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Video: Bryan Cranston on How He Prepared for His Tony Award-Winning Role as LBJ

Home > News & Updates > Video: Bryan Cranston on How He Prepared for His Tony Award-Winning Role as LBJ

This past weekend, All the Way, a play about political turmoil in America in the 1960s, won two Tony Awards, for Best Play and Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play, the latter given to Bryan Cranston (of Breaking Bad fame) for his performance as President Lyndon B. Johnson. Newly released videos show Cranston, playwright Robert Schenkken, and Johnson biographer Doris Kearns Goodwin discussing the play and the relationship between politics, history, drama, and LBJ's legislative legacy.

The videos, filmed by the Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning (CCNMTL) are from a day-long “ideas fest” focused on All the Way and its historical impact that was held just before the play’s Broadway debut.

In 2013, All the Way was one of two plays given the first annual Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama Inspired by American History, an award hosted by Columbia University Libraries/Information Systems. CCNMTL worked with Schenkken, who wrote All the Way, to develop a public educational website around the play.

Highlights include Cranston discussing his research and preparation to play Johnson (33:00); Goodwin talking about being personally selected by LBJ to work as a fellow at the White House despite having co-written a piece in the New Republic titled "How to Remove Lyndon Johnson" (46:00); and Schenkken discussing some of the scenes that he removed from play before it arrived on Broadway (51:00).