Bryan Cranston confirms he will reprise his role in The Upside sequel

The Golden Globe Award winner isn’t letting the criticism get in the way of him coming back to do a sequel to the 2017 film.

Bryan Cranston will reprise his role as Philip Lacasse in the planned sequel to the Neil Burger film The Upside. The actor confirmed this during a recent appearance on Bill Maher’s Club Random podcast where he revealed he is working with his co-star, Kevin Hart, to bring a sequel to life.

Cranston starred as a quadriplegic billionaire in the 2017 film.

Following his appearance in the 2017 film, Cranston received much flak for portraying a quadriplegic, given that he's able-bodied. The Breaking Bad actor acknowledged the criticism stating "I got a lot of shit for that. I am an able-bodied actor playing a disabled actor."

Cranston admitted he was surprised at the disapproval and took a moment to ruminate on the situation. In his words, "I was pretty surprised that I got some blowback to it, and I thought, ‘There’s a good point, that disabled actors are not given an opportunity.’ It’s a kind of a catch-22 that… it’s like, ‘Do you have the cache to be able to carry a film?"

He concluded that if actors had embraced limitations, audiences would have missed some of the greatest performances in cinema history. He pointed to Al Pacino’s portrayal of a blind retired army officer in the 1992 film Scent of a Woman, as well as method actor Daniel Day Lewis’s acting as an Irish man with cerebral palsy in the 1989 film My Left Foot, as examples.

Cranston confirmed he is working with co-star Kevin Hart on a sequel.

All the same, Cranston admitted he might have a flawed perspective. He stated, "You can only have the perspective of a 66-year-old white male [Cranston is 66]… you can understand but you cannot really know what it feels like to live in that skin."

The Upside told the story of a quadriplegic billionaire Philip Lacasse, portrayed by Cranston, who hires a recently paroled conflict Dell Scott, played by Hart, as his caregiver. Unbeknownst to the convict, the billionaire had lost the will to live. The two strike up an unexpected friendship, learn from and support each other, and eventually end up in better places than they were when they met, with Lacasse deciding to keep on living and Scott repairing his broken relationship with his family.

Inspired by true events involving Abdel Sallou and Philippe Pozzo di Borgo, The Upside was the third remake of the 2011 French film The Intouchables following the Indian film Oopiri and the Argentine film Inseparables, both of which debuted in 2016. The original film starred François Cluzet as the billionaire and Omar Sy in his breakout role as Bakary Bassari.

Apart from Cranston and Hart, The Upside starred Nicole Kidman, Tate Donovan, Aja Naomi King, Julianna Margulies, and Goldshifteh Farahani. Based on a screenplay by Jon Hartmere, the film was produced by Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal, and Steve Tisch. While it received mixed reviews from critics with a mere 43% Rotten Tomatoes approval rating, it was a commercial success grossing $125.9 million at the box office against a budget of $37.5 million.

Cranston’s full interview with Bill Maher will premiere on Monday, January 30.

Tobi Oguntola

Tobi is an avid reader with interest in everything entertainment. He also loves the big screen as it fuels his overactive imagination. When he is not reading a fantasy, sci-fi, or thriller novel, he is listening to music, watching TV, or surfing the internet. Tobi is on Steam as tobioguntola.
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