Bryan Cranston Plays Cohaagen As Hauser’s Father-Figure In Total Recall

By Rudie Obias | Published

With only a few weeks until the remake of Total Recall is in theaters, Sony has released more featurettes and posters to get audiences excited for Len Wiseman’s spin on the futuristic tale. Based on the short story, We Can Remember It for You Wholesale, by legendary sci-fi writer Phillip K. Dick, the new Total Recall will take a more faithful and realistic take on the original source material.

In an interview with io9, actor Bryan Cranston talks about that more realistic angle Wiseman wants to take with his adaptation. Let’s be honest, although brilliant, Paul Verhoeven’s Total Recall was a bit on the cartoony side. Verhoeven wanted to explore the more ridiculous aspects of violence. Why else cast Arnold Schwarzenegger as an “Everyday Man.” Cranston wanted to play up the more strict elements of his character Cohaagen rather than just play him like a mustache-twirling villain. Cranston confesses,

Yes, there is a class system. And yes those of us who enjoy the fruits of labor will still do that. And then there are those of us who should be laborers, right?” Hauser, Colin Farrell’s character, is just like a rebellious teenage son. I love him. I want to get him in line and punish him a little bit with a little tough love, but he’ll come around.

In respects to wanting to create a utopia, Cranston reveals most of his character’s decisions are for the greater good. In many respects, Cohaagen may think of himself as the hero of Total Recall by wanting to stop a small insurgence.

I like to call them terrorists, because I think we all agree we don’t like terrorists. So I like to call them terrorists. They are trying to undermine the greater good. If it was up to them they would blow up the res… we can’t have that. They’re just… they’re like gnats at a picnic. You get tired of killing all like this. And you gotta just root them out, find out where they nest, get rid of them once and for all, and we’ll all live happily ever — well, I’ll live happily ever after. And I think people want me to live happily ever after.

Ronny Cox’s performance as Cohaagen was pretty great in the 1990 version of Total Recall but it would be more interesting to see what Bryan Cranston could do with the role. Based on his amazing work on TV’s Breaking Bad and his approach to bringing Cohaagen to life in the 2012 version, Len Wiseman’s Total Recall might be something more than just mindless action. Well, maybe not much more.