Miami is unlike any other city, except maybe … London? One doubles for the other in the new movie “The Infiltrator,” starring Bryan Cranston and Benjamin Bratt. Deco’s chief undercover reporter Chris Van Vliet hung with the stars today in Miami … or was it London?
Actors are always playing someone else, but what happens when you’re playing someone who is in turn playing someone? I sat down with Bryan Cranston today in Miami to talk about going undercover.
“The Infiltrator” takes us back to 1986. Bryan Cranston is an undercover narcotics agent assigned to infiltrate the network of Pablo Escobar and his right hand man, played by Benjamin Bratt.
Benjamin Bratt (as Roberto Alcaino): “In my business, nothing good ever comes in the absence of trust.”
And it’s all based on the crazy true story.
Chris Van Vliet: “You know, they say sometimes that truth is stranger than fiction. When you’re looking at this movie, there’s gotta be parts where you’re like, ‘There’s no way that actually happened.'”
Benjamin Bratt: “That’s the first reaction you have when you read the script is, ‘This is way too cinematic to have actually taken place.'”
Every element of the story feels like it was designed to be turned into a movie, but they used a little Hollywood magic when it came to the location.
Chris Van Vliet: “So the movie is set in Florida, but you guys filmed a lot of in in London?”
Bryan Cranston: “We did.”
Chris Van Vliet: “But London and Miami are not exactly cities people mistake.”
Bryan Cranston: “It’s part and parcel. Like looking in a mirror.”
Benjamin Bratt: “Yeah, so was a lot of it shot in the U.K.? Yes. Does that make sense? No.”
Chris Van Vliet: “Bryan, here’s the interesting thing about playing someone who is undercover is, you are an actor playing someone who is also acting.”
Bryan Cranston: “That’s the easy part for actors, because we are so attuned to playing other characters. I think the best actors just play. You buy into it immediately that you are this person.”
Bryan Cranston (as Robert Mazur): “I do not do business under threat.”
Bryan Cranston is, of course, no stranger to playing someone wrapped up in the world of drugs. He was Walter White for five seasons on “Breaking Bad.”
Chris Van Vliet: “Hypothetically, could someone infiltrate Walter White’s world?”
Bryan Cranston: “There were several people who were undercover in that kind of operation. Even Walter White was playing a character because he wasn’t that person. He became someone else because he played it for so long.”
To really get into character, Bryan and Benjamin told me they listened to audio of the actual people they were playing that was secretly recorded while working undercover.
“The Infiltrator” opens in theaters Wednesday.
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