Bryan Cranston Reveals ‘Asteroid City’ Had No Call Sheet: The Cast Is ‘All Equal’

Wes Anderson wanted the “Asteroid City” ensemble to feel like a theater troupe.

According to actor Bryan Cranston, the auteur filmmaker did not have a “hierarchy” call sheet for the A-list ensemble cast — which includes Tom Hanks, Scarlett Johansson, Steve Carell, Maya Hawke, Jason Schwartzman, Jeffrey Wright, Tilda Swinton, Margot Robbie, and Jeff Goldblum.

“Wes, the word ‘auteur’ has been thrown around so much, but it is applicable to him,” Cranston told IndieWire on the red carpet for the “Asteroid City” New York City premiere Tuesday night. “He is a man who is kind, not just in his creativity but in his spirit and generosity. He is vulnerable and open and sweet and so creative, so specific, complex in all the best ways. And when you do a film with him, you are part of a company. This is what actors crave, this community.”

The “Breaking Bad” star plays the narrator of “Asteroid City,” which centers on adults and youngsters gathering for a stargazing convention in an American desert town. Cranston previously lent his voice to Anderson’s 2018 “Isle of Dogs” but is featured on camera throughout “Asteroid” in interstices between the film’s three acts.

Cranston continued, “Every single night we would get together for dinner, all of us, every night. I’ve never experienced that before. There are no trailers, there is no hierarchy, there is no call sheet. There is no ‘star’ and you’re under them. We’re all equal, in a socialistic kind of way. And it really works.”

A call sheet typically tells actors where they need to be on a given day, with top-billed stars at the head of the sheet.

Writer-director Anderson previously admitted that COVID-19 production protocols worked in favor of his ensemble film, which eventually does center around an actual quarantine as the town grapples with a possible alien invasion.

“The making of the movie during COVID protocols, it really suited us. It worked for us,” Anderson said at the Cannes Film Festival. “I loved that we formed a troupe and stayed together and sat at a long table and had dinner.”

The “French Dispatch” director earlier told IndieWire that he considers his frequent collaborators like Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, and Schwartzman as part of his personal “family.” He added, “I always love having new people. It just expands the whole range of it. You know, we have other movies.”

Anderson also this week confirmed that Murray — featured in Anderson films like “Rushmore,” “The Royal Tenenbaums,” and “The Life Aquatic” — was supposed to star in “Asteroid City” before the actor caught COVID. His character was later played by Carell.

“My experience with Bill is so extensive. Bill was such a great supporter of me from the very beginning,” Anderson said amid misconduct claims against Murray. “I don’t want to speak about somebody else’s experience, but he’s really part of my family. You know, he’s my daughter’s godfather. In fact, he actually baptized her. He’s the one who splashed the water.” (Murray was spotted at the film’s premiere after-party in Manhattan on Tuesday.)

Focus Features opens “Asteroid City” in select theaters on June 16.

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#AsteroidCity stars Tom Hanks and Bryan Cranston talks to us about the whole concept of being an auteur, like Wes Anderson. #fyp #indiewire #tomhanks #bryancranston #asteroidcitypremiere #wesanderson #wesandersonfilm #wesandersonaesthetic #wesandersoninspired #wesandersonmovie #asteroidcity2023 #asteroidcitycast

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