Directed by Ivo van Hove, written by Lee Hall, and based on the Paddy Chayefsky movie of the same name, Network first premiered in London, where Cranston earned an Olivier for his performance as anchorman Howard Beale.
Though the movie was written and set in the 1970s, Cranston said, “The message of the movie—and now the play—is really prescient.”
And Cranston is thrilled to bring it over from the U.K.’s National Theatre to Broadway. “Network was born and raised in New York; it's a New York story. To do it here is really special,” he said. Plus, “there's a relationship with a live audience. You send out a message, they take it in, and they send it back to you and let you know you're telling the story or not— and then you have this relationship all the way through the play.”
To play the news anchor, Cranston was inspired by the TV journalists he grew up with: Walter Cronkite, Harry Reasoner, and Howard K. Smith. “I listened to the gravitas. I change my voice a bit; I drop it down.”
But the most exciting part of the interview (based on the looks on the faces of anchors Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb) was when Cranston took over and read the end of the segment. Watch the video above.