his own kind. The special thing about Ivan is he can draw things. Not excellent, mind you, but remarkable for an animal. His daily life includes munching on bananas, frolicking with other animals and designing artwork that gets sold off by the mall’s owner Mack (Cranston).

In the book, Mack is not a big character, but judging by the promos, Cranston has a large amount of screen time in the film.

The film, a Thea Sharrock directorial, is based on KA Applegate novel of the same name. Although the novel was an original story, it was based on a real-life gorilla, also called Ivan, who suffered similar trials for 27 years.

Mike White has penned the screenplay. The cast is stacked with renowned names. Ramón Rodríguez, Ariana Greenblatt, Indira Varma among others play the other human characters in the movie. Sam Rockwell, Angelina Jolie, Danny DeVito, Helen Mirren and others voice the animals.

You can stream The One and Only Ivan on Disney Plus Hotstar Premium.

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