Your Honor’s dark American legal drama asks Judge Michael Desiato (Bryan Cranston) a very personal question. . If his son Adam (Hunter Doohan) is involved in a hit and run, how far will a father advance the legal, moral, and ethical line to protect his child? The answer is as disturbing as it is confronting.
The co-creator of Kvodo, the Israeli television series on which it is based, presented it as a challenge to a fundamental concept of parenting. « It is customary for a father [or a mother] to do something for their son or daughter, » said Shlomo Mashiach. « I’m trying to question this convention and ask what something is? Anything? Is there no human or moral legal limit? »
Cranston, best known as the star of the critically acclaimed cable drama Breaking Bad, sees this moral axis as the cornerstone of your honor. « And what we find out about our own sense of morality is that it may not be as solid as we think it is, » says Cranston. « This story presents a scenario that is very understandable for parents if you believe that your primary responsibility is to protect your child physically, emotionally and intellectually. «
When the 64-year-old Los Angeles-born actor sat down with British lawyer and screenwriter Peter Moffat to discuss the US adaptation, Cranston said he was instantly excited about the question. « That really got me that, if you feel like your child’s life is really in danger, you turn into a criminal to protect them? And I think the quick answer for any parent is yes. «
But then it gets complicated. « You dissect the question, » says Cranston. « So, would you destroy evidence? Yes. Would you lie Yes. Would you force someone and try to bribe them? Yes. Would you kill another person or do something that would hurt an innocent person? And then there is the break. Then there is this moment, personally, no, I wouldn’t. «
The series came to US television through the Robert and Michelle King production partnership, which credits include The Good Wife, The Good Fight and Evil. Moffat, who wrote Criminal Justice and Cambridge Spies, was hired to script the project. And Cranston loved its complexity and the ability to work with all three.
Moffat was initially only introduced with the premise of the original series and did not watch that series before writing the US adaptation. « I stayed up half the night writing and thinking very quickly, incredibly unusual to me because I’m a slow writer, about the possibilities of expanding the premise into full-blown drama, » he says.
« I was so excited about what I was doing that I quickly realized that it could be dangerous to watch the original because I was so engrossed in my own development that I thought I might really be beaten will. « sideways, » he adds. « I stayed away from it for a very long time until I was sure what we were doing. «
The ethical dilemma at the heart of the series – What would a parent do if a child’s criminality is portrayed? – is best researched by not asking what they would do, but by asking what they would not, says Moffat.
« I think it’s a tougher question and I don’t think we have a common perspective. I don’t think there is or can be a collective agreement on [an answer], « Moffat says, pointing out that the questions that affect each step and each subsequent step become more complex as the process progresses.
« Suddenly, very quickly, you find yourself in a difficult area, » he says. « And until now you’re probably still saying I have to because it’s your child. I love the idea that you and I, and hopefully an audience, can have a conversation about justice and the difference between morality and law. «
Is there a difference? « Of course, yes, » says Moffat. « Otherwise we would all have done what Hitler asked us to do if we had lived in National Socialist Germany. But those are great questions to ask an audience and yourself when creating a drama like this. «
Moffat’s discipline as a writer is narrow, as are his expectations of the actors who work with his scripts. « I say this at the table when the cast is first assembled: every comma is important and a semicolon is not a comma, it is very important that it is a semicolon, » he says. « I will have thought about it with great care, otherwise it won’t be there.
« At the same time, I don’t want [the cast] to feel like the script is slowing their interpretation of their performance. In other words, it’s an invitation to talk. I see Bryan every day; We talk about every single scene, every single line that a conversation is really possible. That is the starting point.
Bryan Cranston as US President Lyndon B. . Johnson in the film based on his stage production All The Way. Photo credit: Showcase
« When he suggests that something needs to be changed, I know he takes me seriously and vice versa, » adds Moffat. « And I take him seriously because I’m not an actor and an actor has a flair for things that a writer may not share. So you have to listen; You don’t have to be valuable in your job because he may do it better, and there are many cases where it is. «
From Cranston’s point of view, he believes his greatest asset is his lack of legal experience. « The Kings have vast experience in courtroom drama, of course, and you can feel it, but Peter was also a lawyer in London for several years in a criminal court, » says Cranston. « So I can ask laypeople questions like: Is that clear? What happens in such a case in a courtroom? What is the record? »
To prepare for the role, Cranston also took himself to New Orleans to shadow a local judge. « To see other judges in action at different stages of a trial, I did my own research and spoke to our legal counsel. What works, what doesn’t, how do you make it interesting? How do you do a courtroom drama where most of the people are stationary, how do you make that interesting? That was all part of the conversation, and everyone contributed to it. It was a fun experience. «
The series also marks a return to television for Cranston after a stint working on two high-profile productions, All The Way, about US President Lyndon B.. Johnson’s efforts to urge Congress in support of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and a stage adaptation of the 1976 Film Network, first in London’s West End and later on Broadway.
After having worked in an environment where any crease could be ironed out tomorrow night for most of a decade, your honor is a return to a format where an actor is given a single pass to film their best attitude.
« I speak for myself, although I think many actors who would agree with me will be the most pleasant and rewarding temporary job in your performance on stage, where you are entrusted with telling a full story at each performance » said Cranston says. « A beginning, a middle, and an end, and when the piece of salt is worth it, it’s dynamic and emotional, and it’s cruel at times, and it has a message and it makes you think, get angry, or happy. ». or what ever.
Television is a « little thing » business, according to Cranston. « They put it together a bit of a puzzle every day and don’t get the reward for the whole picture until it’s all said and done, » he says. « There is a pace in film or television that you have to adjust to so that you don’t get to hold that vibrating energy at will – you have to let go of it.
« Our responsibility is to tell an audience a story, take them by the hand and lead them through the story, promising them that if they follow you, they will be rewarded in the end, » he says. « They don’t care, and neither should they know, or even care, how hard it might have been that you worked until 5. 30 a.m. or that you are exhausted. I take this responsibility very seriously and that is always with me and that keeps me honest, it keeps me working hard. «
World News – USA – Bryan Cranston is a judge who does badly in your honor
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