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Bryan Cranston answers questions during an interview at Ramstein Air Base, Germany on Tuesday, July 25, 2017. The actor, director, producer, writer, and author is on tour with the USO discussing his memoir and career.

Bryan Cranston answers questions during an interview at Ramstein Air Base, Germany on Tuesday, July 25, 2017. The actor, director, producer, writer, and author is on tour with the USO discussing his memoir and career. (Michael B. Keller/Stars and Stripes)

Stars and Stripes sat down with actor, writer, director and producer Bryan Cranston during a USO tour stop in Ramstein, Germany, for a chat about life in the arts and how military experience might lead to a career in Hollywood. His responses have been edited for clarity and length.

I think it’s as useful for me to dissuade people as it is to encourage them. I can identify those who say they want to be a professional actor but really don’t by the questions they ask. “How much money do you make?” “What kind of car do you drive?” If they’re looking for an end result, “No it’s not for you.”

There’s probably a common denominator of people in the military. Military personnel already are more willing to take risks. That’s a huge thing for being an actor or anything in the arts — to take a risk, to take a chance.

There’s already an innate sensibility that could work well in the arts. Now that doesn’t mean you have talent, but it is a component. Discipline. Huge. Because it’s not going to come easy to you. You have to stick it out.

The other thing is a willingness to tap into your emotions. That is really important. A willingness to say — look at Walter White (in “Breaking Bad”) — “You want something?” How about ego, how about some ugliness, how about some avarice and hubris and how about jealousy and how about greed? And how about all the things that we as human beings try and go “Oh, no, no, I’m not that way.” A willingness to allow yourself to show those colors.

You really do have to have talent. An acting teacher cannot teach — you can’t be taught talent. But a good coach or coaches can help you realize your own talent and become the best that you can be.

Want to go?Cranston’s USO tour will stop at the Wiesbaden Entertainment Center from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Wednesday. He will be at the Pathfinder Pub at RAF Alconbury, England on Thursday from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

On Saturday, he will visit RAF Mildenhall’s Bob Hope Community Center for a meet and greet from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

All events are free, but admission is first come, first served.

The tour will close Saturday night when RAF Lakenheath’s Liberty Club will host “An Evening with Bryan Cranston” at 7:30 p.m. All tickets for the Lakenheath event have already been claimed.

garland.chad@stripes.com Twitter: @chadgarland

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Chad is a Marine Corps veteran who covers the U.S. military in the Middle East, Afghanistan and sometimes elsewhere for Stars and Stripes. An Illinois native who’s reported for news outlets in Washington, D.C., Arizona, Oregon and California, he’s an alumnus of the Defense Language Institute, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Arizona State University.

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