An autobiography from Bryan Cranston, an actor who has been in the iconic show of each of the last three decades
A Life in Parts, Bryan Cranston’s Autobiography
Well perhaps Malcolm in the Middle wasn’t the biggest show of the Zero Decade, but it was still a pretty successful and massively viewed show that went for seven seasons, won a heap of Golden Globes and Emmy Awards, many of which saw Bryan Cranston nominated for best actor awards. But there is absolutely no doubt that Seinfeld dominated the 90’s decade, and that Breaking Bad did the same in the first half of this one. A Life in Parts is an autobiography of Bryan Cranston’s life, if you are only interested in gossip or what happened behind the scenes of those three shows I’ve mentioned, then you’ll probably be pretty disappointed as there aren’t a lot of pages devoted to those shows. I mention this as there was a promotion for this book on some retail websites with the words over his face on the book cover Seinfeld on the top line, Malcolm in the Middle on the second and Breaking Bad on the third, which may well have mislead some people. If you were just after that, he mentions Tim Whatley (Seinfeld) starting on page 161, Hal (Malcolm in the Middle) on page 177 and Walter White on 191. Breaking Bad goes on for the most pages out of the three iconic shows. You do learn some interesting things like an electrician was actually responsible for a gas mask scene on Seinfeld when he suggested Bryan do it for a laugh when they started filming. You’ll never watch an episode of Malcolm in the Middle and not smile when Hal starts whistling. But this is a standard autobiography, we read about Bryan’s parents, his childhood, his early non acting career work, his marriage, and other things. Like all people, there were ups and downs during those times. Besides the big three shows, he does mention some other shows and movies too when they are relevant to something happening in his life or where he grew or learnt something as an actor, but many he was on aren’t mentioned. This book isn’t a filmography list. For example the first TV show he mentions is a soapie called Loving, when if you look up IMBD, he was on CHiPs as well as a couple of things you’ve likely never heard of before that.
I found A Life in Parts to be interesting, through the shows he does mention you get to know what an actor goes through in playing a role. Bryan certainly takes the responsibility of playing each character very professionally and seriously. Besides acting he does an across America on motorbikes trip with his brother which is quite interesting. I also never knew there was a scouts like thing run by police for kids in the US, who are interested in that type of career. Reading the book you’ll find out why a lot of teenage boys who don’t want to be police officers enrolled in the program. Wanting to be a police officer, Bryan works for a while as security guards in various places and you’ll learn what goes on in those supermarkets that still have those one way mirrors. In other employment he recounts a similar story to the Tom Hanks character in Big, from when he started a casual labor intensive job to earn cash while in between work as an actor, works hard as his boss is riding him, and is threatened by full timer staff to stop working so hard. You of course get to know about him as that’s what an autobiography is all about.
You can of course as well as borrow this book, watch every episode of Breaking Bad, Seinfeld, Malcolm in the Middle and other shows such as How I Met Your Mother that Bryan was in some episodes of, as we have all the seasons of these iconic shows on DVD in our libraries. We also have The Infiltrator, Trumbo, Kung Fu Panda 3, Godzilla and other recent movies he was in as well. If you’re a fan of any of Bryan’s acting work or just want to read an interesting book about someone who has been in the entertainment industry for decades, then you won’t go wrong borrowing this one.