Marc Hom Gets Friendly with Bryan Cranston for Esquire
Bryan Cranston’s career began in earnest in the 1980s, but America didn’t truly meet Cranston until ‘Malcolm in the Middle,’ where he played the goofy dad on a 2000s sitcom who was more a victim of his chaotic household than anything else - and he certainly wasn’t the star. It wasn’t until Breaking Bad landed on AMC in 2008 that he truly broke out, leading the most popular dramatic series in a decade and forcing everyone to take notice. Since Breaking Bad he’s become one of the most sought after actors in the industry, but many have forgotten he got his start in comedy. When he met up with Marc Hom to photograph the November cover story for Esquire, Marc was quick to learn that part of Cranston’s history. “I knew about him, I knew about his career, but I didn’t know he had this very comic element to him. There’s an undercurrent of something quite funny yet quite austere, and that was so great to discover,” says Marc. “It was a really fun fun day where everything I asked for got delivered. I think that’s the beauty of doing what I’m doing, I’m always working with such talent - if you can transcend your direction and use them as a tool or that kind of thing, it’s just such a great time when that happens.”
The two got to play all day at a gorgeous house in gorgeous clothes creating imagery that was as fun as the energy on set. Cranston’s improvisational chops meant that he and Marc were able to explore all day, and when unique opportunities arose they took full advantage. One such opportunity arose when three furry friends appeared on set, uninvited but totally welcome. “We’re standing there with the Bentley in the garage and we heard this noise, and I say “What is this noise?” and then I looked over at the fence and there were three rabbits there,” Marc tells it. “And we both look at each other and decided we must do something with those rabbits.” They grabbed one of the rabbits and paraded it around the house, capturing the almost dream-like energy that appears on the Esquire subscriber’s cover. The other cover features Cranston sliding in to (or out of) that Bentley.
The ability of a subject to just grab a rabbit and continue the shoot is invaluable for a photographer like Marc who is always trying to capture moments we’ve never seen before. “It was a very organic shoot in a certain way,” says Marc. “It was fun because he had fun.”