Bryan Cranston explains why he's planning to 'hit the pause button' on his career

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Bryan Cranston is setting the record straight about those retirement rumors.

Despite some headlines to the contrary over the past year, Cranston says he is definitely not disappearing forever from the acting world. Rather, he just wants to take a break and spend some time on other pursuits.

“I want to hit the pause button,” the “Argylle” actor, 67, told Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager on the fourth hour of TODAY on Jan. 29.

The retirement rumors kicked off last June after British GQ published a profile of the “Breaking Bad” star. The version of the British GQ article available online states that “in 2026, one of the greatest actors of this era will retire — at least temporarily,” and then references his wife of more than three decades, Robin Dearden.

“Cranston is planning to shut down his production company, sell his half of Dos Hombres, and abscond with Dearden to a foreign country, probably France, for a minimum of six months,” the article continues.

The article also explores Cranston’s desire to move to a small village with Dearden.

Bryan Cranston and wife Robin Dearden at the New York premiere of
Bryan Cranston and wife Robin Dearden at the New York premiere of

“I want to go for day trips and have the fire in the fireplace and drink wine with new friends and not read scripts,” Cranston told British GQ at the time.

However, it seems that Cranston’s desire for a temporary pause got lost in translation, and headlines about his planned permanent retirement began cropping up.

“Wait a second — so, anything you read online, you believe? Is that what’s happening?” Cranston said jokingly on TODAY with Hoda & Jenna.

“I said to this interviewer, I feel like for the last 25 years I’ve been so busy and I feel like I need a reset,” he added. “I need to have more life experience, to just — so I want to hit the pause button.”

He also said he sees this planned pause on the horizon.

“Yeah, it’s somewhere down there,” he told Hoda and Jenna. “There’s a few things on my plate already that I have to complete before I move on. But I do want to change the dynamic.”

He also explained that he wants to focus more on spending quality time with Dearden. They have been married since 1989 and share one daughter, actor Taylor Dearden, 30.

“I’ve been married to the best person in the world for 35 years,” Cranston said. "But she has been the ‘plus one’ in this industry, right, and I want to change that. I want to move that out of that kind of imbalance and go away with her and just kind of … she’s looking forward to having me back, and not having to follow me around.”

Cranston also addressed rumors around his retirement back in June on Instagram.

“I am not retiring,” he began a lengthy post. “What I am going to do is hit the pause button for a year after I reach my 70th birthday in 2026. Holy crap — 70!

“I’m not even sure what ‘pausing’ means entirely, but at this moment, I think it means that by taking a year off it will provide several things,” he continued.

In addition to spending more time with his wife, Cranston wrote that he wanted to “reset” his career.

“I’ve had such an unbelievable ride for over two decades — with playing characters on TV, films, and on stage that I could only have dreamt about … until it actually happened,” he wrote. “I could not be more grateful and thankful for such opportunities.

“That said, I feel as though I’m beginning to run out of fresh ideas in how to play characters that I’m being offered,” he continued. “So exploring a more expanded life experience will give me the chance to replenish my soul and prepare for whatever roles I may be afforded in a more authentic way.”

This article was originally published on TODAY.com