Having stared down Godzilla and witnessed a mid-air plane collision in Breaking Bad’s fateful season two finale, Bryan Cranston isn’t a stranger to working opposite CGI. But no kaiju could prepare Cranston for The One And Only Ivan, which called for an intimately emotional performance in tandem with a (literal) circus of computer-generated animals, including elephants, a pair of dogs, and one talented silverback gorilla. Adapted from the Newbery Medal-winning children’s novel for Disney+, The One And Only Ivan features Cranston as Mack, the owner of the Big Top Mall, and de factor ringleader to the titular ape Ivan and his critter pals who don’t realize there’s a whole world waiting for them outside captivity. During the virtual junket for the film, we had the opportunity to ask the actor about all of the puppets, green screens, and motion-capture performers he worked with to bring the movie to life. And, because this year marks the 20th anniversary of the seminal sitcom Malcolm In The Middle—starring Cranston as hapless father Hal—the actor also reflected on the series’ legacy, and imagined how the Wilkersons might be holding up in quarantine.
The One And Only Ivan will be available to stream, exclusively on Disney+, beginning Friday, August 21.