Bryan Cranston Will Retire from Acting in 2026

"I won't be thinking about [work]. I'm not going to be taking phone calls."

Photo: Martin Kraft

BY Megan LaPierrePublished Jun 8, 2023

Picture this: it's 2026. There probably still aren't flying cars, and we probably still can't teleport. Climate change is most certainly continuing to erode the planet at an increasingly break-neck speed. Man-made horrors beyond your comprehension are only growing stronger. Bryan Cranston celebrates his 70th birthday — and that's the last you ever see of him.

In a new interview with GQ, the acclaimed actor shared his retirement plans for four years from now. If you grew up with him onscreen, he's going to eschew fame and abscond to normalcy (while continuing to be very rich and famous, of course) in a way previously unknown in your lifetime.

As he told journalist Anna Peele, in four years, Cranston has plans to shut down his production company and sell his half of mezcal brand Dos Hombres. He and his wife, Robin Dearden, will then move to a small village in a foreign country — likely France — for at least six months.

"I want to change the paradigm once again," the actor explained. "For the last 24 years, Robin has led her life holding onto my tail. She's been the plus one, she's been the wife of a celebrity. She's had to pivot and adjust her life based on mine. She has tremendous benefit from it, but we're uneven. I want to level that out. She deserves it."

Cranston said that they're going to live in a small village and learn the language, as well as how to cook and grow a garden.

"I want to have that experience," he continued. "I want to go for day trips and have the fire in the fireplace and drink wine with new friends and not read scripts. It's not going to be like, 'Oh, I'll read and see what I'm going to do.' No, it's a pause. It's a stop. I won't be thinking about [work]. I'm not going to be taking phone calls."

Elsewhere in the conversation, Cranston explained his philosophy for navigating roles at this point in his storied career.

"I don't need a job," he said, echoing his earlier sentiments on the possibility of a Malcolm in the Middle revival. "I don't want a job. But I love to work. And there's a big distinction between the two."

He added, "I don't want to just put a coat of paint on an old chestnut. I've got to scrape it down to the bare wood and really make it shine. It's got to pop. It's got to be something special."

The clock is ticking, Wes Anderson! (This is not a challenge, Wes; please don't hurt yourself.)

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