Bryan Cranston and Annette Bening on When They'll Retire From Acting (Exclusive)

The pair star in the upcoming Paramount+ film, 'Jerry & Marge Go Large.'

Bryan Cranston and Annette Bening may play retirees in their upcoming film, Jerry & Marge Go Large, but don’t count on them to step away from the limelight anytime soon.  

“Right now, that's the way I feel. I feel more free than I ever have in the work,” Bening tells ET’s Matt Cohen about the future of her career. “I love the craft, I always have. I loved all the training that I got to do way back. It kind of sort of sits on your shoulder. Any sort of training that you get, and the further I get away from it, the more free I feel.” 

She adds about the potential stopping point, “When I get to the point where it's not that sense of excitement, the same feeling that I had when I first started, of being in a room with a bunch of people who are starting the project together. Actors, generally speaking, get really close really fast and I love that. I love that exchange. We all kinda jump in together because we know that's the job. We're usually playing people who are deeply connected in some way -- that is the hit. That's the fun and that is still there. So, if that's not there, I wouldn't want to do it anymore. But as long as that's there, I wanna keep going.” 

Cranston echoed his co-star's sentiments, saying that as long as he’s happy, he’ll continue to act.  


“Same with me,” he says. “I mean, as long as it brings joy, I’ll still be there. And then our job really is to commit to that childlike make believe and then the more you can just dive in and believe it yourself, the more it presents itself in others.” 

In the upcoming Paramount+ film, Jerry & Marge Go Large, Cranston and Bening play a couple, Jerry and Marge Selbee, who, after retiring, are seeking excitement. The couple hits it big when they find a flaw in the lottery system -- due to Jerry’s way with numbers -- and make it work in their family and friends' favor. 

“It’s such a great story because they didn't cheat. Jerry just found a flaw in the lottery as it was designed and he's a numbers whiz, so he was the kind of guy who could look quickly and figure out, ‘Wait a minute, is this a loophole?’” Bening says. “That’s what I love so much about the story is that they weren't cheating or scamming. They played it honestly.” 

While their characters may celebrate and splurge a little, the actors recall how they spent their first large sums of money during their careers. 

“My wife and I would just go to a special dinner,” Cranston says. “And we didn’t go crazy because as actors, it’s never a straight ascent. It’s always an up and down and we needed to be protective of the downtime. So, save your money, you don’t know what’s going to happen. You don’t know how long it’s going to be till you work next so, and we were kind of ingrained in that.” 

For Bening, her splurge was a sentimental thank you to her parents, who helped her in the early stages of her acting dreams and have supported her through every stage of her career. 

“I paid my parents back for grad school because I went to a conservatory after I went to a university, and it wasn't cheap,” she says. “And I remember the satisfaction of just being able to write a check and pay my parents back and that is so satisfying.”